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This Sunday the two hottest teams in the NFL will play one another. The New England Patriots will travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. Both of these teams currently are in first place of their division. The Patriots have won their last seven consecutive games. The Packers have won their past three games, and seven of their last eight. These two teams are very similar. Both teams are high scoring, high-powered offenses with a number of weapons. Green Bay and New England’s defenses are of the “bend, don’t break” variety.

The New England Patriots have been unbeatable over the past two months of the season. The last time they lost a game was on September 29th against the Chiefs when the Pats were blown out 41-14. Following that game, many critics called for rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to take over the starting QB job. Critics said that the Brady-Belichick era was over. Boy, have they proven everyone wrong. Since that game the Patriots have done everything correctly.

 

In the Patriots last seven games they are 7-0. The team has scored a total of 277 points in those games for an average of 39.5 points a game. The Pats’ lowest scoring game is when they scored 27 points against the New York Jets. Over New England’s win streak Tom Brady has thrown for 22 touchdown passes and only 4 interceptions.  Brady’s favorite target, tight end Rob Gronkowski, has played extremely well during the team’s win streak. He has 63 receptions for 665 yards and 6 touchdowns. Gronkowski is impossible to guard. At 6 foot 5 inches tall, he towers over defensive backs. Gronk also runs a 40-yard dash in only 4.68 seconds, allowing him to blow by linebackers who line up across from him. There is truly no way to guard him. Defenses can’t shut him down completely. He’s a freak that cannot be stopped, which is why he’s Brady’s favorite target.

 

New England has a unique backfield. Tom Brady has seen six different running backs line up behind him. The two leading rushers on the team are Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley who have each rushed for 340 yards. Ridley hasn’t played a game since Week 6 when he tore his ACL and MCL, which ended his season. Vereen has not been getting many carries lately. Two weeks ago when the Pats took on the Colts, in primetime, and Jonas Gray burst onto the NFL scene. Gray carried the ball 37 times for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns. But then, he was late to practice one day, and was benched for last week. Between the blowout win at Indianapolis and the blowout win against Detroit, the Pats resigned running back LeGarrette Blount. Blount got the majority of the carries and rushed for two touchdowns. Let’s just wait and see who gets the majority of carries against Green Bay.

The Patriots are currently in the midst of the “difficult” part of their schedule. New England’s last three opponents have all been divisional leaders (at the time of the game). The Patriots have blown out the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, and the Detroit Lions. The Pats average margin of victory for these three games is exactly 23 points. That’s just outstanding. They have played some of the best teams, the top two teams standing in their way of getting back to the Super Bowl, and just dominated. I have no idea how Brady and the Pats have done it, but it’s amazing.

Aaron Rodgers has led the Packers to three straight wins. In those three wins, he threw for 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions. The team has surpassed 50 points in two of those three games for an average of 44 points per game. Green Bay has average margin of victory of 25.6 points during their win streak. Only one of the three teams actually has winning record though. The combined record of the three teams the Packers have beaten in a row is 17-16.

 

The Packers have a ton of offensive weapons. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson has played very well. Nelson is a great route runner whose specialty is sideline catches and getting both his feet down inbounds. He has 329 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions in the past three games. His most recent game, against the Minnesota Vikings, was one of his weakest performances of the season.

Lining up in the slot next to Nelson is receiver Randall Cobb. Cobb’s quickness makes him difficult to guard. He has 259 receiving yards and one touchdown reception over the team’s past three games. Cobb is currently second with 10 receiving touchdowns on the season. Cobb and Nelson are both such good receivers, defenses struggle to guard both of them. These two are most dangerous when Aaron Rodgers extends a play and rolls out of the pocket.

 

Eddie Lacy, the Packers’ second year running back has been playing extremely well in the team’s past three games. He has rushed for 244 yards and two touchdowns. But Lacy has really proven to be a receiving threat over the past couple of games. Lacy has 126 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns during Green Bay’s win streak. Lacy adds another dimension to the offense and he makes a defense’s job even more difficult.

When these two teams take the field on Sunday, it will be a matchup of two of the best quarterbacks in the league. Both of them are playing great football right now and it could be the best football of each of their careers. Each team has a number of weapons. There’s no doubt this game will be high scoring. This game has the potential to be a Super Bowl preview and has of right now; this is my prediction of the Super Bowl. In my opinion, the Packers will come out victorious but it will be a close game.

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