New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers
Date and Time: Sunday, 11/30/14 at 4:25pm (EST) on CBS
Game Line: Green Bay -3 (from WagerWeb)
Sunday NFL Football Analysis: The 9–2 New England Patriots take on the 8–3 Green Bay Packers in a possible Super Bowl preview from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Since the Monday night debacle back in late September, the New England Patriots have been the league’s most dominant team. Winners of seven in a row, the Patriots have won their last 7 games rather convincingly by an average of 20 points per game. Tom Brady is having quite the season completing 65% of his passes for 2998 yards with 26 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. It’s become quite obvious that if tight end Rob Gronkowski is healthy, this offense it’s hard to stop. Not only does Brady have a lot of weapons to throw to, he also has a loaded backfield, and now that LeGarrette Blount has been added to the mix, it only makes the team deeper and gives them added options. It may not show up in the stats, but New England definitely has one of the better defenses in the league. The addition of the Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner has given Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia more options. If there’s one thing this Patriot defense will do, it’s that they will take away what the other team’s offense does best.
The Green Bay Packers have been the NFC’s most impressive team thus far. Like New England, and the Packers had a somewhat sluggish start to the season but have won seven out of their last eight games. The Packers have been dominant this year at home, sporting a 5–0 home record and winning those contests by an average of 29 points per game. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ stats are very similar to Tom Brady’s. Rodgers has completed 66.7% of his passes for 2957 yards with 30 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. The main two receiving threats are Jordy Nelson (1066 yards, 9 TD’s) and Randall Cobb (837 yds, 10 TD’s). Eddie Lacy leads the way out of the backfield with 672 yards and 6 touchdowns. The off-season acquisition of linebacker and pass rush specialist Julius Peppers has had positive results as he has five sacks on the season with two forced fumbles and two interceptions, with both of those being returned for touchdowns. While their defense has gotten better throughout the season, they have still struggled to stop the run, allowing 136.7 yards per game. Their pass defense is above average, allowing 233 yards per game. Like New England, their defense benefits when having large leads, when they can pin their ears back and go after the quarterback as they have the personnel to do so with Peppers and Clay Matthews.
I’m not going to take away anything from what Green Bay has done thus far this season. It’s been impressive, but when you take a look at all their wins, who have they beaten? Sometimes you just got to look inside the numbers, and you’ll see that they only have one win against a team with a winning record, and that was against Philadelphia with Mark Sanchez making his second start of the season, and not only that, Philadelphia was playing on a short week. Many of the sharpest guys in the industry have waited for this New England team to falter, and well, that just hasn’t been the case. This will be the most complete team that Green Bay has faced thus far this season, and the Patriots have the defensive personnel to take away what Green Bay does best. It wouldn’t shock me to see New England try to control the tempo and run the ball effectively against what is a vulnerable Green Bay run defense. I respect the fact that Green Bay has been dominant at home, but getting points with the superior team is too good to pass up. Green Bay is a great team, but right now New England is just better. I’m grabbing the points with New England, and I don’t think the number is even going to matter in this one.
Sunday NFL Week 13 New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers Free Picks: New England +3, Under 57.5
New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers Game Prediction: New England 31 – Green Bay 24