Posted on November 3, 2018, by Travis Pulver
As usual, the New England Patriots have control over the AFC East, and we are just hitting the midway point of the season. The Green Bay Packers, on the other hand, find themselves in a place they are not accustomed to being in, third. But that could quickly change in a single weekend. Their record is 3-3-1 while the Bears lead the division at 4-3.
Could this be that weekend?
Chicago is facing the Buffalo Bills, so probably not. But the Packers don’t want to fall further behind if they can avoid it.
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The concern in this game for Green Bay fans is going to be some of the trade activity the team recently had. No one is going to miss Ty Montgomery, but the got rid of one of their better defenders in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The defense is playing well this season; something that the team hasn’t been able to say in recent years.
Why get rid of someone who is helping make that happen? Veteran defensive back Tramon Williams will move over to safety, so there could be no letdown. But fans will have to wait until Sunday to know that for sure.
Otherwise, Green Bay fans have to like their chances heading into this game. Aaron Rodgers nearly handed the Rams their first loss last week. If the offense doesn’t start well, they know he can get it clicking before the game is over. But against a lackluster Patriots defense, Rodgers shouldn’t have much trouble getting the offense on track.
But the real question will be whether the Green Bay defense can handle Tom Brady and company. However, the Patriots offense has been at its best when they can run the ball. They have struggled to do so without Sony Michel in the lineup. His status is still up in the air.
So far this season, the Packers defense has looked good against the pass and just okay against the run. Developing a decent run game could be the key to success in this game for the Patriots.
This is going to be one of the more entertaining games of the weekend for sure. Aaron Rodgers shouldn’t have much, if any, trouble generating offense against the Patriots defense. But the Patriots offense could have a little trouble doing the same against the Packers defense. Then again, Brady has made a career out of decimating talented defenses.
“He’s been a phenomenal player in this league, so he’s a fun one to watch when you’re a younger player and trying to figure out what he’s doing,” said Aaron Rodgers when asked about Brady. “Obviously, we play a little bit different style of game, but the stuff that he does well is stuff that over my career I’ve tried to incorporate into my own game.”
But while everyone is going to watch the quarterbacks in this one, the key is going to be the running backs for both. One of the best things the Packers could do is get Aaron Jones established running the ball and keep Brady off the field.
Last week, Todd Gurley accounted for nearly 200 yards (114 rushing, 81 receiving). The Patriots could do the same between Michel and James White.
It is tough to go against the Patriots even though they have struggled a lot this season. So, go with them to win, but expect this one to be close. Take Green Bay to win against the spread.