Patriots-Packers: 16 Predictions
From the fellas over at Bleacher Report
~GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
–New England Patriots (9-2) at Green Bay Packers (8-3)
The Pick: Green Bay Packers (11-5)
On many levels, it seems blasphemous to pick against the New England Patriots right now.
At 9-2, the Patriots have the AFC’s best record. They’ve defeated four first-place teams over their seven-game winning streak, including all three other division leaders in their conference. The games weren’t even especially close.
AFC East Lead Writer Erik Frenz is on the bandwagon regardless of destination:
“The Patriots have defeated three straight division leaders (though the Lions no longer lead the division thanks to losing to the Patriots) and have done it so many ways—running the ball, throwing the ball, stout defense, explosive special teams. How can anyone pick against them right now? Look for a big day from LeGarrette Blount and Jonas Gray against a Packers run defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in every category.”
Frenz’s points are valid, and no one will be surprised if the Patriots win.
However, the Packers have been every bit as hot as the Patriots of late. The teams rank first and second in the NFL in scoring. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are playing at a level right now somewhere between “otherworldly” and “Madden on Rookie difficulty.”
However, Rodgers has also been absolutely flawless at home this season, and the locale of Sunday afternoon’s big showdown was enough to swing the vote.
In any event, if you like shootouts, have your popcorn ready beforehand. Get up during this one, and you’re apt to miss three scores.
Patriots (5): Frenz, Kruse, Miller, Simms, Tanier
Packers (11): Bowen, Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Hangst, Hansen, McCown, Schalter, Schottey, Sobleski, Tomlinson