In the midst of their first winning streak of the season, the Green Bay Packers face the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field.
The loss of a wide receiver like Greg Jennings for the next few weeks could spell disaster for any team, but add Jordy Nelson’s hamstring strain to the mix and it’s even worse.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made Nelson his favorite target this season with Jennings in and out of the starting the line up with a nagging groin injury that will now require minor surgery.
Nelson has 40 catches for 532 yards and five touchdowns this season, but is a game-time decision against Jacksonville. The 27-year-old receiver lit up opponents during Green Bay’s two-game win streak with 17 catches for 243 yards and four touchdowns.
It appears Rodgers has regained his MVP form the last two weeks, tossing three touchdowns in Green Bay’s 30-20 win over the St. Louis Rams last week.
The Rams nearly came back after running back Steven Jackson scored on a six-yard scamper cutting the Packers’ lead to 20-13, but Rodgers responded with a 39-yard bomb to receiver Randall Cobb with 3:06 left and Green Bay went on to win.
Despite a depleted receiving corps, Rodgers can pad his stats Sunday against the Jaguars and their 24th ranked pass defense.
Jacksonville needed overtime against the Oakland Raiders last week, but ultimately lost 26-23 for their second extra period loss of the season. The Jaguars held a 23-13 lead with less than 13 minutes left, but the Raiders forced overtime with a 31-yard field goal by kicker Sebastian Janikowski, and a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Carson Palmer.
Janikowski knocked in the game-winning 40-yard field to give the Raiders the win.
The Jaguars lost running back Maurice Jones-Drew for the foreseeable future against Oakland, after their best offensive player suffered a foot injury. Jacksonville gave no official word on when Jones-Drew will see the field next.
Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert also suffered an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, and is listed as probable for the Jaguars this week.
The game begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be shown by CBS, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: Green Bay is favored by 15 points
Over/Under: 45.5 points
Prediction: Rodgers is on point, and the Jacksonville secondary is one of the worst in football thanks in part to injuries. Green Bay should win in a blowout.
Predicted Score: Green Bay 30, Jacksonville 9