Free NFL Pick: Green Bay at New England 12-19-2010

December 19, 2010

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Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots

Sunday December 19th, 2010 8:20 PM EST

Line: New England -16

Overview:

The Green Bay Packers are a team that could miss the playoffs or make the NFC Championship and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. They obviously are struggling without the help the help of Aaron Rodgers, but when he returns he may be able to keep the sinking ship afloat, regardless of the hole they have landed him in.

The New England Patriots are 11-2. They have won four of their last five games by double digit margins. The teams they have played were supposed to give them a challenge, but even the Jets and Bears were completely dominated in historic fashion.

Keys to the Game:

  • The Packers have suffered a series of injuries. Losing guys like Jermichael Finley and Nick Barnett was devastating for Green Bay. If they could survive that they can make it through anything, right? Wrong. Aaron Rodgers being out gives the Packers zero chance at victory. He runs the entire offense and in a game where the defense is going to have their hands full, the Packer offense is going to need to put up points.
  • Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been the first and second best quarterbacks in the league for a number of years, flip flopping between those two positions periodically. At this point, Tom Brady clearly has the upper hand. Michael Vick can no longer reach MVP status. Tom Brady has completely taken hold of the award and should continue to add to his streak.
  • The Packers have to try to keep this game under control. Defensively, they need to try to keep everything under control and watch BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the run game. The Patriots have a number of targets and ironically, they have no identity. They have been succeeding at everything and flat out embarrassing teams. I don’t usually take blowouts into account, but when the Patriots string together a series of blowouts as they have, it is difficult not to bring games like that into analysis.
  • The Patriots are terrible at defending the pass. That being said, there is no way the Packers are going to be able to get the ball down the field. Greg Jennings is one of the best there is, but Matt Flynn is throwing him the ball. Matt Flynn struggled against the Lions, who are a cake walk in comparison to the Patriots. As long as the Patriots don’t allow over 28, they have a shot at covering.

Key Matchup:

Bill Belichick Vs. His ego

  • This may not be the key matchup in the respect that it won’t decide the outcome of the game, but it will absolutely decide whether or not they cover. Leaving Tom Brady in the game during a 30 point blow out in the 4th quarter speaks volumes about how Belichick feels his team needs to win, or rather what fashion they need to conduct their victories.
  • Belichick is after blood. While he doesn’t want the media to recognize any particular player in the organization, he certainly wants everyone to take notice of the Patriots. If he is able to, he will certainly humiliate his opponent, especially one they may have a chance to see again.

Wrap Up:

I picked the Packers to go to the Super Bowl pre season. It seams odd to see a three score spread Vs. anyone. Last week, I even picked the Bears to win outright. Foolish me. The Patriots are far and away the most dangerous team in the NFL. Not only do I think they are going to cover this monster spread, I think they are going to win by somewhere around 25.

Free NFL Pick: New England -16


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