The Packers are known for having one of the deepest corps of receivers in the NFL in addition to a top five quarterback in Aarin Rodgers. Many have stated that the the likes of Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb, and longtime veteran Donald Driver could start for most any team in the NFL.
But lately, the Packers have been hit with injury at the position. Greg Jennings had to have surgery to help his groin injury, and Jordy Nelson has recently been hit with hamstring injuries. The Packers are left with reliable threats in James Jones, Randall Cobb, and Donald Driver, but they have neglected their tight ends.
After all, they thought enough of them last season to keep five of them. They need to do more in the passing game.
Starter Jermichael Finley has regressed since his breakout season a few years ago, dropping balls and becoming less of a target in the passing game. Second-year tight end DJ Williams was a great receiving threat coming out of Arkansas, and won the Mackey Award in his last season. He broke out early in training camp, but only has four receptions on the season.
Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers Preview: Cards Offensive Line Faces Pass Rushing Challenge vs. Clay Matthew And Co.
The Green Bay Packers (5-3) take on the Arizona Cardinals (4-4) at home in a game they are widely expected to win. Currently the point spread stands at anywhere between 9.5 and 10.5 points.
Last week the Packers failed to cover the spread, having a harder time than many predicted knocking off a wounded Jacksonville Jaguars team. Arizona is a tough team. After a fast 4-0 start the Cardinals have lost four straight. But it is a record that belies a decent defence capable of getting after a passer, stopping a running game and covering receivers down field.
Look for Arizona cornerback, Patrick Peterson in defence and special teams. The former first round pick is an excellent coverage corner and an explosive returner. He will take on whomever the Packers top wide receiver will be this week. The banged up Green Bay receiver core is still recovering and receiver, Jordy Nelson may be able to play. If so he will be quarterback, Aaron Rodger’s leading target.
The Detroit Lions finally looked like the team we expected last week. The Jacksonville Jaguars on the other hand, gave us more of the same in their game against Green Bay. I don't anticipate much to change when the two meet up in Week 9 action.
MarketsThis is a game that wasn't on the board last week thanks to the injury to Blaine Gabbert, but it opened at -4 on Sunday. The funniest thing about this spread is that money has once again come in on Jacksonville moving it all the way down to -3.25 (odds from SBRforum).
The Chicago Bears barely squeaked out a win in Week 8, while the Tennessee Titans were busy blowing a game on home turf. What can we expect when the two meet up this Sunday? Look for the Bears to win the game and cover the number.
The schedule makers have done plenty of favors for the Chicago Bears in the 2012 season, and this week they serve up another with a visit from the 1-5 Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton and company have been held below 20 points in four of their six games, and they don’t figure to turn things around against the turnover-happy Bears defense.
Whether the game turns out to be a blowout (as appears likely) or not, these three storylines will be worth watching on Sunday:
1. Will Cam Newton’s rushing ability open up the Bears’ defense?
Carolina’s only hope for a competitive game is for the Bears to struggle defending Cam Newton, the first dual-threat QB they’ve faced on the season. Newton is having a better year rushing than either of his struggling running backs, leading the team with 273 yards and three scores on the ground.
That said, the Bear defense is playing at such a high level that it’s hard to see them being thrown by this one extra wrinkle in the game plan. Brian Urlacher has been very effective in the past playing a spy role to shut down scramblers, and he and Lance Briggs are a good bet to keep Newton bottled up.