Might as well “Pack” up and go home if you’re expecting a shoot out this Sunday. Given the amount of rain that has been falling the past couple of days, as well as the weather predicted for Sunday, get ready for a sloppy game.
One good thing, if you consider it good, is that rain tends to lower passing stats. The Packers’ whole identity is built around the passing from Aaron Rodgers, while the Ravens have two great running backs who are just itching for a return to a stable running game.
The Ravens also have a Pro Bowl fullback in Vonta Leach, although time is not being kind to employing fullbacks any more. We can expect our guys to really push around the Packers defense this Sunday. But we can’t overlook the Packers’ actual defense.
The Packers have quite a big defensive line and actually have their strength in run defense and are lowly ranked against the pass. All experts therefore point to this game very likely being full of passing.
If you remember not too long ago, the Bills were ranked as having the worst run defense and the Ravens having one of the best. The resulting game, of course, was more the polar opposite.
Also, to go back a number of years, the Ravens and Packers faced off in a late season game in 2005. Going into that game, the Packers were ranked with the #1 pass defense and were facing ol’ disappointing Kyle Boller. In one of the biggest shocks ever, the Boller led offense and the defense dominated the nationally televised game throughout for a 48-3 win. (This was actually the last game that I personally attended) This firmly established for me that Boller is only a good quarterback when he has absolutely no pressure or shot for success (the Ravens were only 5-9 after that game).
Team statistics are never really accurate until the regular season has completed. Even then, the stats are just indicators of how games may go, but not with absolute assurance of what will happen. As each team does not play the other 31 teams during the regular season, nor does each team follow a specific average of yardages, points, turnovers, etc in every regular season game, they really play no purpose other than creating and maintaining sports careers.
We must remember that all players are human after all, not machines running predetermined methods & commands at certain efficiencies. This Sunday, the game featuring the Denver Broncos versus the Jacksonville Jaguars has a point spread tied for the highest ever in league history. Point spreads, of course, only matter in gambling and gambling on football games is only legal in select places in the country. Despite that, sports “experts” are assigned records for their “expert picks” with the game spreads in mind.
Of course, nothing is ever automatically determined, especially in football. If the Jaguars only lose by 27 points, many people throughout the country will have lost their placed bets on the Broncos to cover. Also, what if the Jaguars actually win, being an 0-5 team upsetting a 5-0? The NFL is full of outrageous parity that anything really can happen any Sunday.
So who’s to say that Rodgers doesn’t have his worst performance in his career? Or Ray Rice approaches 300 yards total for rushing & receiving? Or the game somehow ends in a 10-10 tie? You can’t predict for sure any of this will or will not happen; not in the NFL. Surely no one predicted the Giants would be 0-6 after the first six weeks. Or that an 0-4 start would prevent the poor old Steelers from playing games in their locker room.
But you know, the weather is always unpredictable when you factor in how forecasters get predictions wrong so often. Just as we haven’t really gotten any of the hurricanes predicted, nor the snow fall predicted last winter, or even the predicted amount of sun spots the last couple of years, maybe we should stay pessimistic for rain chances on Sunday.
One thing that is close to 100% likely is that this game on Sunday (1:00pm FOX) will not disappoint. Enjoy the game and go Ravens!
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