Game Preview: Packers vs. Bills
- Green Bay Packers (3-4) at Buffalo Bills (5-1)
- Line: Bills (-11) | O/U 47.5
The Green Bay Packers will visit Highmark Stadium on Sunday night to battle the Buffalo Bills in a matchup featuring two squads headed in different directions. The Packers suffered their third straight setback a week ago against the Washington Commanders. The Bills enjoyed a bye last week but are riding a three-game winning streak.
Josh Allen and the NFL’s top passing offense will challenge the league’s best pass defense. The Bills average 331 passing yards an outing while the Packers have limited opponents to just 168 passing yards per game. Green Bay shut out Buffalo the last time these two teams met in 2018. Mason Crosby booted three field goals and the Packers sacked Allen seven times to notch a 22-0 win at Lambeau Field. The Bills tallied just 11 first downs and picked up a measly 145 total yards.
Green Bay is under .500 through seven games for the first time in 16 years. The Packers’ offensive woes continued in Week 7 with 232 total yards in a shocking loss to the Commanders and backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke. Green Bay’s offense averages 18.3 points a contest and is ranked 20th in total yards with 348 per game.
Aaron Rodgers has completed 66.8% of his passes with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions with a lackluster receiving corps. The 18th-year veteran has thrown two touchdown passes in five out of seven games this season but has already been sacked 15 times. The Packers allowed 30 sacks in 17 games a year ago.
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon anchor the league’s 18th-ranked rushing attack. Jones has tallied 432 yards and a touchdown on 78 carries, while Dillon has run the ball 77 times for 301 yards and a score. The duo combined for a meager 38 yards last week and squares off against the NFL’s top-ranked rushing defense Sunday night.
The Packers will be without their leading receiver this week. Allen Lazard has been ruled out with a left shoulder injury and will join veteran slot receiver Randall Cobb on the inactive list. Lazard has a team-high 340 receiving yards and leads the team with four touchdown receptions.
Linebackers De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker headline a defensive unit that excels against the pass but struggles to stop opposing rushing attacks. Green Bay’s run defense is ranked 27th and allows 139 rushing yards per game. Campbell leads the team with 61 tackles and has picked off one pass. Walker has posted 52 tackles and forced a fumble.
Rashan Gary leads the Packers with six sacks while Preston Smith has registered 3.5 quarterback takedowns for a defense ranked 16th with 15 sacks.
Green Bay boasts the NFL’s stingiest pass defense but has recorded just two interceptions in 28 quarters. Cornerback Jaire Alexander, the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history, is an elite man-to-man cover guy who has one pick and four pass breakups this season.
Buffalo rallied to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6 before taking last week off. The Bills have averaged 39.5 points in two home games this season and are second in the league in scoring with 29.3 points an outing.
Allen threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns against the Chiefs and has 17 touchdown passes and four interceptions in six games. The MVP frontrunner has tossed three or more scoring passes in four out of six outings this season for the NFL’s top-ranked offensive unit.
Stefon Diggs is the Bills leading receiver with 656 yards and six touchdowns on 49 catches. He torched the Chiefs with 10 receptions for 148 yards and a score in Week 6. Third-year wideout Gabe Davis is also having a banner campaign. Davis is averaging a whopping 27.4 yards a catch with 383 yards and four scores on just 14 catches.
Allen and Devin Singletary pace the Bills’ ground game. Allen has posted a team-high 257 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 47 carries, and Singletary has run the ball 57 times for 256 yards.
The Bills enter Week 8 with a defense ranked first in scoring (13.5), total yards (281.5), rushing defense (76), and interceptions (10). Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds leads the team with 36 tackles and has also recorded one sack. Defensive end Greg Rousseau has a team-high four sacks and AJ Epenesa has notched 2.5 sacks.
Safety Jordan Poyer leads the league with four interceptions despite playing in just four games. Cornerback Kaiir Elam has picked off two passes while Taron Johnson, Matt Milano, Dane Jackson, and Boogie Basham each have one interception.
Packers vs. Bills Prediction
The Packers’ subpar passing offense will force head coach Matt LaFleur to establish the running game against the league’s premier run defense. I think Rodgers will lean on short passes to Jones and tight end Robert Tonyan, and look to hit a few home run balls to Sammy Watkins and Romeo Doubs.
The Bills will attack Green Bay’s leaky run defense but will also challenge the Packers’ top-rated pass defense. Green Bay has allowed five touchdown passes to wide receivers and only four rushing touchdowns to running backs. Allen is a dual-threat weapon that the Packers will struggle to contain.
Buffalo has a tenacious pass rush and will be playing at home in front of a raucous crowd. The wheels have fallen off the Packers’ offense and Green Bay will need a herculean effort from its defense to keep this game close. However, all signs point to a lopsided victory for the Bills.
Prediction: Buffalo 33, Green Bay 23
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Marvin is a sports fanatic who enjoys writing, daily fantasy sports, and coaching baseball. The native Texan loves traveling overseas and experiencing new cultures. Marvin is an avid fisherman and his favorite hobby is cooking Asian cuisine with his wife. People-watching at outdoor cafes, visiting different zoos, and watching vintage wrestling videos are among his favorite pastimes. He is fascinated with King Cobras, the Himalayan mountains, and the street dogs of Bhutan. His favorite TV shows include The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, and Have Gun – Will Travel. Marvin has coached baseball in Switzerland, Philippines, Brunei, and Bhutan.