Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals
Remember when the sky was seemingly falling in Green Bay after the Pack got decimated in Week 1 by five touchdowns?
Yeah, this time the peculiar questioning of Aaron Rodgers didn’t even require a “R-E-L-A-X” speech from the future Hall of Famer. Since dropping the opener, the Packers have won their last three ballgames by an average of 10 points and Rodgers is back to doing the things that make us collectively drop our jaws in awe.
Rodgers, when he’s rolling, is as sharp as anyone throughout time that’s ever graced the quarterback position. The ceiling is obviously incredibly high for Green Bay when this is so, hence why they led the NFL in scoring (31.5 points per game) only a year ago. Thus, just keep trusting the wannabe Jeopardy-host star.
To the credit of his opponent in this one, Cincinnati sports a considerably better defense over last year. Note how they’ve surrendered more than 21 points just once so far after being victimized for such an output in more than half their games in 2020. New names have turned the tide.
However, now the Bengals are starting to endure some health concerns. Both starting corners, Chidobe Awuzie (groin) and Trae Waynes (hamstring), enter dinged up, with the latter tabbed as questionable. Arguably the club’s main free-agent acquisition on the defensive side of the ball, Larry Ogunjobi (knee), is questionable as well. Playmaker Jessie Bates (neck) isn’t at full strength, either.
This is the supreme Green Bay Packers offense we’re talking about, a group that will pick apart any opposition if there’s even a hint of not being able to keep up. They should have their way in this spot.
Squaring off against Rodgers may actually be the future version of himself in Joe Burrow, who continues to look more and more like a franchise quarterback.
Like his counterpart, Burrow also comes into this contest hot, as he’ll be following up arguably his best game as a pro in which he logged a career-best 132.8 passer rating. Granted, that came at the expense of the lowly Jaguars, but still, it was a comeback triumph in prime time.
The outlook of this young offense looks extremely promising. Freshman wide-out Ja’Marr Chase has impressed while gelling with his old college QB1, even leading Cincy in receiving yards. Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are also thriving. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that stud Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) has already been declared out.
Running back Joe Mixon (ankle) is the one wrench that could potentially be thrown into our plans for a high-scoring bout, being labeled questionable, but even if he is out, that’s not necessarily such a bad thing. The Bengals would throw more, something that only preserves more clock.
No matter what, that has to be the likely game plan anyway in order to keep up with Rodgers and his cast. Buckle up and enjoy what figures to be to be one of Sunday’s more entertaining showdowns.
Pick: OVER 50 (-110)