Predictions: Week 11 – Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers
Monty (6-3, 6-3 ATS): The Green Bay Packers are again not favored. They are currently two-point underdogs to the 4-5 Baltimore Ravens at home.
That would seem to be the Brett Hundley factor at play.
Hundley had his best game as a pro against the Chicago Bears last week, throwing for 212 yards and helping the Packers claim their first win since Aaron Rodgers went down. That was against a pretty good defense. Hundley will see a better defense this week, at least against the pass.
The Ravens are second in the NFL in pass defense. They are sixth overall and eighth in points allowed. Their weakness is against the run, where they give up 125.9 per game — 28th in the league. Naturally, the Packers will be down to just their third and fourth running backs, with Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery out.
That will leave running the football to Jamaal Williams and Devante Mays.
Offensively, there isn’t much to like about Baltimore. They can run the football a bit — 120.9 yards per game, but they are awful in the passing game. In fact, they are last in the league with just 165.7 yards per game.
So in theory, the Packers are facing a worse passing offense than the one that featured rookie Mitchell Trubisky, last week.
My feeling is this game comes down to a few different things. Can the Packers stop the run and can they successfully run the football with their two backups?
Third will be the game plan and play-calling. Can or will Mike McCarthy put his offense in situations to succeed? You know that last one is a crapshoot.
Ultimately, I like the Packers, but just slightly. It’s partially because I don’t like the Ravens and partially because the Packers should have a chip on their shoulder being dogs at home. And they’re dogs at home to a 4-5 team.
The Ravens have already lost to the Bears and Vikings. Might as well make it 3-3.
Packers 20, Ravens 17
Shawn (4-4, 4-4 ATS): I know, I should have quit while I could walk away from the table. The only times the Green Bay Packers have won in the last two months is when I picked against them or didn’t pick at all. Meanwhile, Andy and Monty picked it like a boss last week. So, I kind of feel like the unnecessary third wheel here.
Anyway, my prediction last week, straight and simple, was going to be that I’d be raking leaves by the third quarter. Then, the Bears showed up. Believe it or not, the Chicago Bears have been halfway decent against other teams this season, just not against the Packers.
Using those most effective tools of the fumble and the penalty, the Bears managed to keep the Packers into the game until the fourth quarter. Oh, and the Bears also pulled out the let Ty Montgomery break runs against you card, which is a card that seemingly only they have.
After three quarters of looking more like a rookie than Mitchell Trubinsky — I mean, what good have those three years in the system done again? — Brett Hundley decided to make a couple plays in the fourth quarter. Similar to Alex Hornibrook versus Michigan yesterday, those couple plays were all the Packers needed.
So, now a hope has been rekindled. Maybe Brett Hundley CAN win enough games to make an Aaron Rodgers comeback worth it. Maybe this season isn’t lost and we can focus our attention elsewhere.
I don’t know if making three plays shows Hundley can win against anyone but the Bears. He still has to overcome a defense that looked better against the Bears, but still greatly benefitted from their ineptitude. However, what I do know is that if he has any shot at this, then beating the Ravens at Lambeau Field is almost an absolute requirement.
The Baltimore Ravens have been about the norm for a wildly up-and-down league. They’ve lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 44-7 while also beating the Miami Dolphins 40-0. So, predicting them is near impossible.
The Ravens are good against the pass and poor against the run. Their offense and Joe Flacco have been shaky all season. I’m not sure that means a whole lot. I guess it sounds like as good a match-up as the Packers could hope for at this point.
Play a little defense. Run the football. Have Hundley make a couple plays. Hopefully, what was good enough to beat the Bears and will beat the Ravens.
Afterall, the Ravens lost to the Bears at home just a month ago.
I’ll probably put the final nail in the Packers’ coffin by picking them.
Packers 20, Ravens 17