Sunday, December 02, 2018

2018 NFL Week 13: Packers vs. Cardinals Preview & Prediction

Without beating a dead horse yet once again, the Green Bay Packers were unable to win again on the road last week, this time against the ViQueens, making the team's road record this season 0-6. Not good. At all. Especially when you consider that it's actually worse than that: the road loss streak extends back into last season. Oy.

There, that's' done. And with that loss at Minnesota, so, too, might be the Packers season. At 4-6-1 with five games left...the Pack is going to need a miracle of splitting-the-Red Sea proporations in order to somehow slide into the playoffs. (And, by the way, Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish sisters and brothers around the planet.)

Packers WR Jake Kumerow has finally been activated off IR. How much action he'll see, and what impact he'll have, remains to be seen today and for the remainder of the season.
(Photo: Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis)

The Packers will once again be limited both offensively and defensively by injuries to key personnel. DL Mike Daniels and WR Trevor Davis have both been placed on the injured reserve list and are done for the season. Safeties Kentrell Brice and Raven Greene, along with RB Tra Carson, are all out today with injuries. At last notice (subject to change), OT David Bakhtiari, CB Kevin King, WR Randall Cobb, OG Lane Taylor and CB Bashaud Breeland were all listed as questionable.

If Bakhtiari is unable to go, the Packers might wind up having to give help to back up Jason Spriggs who was not able to hold up well last weekend in relief of Bakhtiari. It also became apparent how good Lane Taylor is week in and week out once he also had to leave the game last week.

The Packers opponent today, the Arizona Cardinals, have the 32nd-ranked rush defense in the league going into this game. That, combined with cold and snowing weather predicted for today's game at Lambeau Field, should be a recipe for a steady diet of RB Aaron Jones. But you still need an offensive line that can create those running well as keep QB Aaron Rodgers upright.

During preseason, WR Jake Kumerow was the talk of camp. He and Rodgers had seemingly developed a good rapport. Kumerow led in receiving yards until his celebratory shoulder dive into the endzone on a long-yardage reception and TD wound up knocking him out of the lineup until today. Given the injuries in the wide receiver group, Kumerow should get some action today. It was also hinted that he might get some return opportunities particularly now that Trevor Davis has been placed on IR. Let's just see if he and Rodgers have been able to rekindle that preseason magic; the Pack could sure use it.

The Prediction

Given that the warm-weather, 2-9 Cardinals will be coming into Lambeau led by a rookie QB and with issues offensively and defensively overall, it's no wonder that the Packers are 14-point favorites, albeit as "meh" as they have performed to this point in the season. The Pack hasn't lost at home yet this season. So at least there's that. This should be a game where, if the team isn't totally phoning it in at this point behind what seems more and more to be the lame duck tenure of head coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers should win this handily. On the other hand, the Pack has continued to find ways to self destruct and have yet to really play a complete game all season. So if the Packers don't come to play...anything can happen. 

We're hoping the Cards are exactly what the doctor ordered to at least get the Pack to 5-5-1 after today's game.

We're calling it Packers 34 - Cardinals 20.

Go Pack Go!!!