Five Bold Predictions For The Packers In November
Five games in 25 days. That’s what lies ahead for the Green Bay Packers in the third month of the 2013 NFL season. Bookended by divisional matchups, one on Monday Night Football and the other on Thanksgiving Day, this grueling stretch will play a key role in determining the Packers’ playoff status. Here are five bold predictions for the five November games.
The offense puts up 40+ points on the Bears’ defense.
This just doesn’t happen, not with Chicago’s constantly-dominant defense. The last time Green Bay put up 40 points on its archrival was Dec. 11, 1994, when a 25-year-old Brett Favre led his Packers to a 40-3 victory. But these Bears aren’t the same. They already rank 27th in passing yards allowed per game, 25th in rushing yards allowed per game and 31st in yards allowed per play. And with the recent injuries to linebackers D.J. Williams and Lance Briggs and the fact that Charles Tillman isn’t 100 percent, they’re going to look even weaker against Green Bay Monday night.
The defense forces five interceptions against the Eagles.
The stats say the Packers are one of, if not the worst, at intercepting passes. Their three picks on the season are tied for worst in the NFL. At some point, the numbers reflect who you are, but this also seems like a huge statistical anomaly for a defense that has consistently finished atop the league ranks in interceptions over the past few years. Not having Casey Hayward, who led the team in interceptions last year, has hurt as well. His return combined with the awful quarterback mess in Philadelphia and the fact that Green Bay is way overdue for a surplus of picks makes me think the secondary will have a very opportunistic day when the Eagles come to town on Nov. 10.
Eddie Lacy rushes for 200 yards at New York.
James Starks officially ended the Packers’ three-year drought of 100-yard rushers against the Redskins earlier this year. I say Lacy ends the 10-year drought of a 200-yard rusher (Ahman Green ran for 218 against Denver on Dec. 28, 2003). The Giants have owned the Packers the last two times these teams met, in large part because of their fierce pass rush that allowed them to constantly put seven defenders back in coverage. But the Packers’ offense is different now. The rushing game, led by Lacy, is much stronger, which is the perfect antidote for a pass-rush heavy defense. Assuming New York’s offense continues its turnover-prone ways, the Packers will have many drives to rack up yards and then run the ball after building a substantial lead.
Greg Jennings goes over 100 yards receiving.
Hey, who said these bold predictions have to go in Green Bay’s favor? The Packers exacted their revenge on their ex-star receiver this past Sunday, holding him to only nine yards receiving while easily beating his Vikings. I think they got the vengeance out of their system. The second time around, Jennings will be much more motivated to show his former team his value, especially in front of the Green Bay faithful. By this time, I think Minnesota will finally have settled on one quarterback, allowing whoever it is and Jennings to finally build some chemistry. The Packers will likely also go up big early, forcing the Vikings into must-pass mode.
The Packers close out the stretch undefeated by beating the Lions.
This isn’t altogether that far out there. Aside from this Detroit game, the Packers will be heavy favorites throughout the month of November. Still, winning five games in a row (or nine, including October) is a tough task to do in the NFL, no matter whom you play. Don’t underestimate how tough this game will be – on the road in a divisional matchup, dealing with that monstrous defensive line and facing Calvin Johnson this time around. Still, the Packers should be much healthier by then, and they’re already playing great football. Just imagine how good they’ll be when Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Brad Jones and James Jones are back 100 percent.