Another late game, another game surrounded with hype for the Patriots. The battle of the 12s. Brady and Rodgers have only played each other once before, a battle that Rodgers won. Both teams have had struggling defenses and high powered offenses which should make for a high scoring game. This is the next big test for this Patriots team to see if they can contend with legit teams.
The Patriots keep finding ways to put points on the board, even when their most productive players get hurt. There have also been disappointments but Brady always finds a way to make it work. James White and Julian Edelman have been absolute workhorses for this offense, but somebody is going to have to step it up. Gronk has been disappointing, Hogan has also been less than stellar so far.
It seems like they have been trying to force Cordarelle Patterson into a big role and it just hasn’t worked, and he is not a running back. Kenjon Barner is going to have to make an impact going forward and take some of the workload away from White. Josh Gordon, who’s been all over the news for his possible tardiness, also needs to start picking things up.
I think we may see a resurgence of some Phillip Dorsett this week. He has been active but hasn’t seen as much playing time. He was impactful early in the season but has really cooled off since the arrival of Flash Gordon. Jaire Alexander will most likely be on a valuable receiver, and he locked onto Brandin Cooks pretty well last week, so that should open up some other opportunities. Otherwise, this defense has been weakened with the trading of Haha Clinton-Dix, so there should not be too many difficulties against this defense for Tom Brady and this elite powerhouse of an offense.
It will be interesting to see if there is anything this defense can do to slow down Aaron Rodgers. Getting pressure on him will be a gigantic key in this one. His knee isn’t 100%, and that impacts how mobile he usually is. A position that is not to be slept on in this offense is the running backs. Aaron Jones looked very good against the Rams last week and is becoming a bigger part of their gameplan. A guy that might kill the Pats this week though is tight end Jimmy Graham.
In the past, they used big corners like Aqib Talib against him, but Gilmore will have to cover their best receiver in Davante Adams. That will most likely leave J-Mac on Geronimo and Jones on Cobb, which are all very solid matchups but it leaves Rodgers room to attack with Graham. The safeties are going to need to have a big game to keep him in check, but we might see another shootout on a Sunday night.
If the Pats could beat the Chiefs then I don’t see any reason they can’t handle the Packers. They have fewer weapons, less speed, and substantially worse coaching. It’ll be a fun one, but Pats will come out on top 41-36.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)
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