Sunday, November 04, 2018

2018 NFL Week 9: Packers at Patriots Preview & Prediction

Last weekend's excruciating loss to the LA Rams was the stuff of much conversation this past week, locally and nationally. Specifically, veteran Ty Montgomery's decision with about 2 minutes remaining in the game and the Packers trailing by 2 points to take a kickoff out of the end zone after coaches had reportedly told him to take a knee. He didn't. A fumble occurred. Recovered by the Rams. Game over. No chance for one of those patented Aaron Rodgers last second comebacks. Crushing. Give the man the benefit of the doubt that he was trying to make a play. Unfortunately, he took that same opportunity out of the hands of the best player on the field, Mr. Rodgers.

I had opined on Twitter afterward that if Lombardi was the coach Montgomery would have already been cut for that type of disobedience. Well, the Pack didn't cut him, but two days later did trade him to Baltimore for a 7th round draft pick and, we're guessing, a case of cheese curds.

Wow. It was a horrible loss, make no mistake, especially for a game the Packers were certainly in a position to win. But that's been the nature of this season. So close. But...not. And the team is sitting at 3-3-1 going into its game against the 6-2 New England Patriots on the Pats' home turf in less than 2 hours from this writing.

The Packers are again counting on rookie CB phenom Jaire Alexander
to have another big game tonight, this time against Tom Brady and the Patriots.


The Packers are 5-1/2-point underdogs at the time of this writing. Not many are giving the Packers any chance this evening and, to be fair, they really haven't demonstrated that they can play a complete game. But last week, against the undefeated Rams, on the road, they should have won. And I believe they will tonight against all odds.

The Pats are expected to be missing their starting right guard and have other key players also as questionable tonight, including some receivers and Brady fave, TE Rob Gronkowski. So if the Packers can take advantage of those shortcomings -- oh, and did we mention the Pack will also be playing for the first time in a long time without DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who also got traded during the week? -- the team should come away with a hard fought win.

If the Pack wants to have any chance of even being able to grab a wildcard spot given current standings, they need this win. Going to 3-4-1 would mean the Pack would have to likely go at least 6-2 in their remaining games. Could they get hot? Yes. But given what we have seen so far, that's iffy. The wiggle room provided by being 4-3-1 going into games against Miami and Seattle and beyond would be huge. The Packers need this game in the win column when it's all said and done.

We're calling it Packers 34 - Patriots 31.

Go Pack Go!!!