Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers (3-3-1 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, November 4th, 8:20 PM
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
By Mike Mann., NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: GB +6.5 / NE -6.5
Over/Under Total: 57.5
In a Sunday Night football showdown, the Patriots and Packers meet in Foxboro in what should be one of the highlight games of the weekend. Green Bay leads the all time series 6-5 and won the last game between the teams 26-21 back in 2014.
The Packers come into the game with a 3-3-1 record and reeling from a heartbreaking 23-21 loss to the undefeated Los Angeles Rams. They had a chance to give Aaron Rodgers the ball late with a chance to drive his team down the field to get into game winning field goal range, but instead an ill advised kickoff return and fumble by Ty Montgomery ruined those plans and the Packers ended up heading home with the loss. Now sitting a record of .500, how they respond to last week’s unfortunate defeat will go a long way in deciding the outcome of their remaining season.
Thankfully for Green Bay they still have Aaron Rodgers, who continues to play at an elite level and this season has thrown fourteen touchdowns compared to only one interception. Even with the loss of his trusted wideout Jordy Nelson, the team still ranks 5th in the NFL in passing yards per game and total offense. His favorite target continue to be Davante Adams, with new tight end Jimmy Graham second on the team in receptions and the remaining spots filled out by Geronimo Allen, Randall Cobb and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
One positive for the Packers in their loss to the Rams was they gave Aaron Jones his most carries of the season and he responded with a 7.2 yards per carry average and a rushing touchdown. For whatever reason Jones has not been properly utilized by Green Bay throughout the season despite averaging at least five yards per carry in every game. They have a possible star in the making with the second year back out of UTEP, but until they start giving him the proper amount of touches on a weekly basis he will continue to be just an underutilized talent for a team looking to improve on a rushing attack that ranks just 22nd in the NFL.
The Patriots backfield has issues of its own, as without injured rookie Sony Michel in their lineup they looked lost and incomplete against the Bills on Monday. As a team they ran just 25 times with receiver Cordarelle Patterson the team leader with ten carries and trusted back James White being used primarily in the passing game. It remains to be seen whether the Patriots will add anyone at the trade deadline or through free agency, but until they do they are left with just two healthy players at the position in White and Barber. The return of the rookie Michel to the Patriots’ roster can’t come soon enough for New England fans.
NO RECEIVER TRADE
For the Patriots to trade points with the Packers this week they will need continued success from their passing game, which ranks a duplicate 13th in the NFL as their rushing attack. Despite rumors to the contrary they did not make a big splash at the Tuesday trade deadline and instead watched as supposed targets Golden Tate and Demaryious Thomas were sent elsewhere. They are still well stocked at the receiver/tight end option, but appear to need an all hands on deck type strategy as losing any of White, Edelman, Gronkowski or Gordon would immediately cause ripples felt throughout the rest of the offense.
They will have a small advantage this week with the Packers having traded starting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Washington, as any upheaval in the Green Bay secondary can only help to benefit the Patriot offense.
THE FINAL DECISION
In a battle of the two best quarterbacks in football, this week’s game is one of the most anticipated and promises to be one of the best we will see in the 2018 NFL season. Green Bay has struggled on the road this season, going 0-3 compared to a 3-0-1 mark at home, but with Aaron Rodgers at the helm I expect them to keep things close in Foxboro. The Patriots may end up getting the win in the long run, but in terms of betting I will be taking the near touchdown head start and grabbing the points with the Packers.
Mike’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Green Bay +6.5