Patriots-Packers prediction

Posted Dec. 19, 2010 @ 11:58 a.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

Like the Patriots needed to catch a break the way they've been playing.

With Matt Flynn starting for Aaron Rodgers, the Patriots are a big favorite to win their sixth consecutive game and get one step closer to clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

What is not going for the Patriots right now? Tom Brady is on a tear and, barring a collapse, will be the league's MVP. He has not thrown a pick in eight games and has not lost in Foxborough in the regular season since 2006.

With Brady's surge, WRs Deion Branch and Wes Welker have been phenomenal while RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis is continually racking up over four yards per carry. The defense that spent the first 12 weeks of the season much maligned has turned things around, allowing just 10 points over the last two games while forcing 13 turnovers during the five-game winning streak.

The Packers are not only without Rodgers but haven't had much of a running game all season. Their run defense hasn't been great, either, but they have a stout secondary that will challenge Brady and the Pats' passing game.

The problem for the Pack is they will need to do what the Steelers, Ravens, Jets and Bears failed to do: slow down Brady. And it will mean more for Green Bay considering their offensive struggles.

I don't expect the Patriots to score more than 30 the way they have, but without Rodgers, they won't need to score much to beat Green Bay.

Another thing going for New England? They are 10-0 in the snow under Bill Belichick, and early forecasts call for snow in the area on Sunday night.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Packers 14