Ravens Locked and Loaded for Packers
By Joe Pistorio
The Green Bay Packers return to M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday for the first time in nearly eight years. The last time the Packers visited Baltimore, it was a cold Monday night in December.
Kyle Boller (remember him) battered Brett Favre and backup rookie Aaron Rodgers, 48-3, setting the record for largest margin of victory on MNF. That was one of the few highlights for the Ravens in 2005 as they finished 6-10, missing the playoffs for the second straight season.
Rodgers would go on to replace Favre as Green Bay’s starter in 2008, the same year Joe Flacco was drafted by the Ravens. Since then, both quarterbacks have had their share of ups and downs – mostly ups, especially with their most recent contracts. And while they do have one or two things in common over the past five years, Rodgers leads Flacco in several key categories.
Compared to Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers has:
– A 5.5% higher completion percentage.
– Thrown for nearly 4,000 more yards.
– Averaged nearly a yard more per completion.
– 73 more touchdowns.
– 15 fewer interceptions.
– 8 fewer fumbles.
– A 20-point higher passer rating.
Sure, these numbers can be deceiving since they play in completely different systems, but Mr. Discount Double-Check clearly presents a bigger offensive threat than Mr. McFlacco.
Having said that, my Magic 8-Ball says the Ravens will win this weekend. Why?
The Ravens were VERY fortunate to draw this game on their home turf. Plus, Clay Matthews is out due to a broken thumb. We’re getting healthier by the day and should get some key players back. Eugene Monroe will likely suit up, too.
But my favorite reason why I think we beat Green Bay this Sunday: The odds makers have the Ravens listed as 3.5 point underdogs…at home…where they rarely lose. You know this gets under their skin and should be just enough motivation for a team that is finally finding its offensive mojo.
The final score this Sunday should be a little closer than the Monday night blowout back in ’05, but I see the Ravens winning the rematch, 37-33.