By DAN ZIELINSKI
The Green Bay Packers squeaked past the one-win Jacksonville Jaguars last week. Despite some inconsistent play, the Packers (7-2) sit atop the NFC standings.
On Sunday, the Packers will try to keep their status as the NFC’s top team when they square off against the Indianapolis Colts (6-3) in Indianapolis.
The Colts are coming off a 34-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans last week. They boast the NFL’s top defense, allowing the least yards per game. They also are allowing under 20 points per game, ranking fourth-best in that category.
The Packers have one of the league’s best offenses. Can they find an answer to beat the Colts’ defense? Receiver Davante Adams has hauled in a team-leading 61 receptions – 33 more than the next Packer receiver. The Colts will be all over Adams, meaning someone else will have to step up to provide quarterback Aaron Rodgers with an alternative option.
Defensively, Colts quarterback Philip Rivers isn’t the same player he was in his prime. While he is still an adequate QB and his completion percentage is higher than last year, he isn’t as dangerous on throws downfield. The Packers will have to make sure that remains the case, especially by limiting explosive rookie receiver Michael Pittman Jr.
This game will come down to Packers coach Matt LaFleur’s offense against Colts coach Frank Reich’s defense. It will be a close game against two evenly matched teams. But with the way Rodgers is playing, it is hard to pick against the Packers right now.
Prediction: Packers 24, Colts 21