I sure wish they'd play these NFL games on paper because if they did, I can't see how the 1-5 Jacksonville Jaguars can come in to Lambeau Field and beat a Packers team that has been dying to return home for nearly a month with a chance to draw even with the Minnesota Vikings for second place in the NFC North Division. Unless the Pack becomes suddenly turnover prone, or flag happy, they should run their winning streak to three games. But both these teams are paper thin. The injuries have piled up fast and furious for Mike McCarthy's team. Starters Charles Woodson, D.J. Smith, Nick Perry and Sam Shields will all be out on defense, Greg Jennings, who is opting for surgery to repair his sports hernia and Jordy Nelson with a bad hamstring pull, along Cedric Benson in the backfield are down for the offense. The Jaguars, under first year coach Mike Mularkey, lost two starting linebackers for the year in the pre-season and placed another, Daryl Smith on IR this week. The offensive line has been mangled and their best player, Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones Drew, is out with a foot injury. This game will be decided by the depth. The Packers are hoping for a better ground showing from Alex Green (20 carries, 35 yards last week), continued big plays from Randall Cobb who's become one of Aaron Rodgers favorite targets with Jennings on the shelf. On defense, the kiddie secondary corps, rookies Jerron McMillian and Casey Hayward along with first year pro M.D. Jennings will be handling Woodson's duties. Every NFL team has 50 talented players on their roster, the difference in most games swings to the team with the most difference makers. Again, the Packers have the edge. In every game he plays, Aaron Rodgers is the better quarterback, leading the league in passer rating at 109.6. Blaine Gabbert, the second year pro, just can't match that performance level. Clay Matthews has nine sacks by himself, the Jaguars defense has five as a team. I expect the Packers to neutralize Rashad Jennigs, the backup to Jones Drew and force Gabbert to make the plays. He just hasn't made very many, with only 88 completed balls in six games. Their leading receiver, tight end Mercedes Lewis, has 17 catches, which would rank 5th on the Packers. Number one choice Justin Blackmon has been a disappointment. The big target from Oklahoma State has only 14 receptions, his longest covering 19 yards and he still hasn't found the end zone. On paper, it's the Packers 28-10, on the DD GrassMaster surface of Lambeau Field, I don't think it will differ all that much. On the link below, quotes from the coach and the players about what they think of the Jaguars and what needs to get done for the Packers roll to continue.
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