Game Info: Sunday, November 4th at 7:20PM CST; Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Odds: Patriots -5.5; o/u 57
New England Patriots: 6-2; Won at Buffalo last week 25-6
Head Coach: Bill Belichick, 19th Season with Patriots, 24th Season overall as HC (284-131; 28-11 in Playoffs; 3-3 vs Packers)
All-Time Series: Packers lead 6-5 (Packers 1-0 in Postseason; Super Bowl XXXI)
Injury Report: RG Shaq Mason (OUT-calf), G Brian Schwenke (OUT-foot), LT Trent Brown (QUES-ankle), RT Marcus Cannon (QUES-concussion), LS Joe Cardona (QUES-shoulder), WR Julian Edelman (QUES-ankle), WR Josh Gordon (QUES-hamstring), LB Nicholas Grigsby (QUES-illness), DL Geneo Grissom (QUES-ankle), TE Rob Gronkowski (QUES-ankle/back), TE Jacob Hollister (QUES-hamstring), LB Dont’a Hightower (QUES-knee), RB Sony Michel (QUES-knee), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (QUES-neck), DE John Simon (QUES-shoulder)
New England Patriots Expected Lineup:
|OFFENSE||DEFENSE (4-3 base alignment)|
|QB||12||Tom Brady||LDE||98||Trey Flowers|
|RB||28||James White||DT||93||Lawrence Guy|
|RB2||26||Sony Michel||DT||90||Malcolm Brown|
|RB3||38||Kenjon Barner||RDE||94||Adrian Clayborn|
|WR1||11||Julian Edelman||LB||54||Dont’a Hightower|
|WR2||15||Chris Hogan||LB||52||Elandon Roberts|
|WR3||10||Josh Gordon||LB||53||Kyle Van Noy|
|TE:||87||Rob Gronkowski||CB||31||Jonathan Jones|
|TE:||83||Dwayne Allen||FS||32||Devin McCourtny|
|LT||77||Trent Brown||SS||23||Patrick Chung|
|LG||62||Joe Thuney||CB||24||Stephon Gilmore|
|C||60||David Andrews||CB||30||Jason McCourtny|
|RG||75||Ted Karras||K||3||Stephen Gostkowski|
|RT||61||Marcus Cannon||P||6||Ryan Allen|
After an excruciating loss in Los Angeles to the Rams, the Packers travel to the East coast to take on the always potent and 6-2 New England Patriots who are coming off a tough battle against division rival Buffalo Bills on Monday night. Packers’ GM Brian Gutekunst stirred up the roster this past week trading RB Ty Montgomery, to Baltimore Ravens for a 7th Round draft pick, after his porous attitude and costly fumble sunk the Packers’ comeback opportunity. Next Gutekunst traded Safety HaHa Clinton Dix to the Washington Redskins after is was apparent to two sides wouldn’t be able to come to contract terms as Clinton-Dix sought far more than what his inconsistent play the past few seasons warranted. The moves were sure to bring a jolt in the locker and hopefully provide the switch to get everyone focused and come together to make a deep run. The 2010 Packers started their campaign 3-3 and while this team is 3-3-1, this week’s game against the always dangerous Patriots is almost near must win territory if they want to sniff a chance at duplicating the 2010 team’s Championship finish.
The Battle of the GOATS
The obvious main headline is the second match-up all time between all-time great quarterback’s Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. In 2014 Rodgers got the best of Brady in an epic battle in Lambeau Field. Each quarterback comes into the contest with a plethora of weapons in the receiving core, a big target tight end and a running back by committee even though James White has seemed to take the reigns in New England and the hope is now that the Packers’ run game will revolve solely around Aaron Jones.
Brady and the Patriots haven’t lost at home yet in 2018 and have averaged 39 points in their last three games at Gillette Stadium. Aaron Rodgers has never played at Gillette Stadium, after sitting out the 2010 contest between the teams there with a concussion but Packers’ defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has squared off against Brady numerous times both home and away. Brady’s average stats against Pettine’s defenses are 23.5 completions, 276 yards with 1.9 touchdowns, if Pettine’s defense can hold Brady to those numbers it might be enough to help give Rodgers and the Packers’ offense a chance to pull off the upset win.
Unless the teams ultimately meet again in the Super Bowl over the next few seasons this will likely be the last game between Rodgers and Brady and it may well come down to whoever gets the ball in their hands last.
Win on Third Down
When these two teams met in 2014 the Packers capitalized on 10/17 third down conversions while holding the Patriots to 4/10 on third down. WR Davante Adams was responsible for three on the conversions on his way to his break out rookie performance which he hauled in 6 receptions for 121 yards. Four seasons later and Adams has since molded into a star receiver who Rodgers will count on to beat CB Stephon Gilmore off the line just like he’s beaten the likes of top NFL CB’s Xavier Rhodes, Darius Slay and Marcus Peters already this season.
The Patriots have been sluggish on third down, ranking 26th on defense allowing 43 percent of teams to move the chains and a staggering 70 percent with five or fewer yards to go. The Packers defense has been in the middle of the pack allowing a first down on 38 percent of third down attempts. While it’s also hard to believe with some of the earlier roughing penalties that seemed to target Clay Matthews, the Packers also rank first in the NFL in penalties against on defense with 34 compared to 49 yellow flags on the Patriots. However, on the offensive side for Green Bay, a key for the Packers will staying out of third and long scenarios by eliminating their penalties. The tables for this scenario turn as the Packers have committed 51 penalties in comparison to the Patriots 38.
With Rodgers’ knee seemingly looking a little better each week, his improved mobility could help be the difference in picking up the crucial thirds down conversions for the Packers while the Packers’ defensive interior of Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark needs to keep the less mobile Brady uncomfortable yet contained in the pocket.
PREDICTION: Packers 33, Patriots 30
Monday, October 1st, 1979: Packers 27, Patriots 14
The Packers greeted the Patriots in their first ever visit to Lambeau Field by intercepting QB’s Steve Grogan and Tom Owen five times and sacking them a collective five times en route to a 27-14 victory on Monday Night Football.