Clay Matthews

First off let me preface by saying thoughts and prayers go out to Adrian Peterson and the mother of the two year old beaten by the mother’s boyfriend.

There are some questions as to whether Peterson is the child’s father, but that’s not what’s important here. What’s important is the boyfriend, Joseph Patterson, took it upon himself to take his anger out on a defenseless two year old boy.

Latest reports are the boy isn’t expected to survive. I just don’t know how these situations continue to happen. Isn’t there a voice somewhere inside their head that says hurting an innocent child is wrong?

Now that I’ve addressed that, let’s move on to this week’s Packer’s game against the defending Champion Baltimore Ravens.

The Packers are coming off of a 22-9 win at home against the Detroit Lions, while the Ravens are coming off a 26-23 road win in Miami.

The Packers lost linebacker Clay Matthews to a broken thumb. It sounds like Matthews could miss a few weeks. Make no mistake, this will be a massive loss to the Packer defense. Not only is he a leader, but he’s very productive, and will be missed tremendously.

Converted defensive end Mike Neal will take Matthews’ spot at outside linebacker in his absence. Neal has looked pretty good lately, and while he’s not near Matthews’ caliber, he can contribute. Nick Perry will be at the other outside linebacker spot. Inside linebacker Brad Jones has also been ruled out for this week and will be replaced with Jamari Lattimore.

Earlier today it was announced that cornerback Casey Hayward was ruled out for this game. Coach McCarthy had said earlier in the week that Hayward looked pretty good in practice, so it’s a mild surprise that he’s out. Either he had a setback, or they want to give him another week.

So as it appears the Packers will be without arguably top cornerback Hayward, top linebacker Matthews, and inside linebacker Brad Jones. Not good news for the 17th ranked Packer defense giving up 24.3 points per game, and the pass defense ranked 26th giving up 288.8 yards per game.

The Ravens come into this game 14th in the league in offense scoring 23.4 points per game.

The Packers come into this game with the 3rd ranked offense scoring 29.5 points per game. The Ravens are currently 14th in team defense giving up an average of 22.0 points per game.

The Packers offensive line will have its work cut out for them again this week trying to handle linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. Suggs had 3 sacks in one quarter against the Dolphins in week 5 and is Baltimore’s career leader with 91 ½ sacks.

This will be a very tough game for the Packers. The injuries on defense are going to cause matchup opportunities for running back Ray Rice and wide receiver Torrey Smith. I think the loss of Clay Matthews will be very tough to overcome.

On offense I think the Packers will score some points, but I thought this little tidbit was interesting. The Ravens have not allowed a touchdown in either game they have played at home so far.

I’m really having a hard time trying to get a feel on who’s going to win this game, and when I’m not sure I always default to the home team. Vegas agrees as the Packers are currently favored by 2.5 pts. The home field team always gets 3 points, so basically Vegas is saying if these teams played on a neutral field, the Ravens would be favored by a half a point.

Bottom line I think the Packers will suffer from too many injuries on defense and the Ravens will win 28-27. This may come down to the kickers, and while Mason Crosby has looked great lately, I need to see him perform with the game on the line. It may happen this week. Go Pack.

 

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