Packers' Game-By-Game Predictions
Week 1 – at San Francisco: L
The Packers spent so much time in the offseason trying to learn how to stop the read option, thanks to the 579 total yards the 49ers posted on Green Bay’s defense in the playoffs. I don’t care how much they’ve prepared. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ unit looked like it had never seen a mobile quarterback before. Until I see the defense look competent for at least one half against San Francisco, I’m not convinced they’re ready to stop Colin Kaepernick.
Week 2 – vs. Washington: W
Another read-option team, but the Packers should feel more comfortable against the reigning NFC East champs. Another week of play against the read option will get the defense much more prepared. But most of all, Robert Griffin III is coming off an ACL injury. It looks like the Redskins will limit his running this year. Combine that with an awful Redskins secondary, and you’ve got yourself the Packers’ first win of 2013.
Week 3 – at Cincinnati: L
The Bengals are on the rise and will become a legitimate Super Bowl contender this year. Their biggest strength is exactly what the Packers struggle with – a front seven that can wreak havoc on the quarterback, allowing the other seven defenders to sit back in coverage all day. It’s a close one, but Cincinnati pulls it out in the end.
Week 5 – vs. Detroit: W
The Lions are building a ferocious front four, but rookie defensive end Ezekiel Ansah will still be pretty raw at this point. Green Bay will be coming off a bye for this matchup. The Packers haven’t lost to Lions at Lambeau Field since 1991, and that streak doesn’t end this year.
Week 6 – at Baltimore: W
The Ravens have done a fantastic job reloading their defense after losing several key players. Their offense, however, is in shambles. I don’t see Joe Flacco keeping up with Aaron Rodgers.
Week 7 – vs. Cleveland: W
The Browns are looking like they could make a jump this year from irrelevance to decency. I could see them going 8-8. But they still won't beat Green Bay.
Week 8 – at Minnesota:
I’m sure both Rodgers and Greg Jennings will be looking forward to this one. Rodgers will have the extra motivation to pick apart Minnesota’s defense all day. Jennings will be extra motivated too, but let’s face it: There’s not much you can do when Christian Ponder is throwing you the ball.
Week 9 – vs. Chicago: W
Jay Cutler always goes the wrong way when he plays in Green Bay. Packers win easily.
Week 10 – vs. Philadelphia: W
What will the Eagles look like this year? Will Chip Kelly’s offense revolutionize the NFL, or will it just be another failed gimmick? At this point, it won’t really matter. Michael Vick will be injured by now, meaning the untested Nick Foles will be running an offense not best suited for his skills. Bad combination.
Week 11 – at New York Giants: L
Much like the 49ers, I can’t bring myself to choosing the Packers over the Giants, given how badly they’ve beaten Green Bay recently. The Packers should at least make it competitive this time, but I still see the Giants getting the best of them.
Week 12 – vs. Minnesota: W
Although Rodgers sticks it to Jennings the first time, he wants to rub it in even more in Round 2. Adrian Peterson will continue his dominance against the Packers defense, but again, Minnesota’s quarterback is Christian Ponder.
Week 13 – at Detroit: L
Ansah will have developed into a more polished force. He, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley give Rodgers trouble all day. On top of that, the lethal Lions offense explodes on their home turf on Thanksgiving to beat the Packers for the first time since 2010.
Week 14 – vs. Atlanta: W
Both of these teams prefer playing in domes or nice weather, so a matchup at Lambeau Field at night in December doesn’t bode well for a pretty game. But the Packers at least practice in these conditions, giving them the slight edge.
Week 15 – at Dallas: W
This game has shootout written all over. Tony Romo is a great quarterback, but there’s no one I’d rather have in such a game than Rodgers.
Week 16 – vs. Pittsburgh: W
I think we remember the last time these two faced off – the Packers won Super Bowl XLV. The Steelers have regressed since then, most notably on the offensive line. I see Clay Matthews and company having a big day.
Week 17 – at Chicago: L
The Packers’ seven-game winning streak (including the playoffs) against Chicago ends here. I see new head coach Marc Trestman really helping the Bears offense, and their defense will still be one of the league’s best. Put the game in Chicago and add probable bad weather, and the advantage goes to the Bears.
Final Record: 11-5