Sunday, December 10, 2017

2017 NFL Week 14: Packers vs. Browns

Oh, boy. Nothing like going up against an 0-12 team in their home stadium with a hot-and-mostly-cold backup quarterback at the helm of your team...and a secondary down to back-ups to back-ups, as well. That's what the Green Bay Packers are dealing with today. And if they think that it's an automatic win given the prior record of the Browns, well, the Pack might just hand the lowly team in Cleveland their first victory of the season. Wouldn't that be depressing?

Cleveland has been close in many of its games, yet their rookie quarterback, DeShone Kizer, has been a turnover machine, helping keep the team winless. On the other hand, the Browns defense is eighth overall against the run. They are a better team overall than the record indicates. They are close. In an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers pass-happy offense, none of this would be a concern. But given that the resurgent running game has now become a big part of the Pack's offense, this could present problems for the Packers if QB Brett Hundley isn't able to complete at least a few passes downfield to soften up the rush a bit. Given Hundley's penchant for performing better on the road than at home, perhaps we get the "good" Hundley today. Let us pray.

The Browns do have a big receiving threat in WR Josh Gordon. But, again, their rookie QB may provide the Pack's defense with interception opportunities. Given that the Packers secondary is missing some key pieces today, bad quarterback play would certainly be a help in mitigating a passing threat.

Late news: Packers cornerback Davon House is active for the game but outside linebacker Nick Perry is out.

In years to come, the Browns may actually have themselves a good organization due to the hiring late this week of former Packers linebacker and front office man -- and recent Kansas City Chiefs General Manager -- John Dorsey. He's a good one -- wouldn't have minded seeing him come back to the Pack to replace Ted Thompson -- and he'll do what he can to build a winning organization. But that won't be in time for today's game.

The Prediction

We're getting right to this, Packer fans, as game time is fast approaching.

The Packers are favored by 3 points at the time of this post. We think the game will be ugly. But this is a must-win game for the Pack if they wish to not only keep their paper-thin playoff hopes alive but retain any sense of football dignity; you can't be the one that gives a winless team its first win for the season. Just. Can't. Do. It.

We're calling this Packers 24 - Browns 17.

Go Pack Go!!!

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