On the opening weekend of the National Football League season, the Green Bay Packers met the New Orleans Saints in Jacksonville. How did Green Bay and New Orleans end up playing their September opener in Jacksonville?
On the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, another storm ravaged New Orleans. Hurricane Ida flooded Louisiana and sent the Saints away from a scheduled home game to open their season at the Jacksonville Jaguars stadium. While the Saints had to deal with the horrific aftermath of the storm, the Packers were just playing another away game. Redirecting their flight from New Orleans to Jacksonville didn’t seem to be something that would affect the Packers play, while the Saints losing a home game and dealing with their community being trashed again by mother nature, threw their opener into added stress.
If that game had been played at the Superdome, the Saints would have been a 2½ point favorite over Aaron Rodgers and company. In Jacksonville, the Packers were posted as a 3½ point favorite.
So, with that as the setup, what do you think happened in the game?
The Saints gave their stricken community something to cheer about with a trouncing of the Packers, 38-3.
The Packers haven’t lost a point spread decision since that opening loss.
This week, Rodgers, two weeks removed from being sidelined by a positive Covid result and three weeks after being exposed as a liar in regards to his vaccination status, looks to continue Green Bay’s winning ways and extend their lead in the NFC North Division over longtime rival Minnesota. The Packers, who did lose but covered the point spread in the game Rodgers was sidelined, a 13-7 defeat at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs, come into action this week with a bulge over the rest of their division competition.
No NFC North Division team but the Packers come into Week 11 with a winning record. It is the Vikings, this week’s opponent, who are closest to the Packers in the standings but with four wins in nine decisions they trail Green Bay by 3½ games.
Are the Packers really that good? Can they extend their lead another game over the Vikings with a win this week and continue on their journey to the top seed in the playoffs out of the National Football Conference?
I think not.
In three weeks, I suspect the Packers will be looking to end a two game losing streak when they host the Chicago Bears after their bye week. Whether they do end their losing streak on December 12th is a question left to be answered, but how they lose their next two games is already a near certainty.
Next week, the Packers host the Los Angeles Rams in exactly the wrong week for their own good. The Rams have lost back-to-back games and have had two weeks to prepare after their blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Major edge to the Rams who may well be the better of the two teams and will be getting points at Lambeau Field.
First things first.
Between the sixth and fourteenth weeks of an NFL season, quality second place teams that trail in division standings win at a percentage that is as good as an over-hyped sports service advertises.
If the Packers were a stock, I would put in a sell order.
Qoxhi Picks: Minnesota Vikings (+1½) over Green Bay Packers