It’s been 221 long days since the San Diego Chargers played their last down, but the lengthy offseason wait comes to an end Thursday night when the Bolts host the Green Bay Packers. While the team failed to qualify for the postseason in 2011, they finished in a numerical tie for first place in the AFC West, and their 4-1 record over their final five games ended the season on a positive note.
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What to Watch For…
The Chargers continued to boast one of the most electric offenses in the NFL last season. They posted 406 points as they extended their league-record streak of consecutive 400-point seasons to eight.
Now, under new offensive coordinator Hal Hunter, the Chargers aim to keep piling on the touchdowns in 2012. The team returns nine starters on offense, led by quarterback
San Diego’s defense will be under the guidance of new defensive coordinator John Pagano, who has spent the last 10 years with the franchise and coached the linebackers since 2005.
The unit also boasts nine returning starters and is anchored by safety
On Special Teams
The Chargers own one of the top special teams in the NFL, excelling in both the kicking and return games.
Returning to assistant Head Coach – Special Teams Rich Bisaccia’s unit for 2012 is
By the Numbers
In 2011, the Chargers ranked sixth in total offense (393.1 yards per game), sixth in passing (276.6 ypg) and 16th in rushing ( 116.5 ypg). The Packers, meanwhile, ranked third in total offense (405.1 ypg), third in passing (307.8 ypg) and 27th in rushing (7.4 ypg).
Defensively, the Bolts ranked 16th in total defense (346.6 ypg), 13th in passing (224.4 ypg) and 20th in rushing (122.2 ypg), while the Pack ranked 32nd in total defense (411.6 ypg), 32nd in passing (299.8 ypg) and 14th in rushing (111.8 ypg).
Preseason Series History
Thursday’s game marks just the fourth preseason meetings between the Chargers and Packers. The Chargers beat the Packers 17-3 in San Diego in 2006, one year after Green Bay beat the Bolts 10-7 at Lambeau field. The squads also clashed in 1980 in a scoreless tie in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The game was called with 9:17 remaining due to heavy rains and lightning.
Quarterback Philip Rivers set a franchise record with 15 straight completions vs. the Packers on September 23, 2007.
Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers resides in Del Mar during the offseason.
Green Bay center Tommie Draheim is from Lakeside, California, a suburb east of San Diego.
Packers’ linebackers Nick Perry, Clay Matthews and Vic So’oto all have southern California connections. Perry and Matthews both attended USC while So’oto hails from Carlsbad, California, a suburb north of San Diego. He is also a second cousin to the late Junior Seau.
Green Bay secondary-safeties coach Darren Perry signed with the Chargers in 1999 but did not appear in a regular-season game for the team.
ESPN – (simulcast on KFMB-TV, Channel 8 in San Diego) – Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Jon Gruden (analyst) and Lisa Salters (Reporter)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst) and Mike Costa (reporter)
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villaneuva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst)