September 8, 2016
Sunday September 11th is the official start of the regular NFL season for both the Green Bay Packers and The Jacksonville Jaguars. To say it’s exciting would be an understatement. As the Jaguars are emerging with a proclaimed high powered offense they are hosting their home opener against a favored Super Bowl Contender and emotions will be running high at Ever Bank Field.
I’m not taking the 4th preseason game into consideration as many starting players never leave the bench. Therefore, throughout the last 3 preseason games both Green Bay and Jacksonville have had impressive results from their offense. Passing; Jacksonville takes the lead with 576 total yards as compared to Green Bay’s 538. The run game had been dominated by the Pack rushing for 444 yards vs Jacksonville 291. The Pack had also dominated total 1st downs with 56 compared to Jacksonville’s 44. Green Bay’s defense stepped it up holding their opponents to 29 1st downs with Jacksonville more than doubling that with 60.
I expect Blake Bortles to target WR Allen Robinson for big yardage downfield. With the absence of TE Julius Thomas out at least the first four games with a broken hand, Bortles will need help from his younger receiving corps. Running backs Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon will present a challenge facing our run defense. Hopefully the Packers ability to stop the run is in the past.
If all goes per plan the Packers offensive line will provide Aaron Rodgers with the time he needs to get the ball out. With the re-emergence of Jordy Nelson and newly acquired TE Jared Cook, I expect them to be two of Aaron’s “go to” guys. A healed Jared Abbrederis along with healthy teammates Randall Cobb and Devante Adam, they too should also prove to be solid targets headed into the end zone.
The Jacksonville defense will need a good day if they’re going to stop such a powerful offense but they should not to be underestimated. A lighter but stronger Eddy Lacy and the experience of James Starks have put up some big yardage plays in the preseason and show promise of a solid running game this season. Another weapon welcomed and desperately needed was the newly acquired Trevor Davis. He and veteran Micah Hyde should bring some excellent returns and produce a solid performance from Special Teams.
I’m predicting Green Bay comes away with their first win 37 – 31.