Packers Accept Unfamiliar Role in Week 8


Unless you’re one of those ballers who bet stacks of money on NFL games every week, the spread appears to have no real significant meaning. In the case of the week eight battle between the Green Bay Packers (4-3) and New York Jets (5-1), the spread does have meaning, particularly in regards to the status of the Packers.

At +6.5, week eight marks the first week the Packers are officially considered the underdog in terms of the spread. The fact that the Packers played seven straight games from the favored side just goes to show you the high expectations placed on a team picked by many to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

By: Nick Grays

It was only a matter of time before the Packers were faced with this unfamiliar role known as the underdog. It will be interesting to see how they respond at New Meadowlands Stadium against a stout Jets’ defense coming off a bye.

The 28-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings in week seven was huge, but the play of the offense wasn’t exactly encouraging.

Most concerning was how QB Aaron Rodgers looked lost on multiple throws which completely missed his receivers. After some analysis, it’s still tough to figure out whether the wide receivers are running bad routes or if Rodgers timing is screwed up. Most likely, it’s a little of both, but why is there chemistry issues between a group of players who excelled at a high level in the same system last season?

“A couple times I was thinking one thing and they were thinking another thing. We tried to get it squared away on the sidelines, but we still had a couple mistakes there,” said Rodgers after the game on Sunday.

Packers fans hope Rodgers and company can figure it out because the passing game will be even more important against the Jets who are great at defending against the run while allowing a mere 3.5 yards per carry.

On a positive note, the Packers looked great on the defensive side of the ball last week. Granted, they were playing Brett Favre who may have a little too much Jenn Sterger on his mind, but nonetheless CB Tramon Williams (pictured above) looked spectacular. He held Randy Moss to three catches for 30 yards and has emerged as the Packers best defender in pass coverage this season.

However, don’t expect Williams to be the center of attention on Sunday because the Jets bolster a dangerous backfield starring LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. The key to the Packers’ defense will be the banged up linebacker core which projects to have Clay Matthews, A.J. Hawk, Desmond Bishop and Frank Zombo in starting roles. If these four guys can stuff the running game at the line, the Packers will have a chance at this one. If not, expect a long day for the Green Bay defense.

In the end, I expect the game on Halloween to be a close one as six of the Packers’ seven games have been decided by seven points or less. The Jets won’t buck that trend, even if they are on a five-game winning streak where the average winning margin is 11.8 points per game.

Let me know what you think about the status of the Packers and their upcoming game with the New York Jets by commenting below!

Follow Nick Grays by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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