Well we can all admit we are ready for another game to get the sour taste of last Sunday night out of our mouths. Last week we found out we are quite in that elite status as a team just yet, but this week will help us find out just how good we are. Coming back and winning in Tampa Bay, after last weeks loss, would be a huge bounce back game and a confidence builder. Alright now on the some of the numbers.
QBs- Rodgers vs Griese. Well we'll start with Rodger has his numbers are much better looking and without Griese's performance against the Bears (38-67, 407 yds 2 td 3 int) this would be a landslide for Rodgers. Rodgers is ranked top 10 in TDs (9), Ints Thrown (1), Yards (7), and QB rating (7). In a word, Rodgers has been pretty good so far this year. He did struggle against the Cowboys and some of his numbers got better b/c he was throwing the ball a ton at the end of the game but either way no INTs threw 3 games is something to be proud of. As for TB, I highly doubt they throw the ball 67 times again this week so it will probably be a little closer to his first game (18-31, 160 yd 1 td). Plus with the Packers giving up over 200 yards to Dallas I'm sure TB will try and run it to test the D. As for QBs Advantage: Green Bay
Running Backs- Grant vs Graham. This isn't really all that good looking of a matchup so we'll keep this short. Graham has 223 yds rushing (74.3 per game) and one TD, Grant has 166 yds rushing (55.3 per game). Graham has one TD, Grant has none (Brandon Jackson does have rushing TD). The main thing to pay attention to here is the Packers are coming off a game were the allowed over 200 yds on the ground (I'm sure Tampa Bay saw that tape), but at the same time Ryan Grant is looking like he is starting to get his legs under him. I'm giving the advantage to Tampa Bay but this will be an interesting area to watch.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- We'll start with the Packers here. Greg Jennings leads the league in yards with 373 (124.3 per game) while the closest Buc is Antonio Bryant with 181 yds (60.3 per game). Its hard to dive into these numbers to much, mainly b/c TB is coming off a game where they threw the ball 67 times. That will make some numbers look a little more skewed. As far as TE goes, neither team has gone to there tight end much so far this year, but yet besides Dallas (Witten) no team really does. Donald Lee ranks top 10 in receptions, but after that is no where to be found on the rankings (he can be found, just done the list). Same goes for the TB tight end, Alex Smith, except he isn't ranked top in anything. I'm giving the advantage here to Green Bay.
Defense (New Category)- GB vs TB- Neither team so far this year has been very impressive in terms of defense (at least thats what the numbers are saying). Passing D* both teams are towards the bottom (GB- 22, TB- 27), Rushing D* is around the same for both (GB- 26, TB- 20), and in total yards they are obviously going to be both towards the bottom (GB- 27, TB- 26). So there really is no advantage here and these numbers would point to a shoot out this weekend. (*- yds per game allowed)
Well now on to the prediction. I'll admit I'm a homer and think the Packers can win every game, well that isn't going to change this week. I think they are the better team overall. Last week was a big eye opener for the defense so I highly doubt they allow 200 plus rushing yards on the ground, plus Graham is no Marion Barber. This isn't your typical TB defense, they will give up points and yards and I trust Mike McCarthy will have the boys ready to play this week. And I'll leave this on this stat (from the Dope sheet found on packers.com): The Packers haven't lost back to back games since 2006 (remember how horrible that year was) from weeks 11-13. Thats 23 games without back to back losses. That tells me he'll have the team ready to play this week against TB: Prediction: Green Bay 27 Tampa Bay 23
Links: http://www.packers.com/news/releases/2008/09/23/2/ (Dope Sheet) Rest of the stats: http://www.nfl.com/stats/player