Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers Preview: Jags Head Into Lambeau Without Maurice Jones-Drew
It’s hard to think of a way that the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) walk out of Wisconsin with a win. Upsets happen every week in the NFL but the Green Bay Packers (4-3) playing at home against a bruised and battered Jacksonville side do not look like being overthrown.
Jaguars half back, Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the best running backs in the game and the Jaguars’ only consistent offensive threat. However, he is out indefinitely with an injured foot, leaving backup Rashad Jennings as the presumptive starter. Jennings has been mediocre so far this year, gaining 90 yards on 34 carries. But he will be taking on a Packer front seven that is a poor 28th against the run. Watch how the Packers’ linebackers and safeties tackle at the second level. The defensive line has been fairly stout – although the potential absence or, at best, limitation of defensive tackle B J Raji will take its toll – but the linebackers and safeties have not been nearly as good in run defence as they have in defending the pass.
The Green Bay Packers will travel to St. Louis to take on a team that used to be considered one of the butt jokes of the NFL. Since fading from its glory days as the Greatest Show on Turf, the Rams have been best described as hapless. However, no longer. Under the tutelage of moustachioed head coach, Jeff Fisher the Rams have become competitive in what is suddenly one of the toughest division, the NFC West.
However, the arrival of the Packers in town signals a challenge unlike any the Rams have faced this year. Although both teams are 3-3, the Packers represent a team with significantly higher quality, especially like when last week, quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws for a personal-best and franchise record six touchdowns.
The Packers have blown hot and cold all year, turning up against teams such as the Chicago Bears but collapsing against others, such as the Indianapolis Colts. It is worrying how much the team depends on Aaron Rodgers being on form. If he has a bad, they do not have the defence or running game capable of bailing the team out.
The only AFC teams currently above .500 will be playing each other in week 7. After their emphatic defeat to the Green Bay Packers, the Houston Texans (5-1) will be looking to bounce back with a victory against the Baltimore Ravens (5-1).
The Ravens came through a close game against the Dallas Cowboys last week. For the first time in their history, the Ravens have well and truly been led by their offense. Last week, it was able to overcome the 29 points surrendered by a defence that is long past its prime and beset by injuries.
Linebacker, Ray Lewis along with cornerback Ladarius Webb were lost for the season on a unit that has only managed to come 26th in total defence so far this year. It ranks a slightly more respectable 17th, according to Football Outsider’s advanced statistics, but is clearly struggling to put up the sort of dominant performances it used to.
Green Bay Packers vs. Houston Texans Preview: Andre Johnson Hopes To Silent Critics Against Packers D
The Green Bay Packers face a tough challenge when they head to Houston to take on the still undefeated Texans. Although Houston struggled last week in prime-time against a distinctly average New York Jets side, the team is undefeated for a reason. The Texans combine the third best defense in the NFL with an offense ranked 14th ranked overall.
Green Bay is likely to struggle stopping former Arian Foster and the Houston running back is likely to have a good day against a Greenbay defence that has allowed over an average of 100 yards per game. The Packers will have to rely on the arm of quarterback, Aaron Rodgers if they want to leave with a victory.
The Texans have spent significant money last year to bring cornerback, Jonathan Joseph and safety, Daneial Manning in to improve what was a porous secondary. The two players have proved to be valuable additions but will face a significant challenge in covering Green Bay’s multiple receiving threats.
The NFL has supported the decision made by its replacement referees during a controversial game winning decision in the matchup between the Packers at Seahawks on Monday Night Football. The referees awarded a touchdown catch to Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, Golden Tate in the final play of the game, giving the Seahawks a home victory. After a video review, the decision was upheld by the referees on the field.
In a newly released statement the league said: "The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.
"The result of the game is final."
However, the NFL did say that Tate had illegally shoved Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground before catching the ball on the play in question. “This should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game,” it said. “It was not called and is not reviewable in instant replay.”