Green Bay at Tampa Bay 11-8-09

November 8, 2009


Green Bay (4-3) was hurt by its former star quarterback in a 38-26 loss to Minnesota and Brett Favre last Sunday. Rodgers fell to 0-2 against his one-time mentor despite throwing for 287 yards and three touchdowns without getting picked off. If not for all the pressure he faced, Rodgers may have had an even bigger game. He was sacked six times, suffering a sprain on one foot and a sprained toe on the other. McCarthy expects Rodgers to play against Tampa Bay (0-7), but the Packers need to find a way to give him better protection. Rodgers has been sacked a league-worst 31 times after being taken down 34 times all of last season, but has still managed to complete 65.3 percent of his passes for 1,989 yards and 14 TDs with two interceptions.

After giving up 30 points or more for the third time this season, Green Bay will try to bounce back as it faces Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Josh Freeman, who is set to make his first start. Freeman, the 17th pick in this year’s draft, will try to boost an offense that has averaged 13.7 points. After sitting behind Byron Leftwich and Josh Johnson for seven weeks, Freeman comes off the Buccaneers’ bye confident that he’s ready for the challenge.

Green Bay’s Defensive has been adjusting to new defensive coordinator Dom Capers.  Capers has been Mr. Improve-It for every team hes been with. He coached with Dick LeBeau at Pittsburgh before becoming the head coach at Carolina and Houston. He knows every blitz that has ever been invented and will not hesitate to use all of them. He is quick to change up coverage. After Brett Favre threw four TD passes last week, you can be sure he’ll come after Freeman. Freeman is tall, has good speed and he looks ever bigger in person — like an oversized tight end. He has a strong arm and can make every throw. He can also scramble and throw on the move. He’s better in the shotgun than under center. Freeman struggled some vs. blitzes in college. Five of Tampa Bay’s losses have been by double digits.  This is a must win for Green Bay as they want to stay within reach of Minnesota. With Rodgers and Driver back at practice Friday I expect a big game from them. Green Bay has beaten up on the bad teams this year covering the spread.

Free Pick Green Bay -9.5

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