The Green Bay Packers (12-0) host the Oakland Raiders (7-5) this Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. The Packers won the NFC North title last week and can secure a first-round bye in the playoffs, if they beat the Raiders. The Green Bay Packers also began offering stock in the team for the fifth time in the team’s history this week, which can be purchased by the general public here.
The last time Green Bay played the Oakland Raiders was in 2007, which the Packers won 38-7 at Lambeau Field. Green Bay holds a 1-game lead all-time against Oakland (6-5), heading into their 12th game. This will be the Packers’ first game against the Raiders, since Aaron Rodgers became the starting quarterback.
Oakland is coming off an embarrassing 34-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Quarterback Carson Palmer completed 20-of-41 passes and threw for 273 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception against the Fins.
Palmer has thrown 8 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and has a 77.5 passer rating after six games this season. Compared to Palmer, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has thrown 37 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and has a league-leading 125.3 passer rating. Palmer has 1,485 total passing yards to Rodgers’ 3,844 passing yards this season.
Green Bay comes off a last second 38-35 win over the New York Giants last Sunday. The Packers are 12-0 for the first time in team history. The 1929 Packers also were undefeated (12-0-1), but did have one tie against the Frankford Yellow Jackets.
Rodgers is the clear front-runner as the NFL’s most valuable player and continues to have the highest passer rating (103.8) in the history of the NFL. He also has some funny television commercials airing that can be viewed here, here and here.
Green Bay sustained a few new injuries against the Giants and lost tight end Andrew Quarless (knee) for the season. The Packers will be without running back James Starks (ankle), guard Josh Sitton (knee) and offensive tackle Chad Clifton (hamstring). Linebackers Desmond Bishop (calf) and A.J. Hawk (calf) are questionable. Cornerback Charles Woodson (concussion) is probable.
Green Bay also promoted quarterback Graham Harrell from the practice squad to the active roster after the Buffalo Bills attempted to sign him this week.
The Green Bay Packers can secure a victory against the Oakland Raiders, if they address three key issues during the game.
1. Protect Aaron Rodgers
The Oakland Raiders have the third highest number of sacks in the league this season with 33 sacks. As long as Rodgers stays vertical and has time to find his receivers, then the Packers will not have a problem putting points on the board.
2. Get ahead early, then run out the clock
The Raiders like to run the ball, but are banged up and will be without running back Darren McFadden (foot), their leading rusher. If the Packers can jump to an early lead, then they will have the ability to run out the clock. It will also force Oakland to turn to their passing game. Palmer has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns this season.
3. Allow Oakland to implode
Oakland is the most penalized team in the league this season with 119 penalties for 1,027 yards. The Packers are one of the least penalized teams with 60 penalties for 441 yards. Defensive tackle Richard Seymour is an aggressive player and was ejected from the game last week against the Dolphins for throwing a punch.
Green Bay has a positive turnover ratio (+16) compared to Oakland (0) this season, and the Packers should come out on top regarding turnovers at the end of this game, too.
The temperature forecast for Sunday is a high of 35 degrees in Green Bay, which should also play into the Packers’ favor.
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