The Green Bay Packers have just put together their two best games of the season. They play at home for the first time in almost a month with the 1-5 Jacksonville Jaguars coming to town. The Packers are clearly the more talented team and are huge favorites.
Is this easy pickings, or prime position for a letdown? Let’s take a look.
The Packers Offense
The Packers offense has caught its stride. Aaron Rodgers is once again playing at that ultra elite level, the receivers are getting open and making great catches, and the offensive line is more consistent. They have scored 75 points their last two games and have had zero turnovers.
The Jags Offense
Most offenses will only go as far as their quarterback will take them and in the case of the Jaguars, that isn’t very far. Blaine Gabbart ranks toward the bottom of almost every major quarterback statistic. The offense is ranked dead last in points, and overall yards. The running attack, which was supposed to be the strength of the offense, is actually ranked worse than Green Bay (25th) and it will be without Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Jags D lacks bite
It’s no secret that the only hope you have of slowing down the Packers offense is by getting pressure on Rodgers early and often. The Jaguars are ranked 32nd in the NFL sacks with only 5. Rodgers is the highest rated quarterback in the NFL and he is usually facing heavy pressure, how good would he be with no threat of a pass rush? We should find out Sunday.
The walking wounded
The injuries for the Packers just keep piling up. In addition to the existing players injured, Jordy Nelson now has a tight hamstring and probably will not play, and neither will John Kuhn. On the defensive side they will go into Sunday’s game missing five starters, none more important than Charles Woodson. Yes, he may not be the player he once was, but he is the emotional leader, is on the field almost all the time, and is used in a variety of different ways. His presence will be missed, you can count on that.
Jags prefer life on the road
Believe it or not the Jaguars have be pretty competitve on the road this year. Their only win came at Indy, and both of their two losses went into overtime. The Jags stats on both side of the ball are better across the board away from Jacksonville, but the most noticeable is points per game where they average a respectable 22.3.
The bottom line – While the Jaguars may have success against the Packers patchwork defense, if they cannot get pressure on Aaron Rodgers, they will have a hard time even keeping this one close.