TV Schedule: Sunday, Sept. 22, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium
Weather: Low 53, High 74
Line: Green Bay (-2.5)
As one of the best teams in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers are a favorite to win the Super Bowl every year. The 2013 season is no different as Aaron Rodgers is as good as he’s ever been, starting with season with 813 yards and seven touchdowns. Ranking second in the league in passing yards, the Packers have to have the best feeling with the most reliable quarterback in the league under center right now. Losing some key receivers in the past few season would have likely doomed any other quarterback, but Rodgers has found Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb a combined 26 times for 432 yards and five scores. The run game was supposed to be solid behind rookie and second-round pick in this year’s draft, Eddie Lacy. However, he is suffering from concussion-like symptoms while James Starks has filled in nicely with 20 carries for 132 yards and a score.
Coming in to the season as one of the favorites to win the AFC, there were high expectations placed on the Cincinnati Bengals. A couple questions have been raised after two weeks and a 1-1 record, however. Will Andy Dalton be able to find more wide receiver targets than just A.J. Green? Is this offense good enough to win the AFC? Does Andy Dalton have what it takes to lead this team to the Super Bowl? While those questions may not be answered soon, Dalton is still a quality quarterback and has passed for 562 yards and three scores this season. The running back duo of rookie Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis will lead this offense to greatness by the end of the season.
Defensively, the Packers have not been one of the best in the league. They have allowed 27 points and over 450 yards per game which could turn every contest into a shootout. The passing defense ranks third-to-last and the secondary could use some help. It could be a big day for Dalton and Green. The Bengals rank in the top-half of the league in most major defensive categories. Allowing just 62.5 rushing yards per game ranks seventh in the league — bad news for an already poor Packers run game.
PREDICTION: Packers 28, Bengals 31