One of Sunday’s most intriguing NFL games is the Sunday night primetime matchup between the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers in Foxboro. The Packers are favored by 5.5 points at home with an ambitious over/under of 56.5 points.
The Packers are certainly the team that’s more in need of a win. They are coming off a heart-breaking loss to the Rams last week and will want to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time this season. They’re also in the middle of a difficult stretch of games, so two straight losses could easily cause their season to spiral out of control.
The Patriots, on the other hand, are riding a five-game winning streak. Up until last week, New England had scored at least 38 points in four straight games, as Tom Brady and the offense have found their groove. The Patriots are also 4-0 at home this season heading into Sunday’s game.
Is There A Way To Stop It?
As mentioned, the New England offense has been nearly unstoppable since Week 4. The biggest difference since that point in the season has been the emergence of Sony Michel as the primary running back. Since Michel became the feature back, the New England offense has had better balance rather than relying solely on Brady and the passing game.
Naturally, the Patriots were a little less impressive last week with Michel sitting out due to injury. His status is uncertain for Sunday’s game, which could give the Packers the kind of break they need to win. However, if Michel is able to play, the Green Bay defense will have to dedicate some of their focus to slowing down the running game, something they’ve struggled to do for much of the season.
On the other side of the ball, the Green Bay offense still revolves around Aaron Rodgers. With the Packers sputtering the first half of the season, Rodgers has been a little overlooked compared to some of the other quarterbacks in the league. However, he’s putting together an impressive campaign, tossing 13 touchdowns to just one interception while averaging over 300 yards passing per game. Considering he’s playing through some kind of knee injury, his performance has been all the more impressive.
The problem is that Rodgers isn’t getting enough help around him. A leaky offensive line and his lack of mobility because of the knee injury have caused Rodgers to get sacked and hit a lot more than he has in past years. Also, the Packers don’t always stay committed to running the ball even though Aaron Jones has provided a nice spark over the last few weeks. Against the Patriots, Green Bay will need to establish the run to give Rodgers more support and keep Brady off the field.
This game figures to evolve into a shootout between Brady and Rodgers. However, Brady clearly has more help around him, putting a lot more pressure on Rodgers to carry his team on his back. In the end, that’ll prove to be too difficult, allowing Brady and company to get some separation. Bet on the Patriots -5.5 to win and cover the spread on Sunday night.