Image courtesy of Packers.com
You may have noticed that I’m a man to make bold predictions. Sure, I could keep it simple, I could shy away from guessing at things and be your regular talking head on ESPN. But no, here, we take risks. So I’m going to make a bold prediction here. The Packers take this one. Handily. Vegas is giving the Vikes anywhere from +7 to +9 points in the spread. I’ll give them +17. And I’ll take the Packers. Do I have your attention?
17 points? Did I just write that? Jeeze, better try and back that claim up (note to self: stop writing intro paragraphs while drinking). Ok, I think I can do this, just gotta put on the rallycap. Here we go.
Christian Ponder is Horrible:
13 TDs, 9 INTs, 6.09 Yards/Attempt, 82.0 Passer Rating, and 2186 yards on the season. Does that sound like stellar QB play to you? Because it sounds like an underperforming QB to me. Ponder is 24th in yards, 13th in TDs, 30th in Passer Rating, and an amazing 39th in Yards Per Attempt (for those of you wondering why that’s amazing, how many teams are in this league again?).
Ponder is just straight not good. He’s the kind of QB that Capers can confuse, the kind of QB even Walden or Moses can sack (surprising stat fact a little lower down), and the kind of QB that Hayward will have a field day with, if Capers will actually start him this week.
Greg Jennings Will Put Da Team on His Back:
That title may be more for the joke than for the reality, so here it is: Jennings being back is huge. Even if he doesn’t catch a ball all game. This offense has struggled to compensate without him. Mr. Cobb has been the workhorse, and if we learned anything last game, it’s that you can’t force it to Cobb all game and pray for a win. Jennings and Finley on the field at the same time can only open up everyone else, and having Jennings back means that a 5 wide or 4 Wide plus TE look can come back. And we all love that, don’t we?
This Team is Great After a Loss:
Bears, Saints, Texans. These are the teams the Pack have beaten after a loss this year. The Pack haven’t lost back to back games this year. And you’ll note that two of those teams are the top teams in the league right now. I’m not one to whole heartedly believe in “patterns” in football, but if nothing else this is a sign of a team that hates to lose, and makes the adjustments to make sure it happens as little as possible.
The Vikings Aren’t Who They Used to Be:
The Vikings D used to be a front you couldn’t run on, and a team that would absolutely tear you apart. They’re just not that anymore. They’re currently sitting right around the middle of the pack in passing and rushing defense, and they’re 14th in Sacks this year (The Packers are 3rd? Really?! Boys are doing work!). To put it plainly, the Vikings are on a long, slow downhill, and the Packers can take advantage.
One Last Thing:
AP. He’s the only wrench that could really demolish the Packers, and unfortunately, he’s having a great season. If he just absolutely runs over the defense, and they never rely on Ponder (which would be in their best interest) this could be more of a game. As my fellow writer Shawn pointed out recently, the trend has been for AP to run over the Pack in game 1, and get shut down in game 2. I’m hoping the Pack will buck that trend.
Look, bottom line, I’m sticking with my +17 pick. Anyone know the differential in these games over the last 2 years? 76 points, and the Packers have taken every game. I’ll just leave you with that.