By Paul Imig Special to Published Oct 16, 2015 at 5:06 PM

The Packers are one more win away from being able to go into their bye week undefeated. To do so, Green Bay will have to find a way to knock off the 2-3 San Diego Chargers.

Here are five things to watch in Sunday afternoon’s game:

1. Green Bay deep threats

In the past two games, Aaron Rodgers has completed just 1 of 5 passes that traveled farther than 20 yards in the air. For the season so far, Rodgers has only five completions at that distance.

Compare that to the 2014 regular season, Rodgers had 36 completions when throwing the ball more than 20 yards. Of course, Jordy Nelson was healthy and available last season. Now, Nelson is confined to the sideline all year while recovering from a torn ACL.

There is more than one reason that Green Bay’s offense has struggled in its past two games, but not being able to get receivers open downfield is a significant factor.

Nelson isn’t coming back to save the day, so a combination of Randall Cobb, James Jones and Ty Montgomery is going to have to find ways to create separation. They’re going to have to have Rodgers’ trust too, because efficiency and not turning the ball over are always atop his priority list. The likely return of Davante Adams (listed as questionable) could help, but he’ll still be battling an ankle injury even if he is on the field.

2. Success from Packers running backs

One problem can often lead to another. With the Rams not respecting the deep ball in Week 5, there were more defenders close to the line of scrimmage. That led to the Packers not being able to get Eddie Lacy or James Starks going on the ground in that game.

Lacy and Starks combined for 44 rushing yards on 18 carries. It was Rodgers who actually led Green Bay in rushing yards, and that’s not a good sign for the offense.

San Diego has really struggled stopping the run this season. The Chargers are ranked 29th in rushing yards allowed per game and dead-last (32nd) in yards allowed per carry. This should be a good chance for the Packers to get positive production from Lacy and Starks before the bye.

3. Two QBs in command at line of scrimmage

Anyone who’s been watching Rodgers operate this season knows how good he’s been in his pre-snap responsibilities. Causing defenders to jump offside, calling for a snap when there are 12 defensive players on the field and finding mismatches have been some of Rodgers’ best weapons.

However, Mike McCarthy is aware that those skills are also strengths of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

"Philip Rivers is an outstanding quarterback," McCarthy said. "Really, his ability and command at the line of scrimmage is great. You talk about Aaron and Philip and Peyton (Manning) and (Tom) Brady and (Ben) Roethlisberger, you're talking about a class of quarterbacks as far as the guys and what they do at the line of scrimmage.

"That's what you really have to prepare for. Because we're not going to sit there and know what he's audibling to. It's too vast, and so forth."

"It seems as if (Rivers) is the type of guy that most of his plays are checks at the line of scrimmage," added Clay Matthews. "He obviously knows what he sees out there. It requires us to be a little more patient as far as our disguises and what we’re trying to show. For the most part, he knows what he wants to run out there and it’s based off the defense. We just have to be smart and read and react and hopefully get a few tips along the way."

4. Coverage on Antonio Gates

Gates missed the first four games of the season due to a suspension, but it didn’t take him long to make his mark on 2015. In his season debut, the 35-year-old tight end caught nine passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

"He’s Philip’s number one target," Matthews said. "I’m sure there will be times when we double him, we keep someone on him."

The Packers have struggled to stop playmaking tight ends at times. Gates has been around as long as Julius Peppers has. Like Peppers, though, Gates is still more than capable of taking over a game.

"He looked like he didn’t lose a step, that’s for sure," McCarthy said of Gates’ Week 5 performance. "He looked good. That was our evaluation when we talked about it Tuesday morning in our personnel meeting. He’s ready to go. He looks as good as the last time we played them, and that’s been quite some time. He’s still a premier player."

5. Melvin Gordon still looking for first NFL touchdown

A running back’s transition from college to the NFL can be difficult, and Gordon is finding that out firsthand. The former Wisconsin Badgers star was drafted 15th overall earlier this year, but he’s yet to find the end zone in his first five games as a professional.

Born and raised in Kenosha, Wis., Gordon has been to Lambeau Field a couple times already in his life. But when he steps on the field to play there for the first time, he hopes to score with hundreds of friends and family in attendance.

"I haven’t been in the end zone for so long," Gordon said on a conference call this week. "Regardless of where I’m at, when I get in there, I’m going to be happy because, one, I got my first touchdown under my belt and, two, we’re putting points up on the board. I’ll be excited. It’ll be really exciting if I get to do it in front of all my family members that are there."

Gordon later added, "I always told my mom when I was a baby that I wanted to play for the Packers. Didn’t work out that way, but it’ll be an honor to go there and play and see those guys."

Paul Imig Special to
Paul Imig spent the past five years working for FOX Sports WI. He began by covering the Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers before taking over the Green Bay Packers beat in 2011. In addition to his writing, Paul also made television appearances nationwide on FOX Sports 1. He can be heard on the radio statewide on The Bill Michaels Show and can be seen on Time Warner Cable's Roundtable show with Dennis Krause. Paul is the 2015 recipient of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's award for Graduate Of the Last Decade (GOLD).