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Author Topic: 5 Bold Predictions for the Green Bay Packers' Week 8 Matchup - Bob Fox  (Read 1045 times)

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Offline LMG

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Alex Brandon/Associated Press Photo

The 5-2 Green Bay Packers will take on the 2-4 New Orleans Saints on Sunday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

It should be a very entertaining and fast-paced game between two teams who seem to emulate their head coaches.

Both Mike McCarthy and Sean Payton have been on the job since 2006 and have had a lot of success, each winning a Super Bowl.

Payton was in the running for the Green Bay coaching job along with several other candidates in 2006, when Ted Thompson hired McCarthy. Payton ended up as head coach of the Saints.

I'm going to do some prognosticating about the game that will be played in the Crescent City.

Expect a High-Scoring Game

Look for a lot of points on Sunday night. I know, that's not exactly a bold prediction. But I'm sure as heck not going to predict a low-scoring game.

In the last three games that the Packers and Saints have played, New Orleans is averaging 37.3 points a game, while the Packers have averaged 33.

Why? Mostly it's because of the quarterbacks on both teams. I wrote about that scenario recently.

Both Aaron Rodgers of the Packers and Drew Brees of the Saints love playing against each other.

In the three games in which they have faced each other, Rodgers has thrown for 879 yards and nine touchdown passes compared to four picks. That adds up to a 102.3 passer rating.

Meanwhile, Brees has thrown for 1,188 yards and 10 touchdown passes without a pick. That adds up to an unbelievable 126.3 passer rating.

Bottom line, you better DVR this game because of all the scoring you will see.

Eddie Lacy Will Have a Nice Homecoming

Running back Eddie Lacy was born and raised in Gretna, Louisiana. Gretna is across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. Because of Hurricane Katrina, Lacy and his family had to relocate to to Geismar.

Lacy played his college football at Alabama and was back in New Orleans for the 2012 BCS National Championship Game, in which the Crimson Tide beat LSU.

Now Lacy gets to come home again on Sunday night vs. the Saints.

Lacy has not been as dominating in 2014 as he was last season, when No. 27 won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Still, Lacy has rushed for 369 yards and four touchdowns in seven games. I expect Lacy to have some excellent opportunities to have a big game, both in running and catching the ball.

Why? I expect Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator of the Saints, to blitz quite often in this game, which should lead to big plays by using draw and screen plays.

Aaron Rodgers Will Continue His Streak of No Interceptions

Aaron Rodgers has gone six straight games now without throwing a pick, which ties Bart Starr's franchise record set in 1964.

I expect that streak to continue against the Saints. Why? Rodgers, like Starr, would rather take a sack than to throw into double or triple coverage.

While Starr had nice mobility, Rodgers also moves extremely well in and out of the pocket while looking at his reads downfield. No. 12 has been accused of holding the ball too long at times, but that tendency also leads to big plays.

In addition to that, I expect a lot of blitzing by the Saints, which will leave the back half of the New Orleans defense very vulnerable in single or even broken coverage.

The Secondary of the Saints Will Be Their Downfall

Going into the game against the Packers on Sunday night, the passing defense of the Saints is ranked just 28th in the NFL.

The Saints have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw 11 touchdown passes against only three interceptions. And the opposing quarterback passer rating is 99.9.

That's not good news when your next opponent is Aaron Rodgers, who is having another phenomenal year. Rodgers has thrown for 1,674 yards and 18 touchdown passes to just one interception. That adds up to a 117.3 passer rating, which is second in the NFL, behind only behind Peyton Manning's 118.2 mark.

The secondary of the Saints was supposed to be much improved in 2014 with the addition of free-agent safety Jairus Byrd. But Byrd was lost for the season with a season-ending knee injury in early October.

Expect to see the Saints blitz a lot, but that is sort of like throwing gasoline in the fire with a quarterback like Rodgers, who loves to throw against the blitz.

The Packers Will Win

The Green Bay Packers will take on a New Orleans Saints team that has won 19 straight home games when Sean Payton is at the helm.

The Packers have won four straight games themselves, but will be going into a very difficult environment, especially when it comes to prime-time games at the Superdome.

The Packers know full well about this scenario, as they were beaten by the Saints in New Orleans in 2008 by a 51-29 score.

But in 2014, the Packers and Saints are much different than they were in 2008.

Plus, the Packers normally play very well on Sunday night, as the team has a 21-6 record overall. Under Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are 8-3 on Sunday night.

The main reason the Packers will win is that Rodgers will outplay Drew Brees and also because the secondary of the Packers is much better than that of the Saints.


Bob Fox always had the itch to return to the media, and he became a writer at a Packer website called ThaPack for a couple of years, before he joined Packer Report, where he was for several years, before joining Wisconsin Sports Online (PackerChatters) writing about the Packers, Badgers and Brewers.  Bob also occasionally writes for which covers the Tampa Bay Bucs, and also used to write for which covers the Tampa Bay Lightning when the site was operational.

Bob also has an article in the 2012 Green Bay Packers Yearbook that profiles the 2012 draft class for the Packers.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 11:38:16 AM by LMGAdmin »
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