TV Schedule: Sunday, Oct. 13, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
Weather: High 68, Low 50
Line: Green Bay (-2.5)
Beginning the 2013 season as the favorite to win the NFC North, the Green Bay Packers had quite possibly too high of expectations based upon them. Although they are likely the best team in the division and possibly the best team in the conference, talent-wise, but are currently a 2-2 squad after a week five win over the Detroit Lions. The offense looked a bit lethargic in the victory, posting just 22 points. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have his best game, but the former MVP has been solid thus far in 2013. Passing for 1,331 yards and nine touchdowns even without his former favorite target, Greg Jennings, has been quite impressive. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones all have split the catches this season — all have at least 19 catches, at lease 325 yards and at least two touchdowns.
The Baltimore Ravens are the defending Super Bowl champs, but you would never know this by looking at their overall body of work this season. The offense has struggled mightily, ranking in the bottom half of the league in nearly every major category, but it’s the run game in particular that has hampered this team. Ray Rice suffered an injury in the early weeks of the season and he still doesn’t look healthy, rushing for just 163 yards on 57 carries along with three touchdowns — just a 2.9 yards per carry average. Losing Jacoby Jones in week two was a huge blow to this team as the passing game with Joe Flacco has relied heavily upon Torrey Smith. Smith has caught 27 Flacco passes for 556 yards and a touchdown while the next closest receiver, Dallas Clark, has just 16 catches for 175 yards.
Defensively, the Ravens were one of the best units last season. Losing many key players on that side of the ball has proved to be devastating as they rank in the middle-of-the-pack in most categories. Their run-stopping ability, however, ranks sixth in the league. Green Bay has a bit better of a run-stopping defense, ranking fifth in the league, but it also has one of the worst secondaries in the league, allowing the seventh-most yards through the air — good news for Torrey Smith.
PREDICTION: Packers 31, Ravens 24