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Cleveland Browns Vs. Green Bay Packers: Opposition Report from Packers 101

October 18th, 2013 at 6:01 AM
By Jeff D. Gorman

Earlier in the week, Browns 101 answered some questions posed by Packers101 about the Cleveland Browns. Many thanks to Sean Tehan of Packers 101 for returning the favor with the following insights:

 

1. Does Aaron Rodgers seem to be in playoff-caliber form, or has there been a drop-off from his glory days?

Rodgers isn't quite in playoff-caliber form yet, especially because of a beat-up receiving corps, but there certainly is no drop-off in my opinion. Rodgers isn't putting up the usual numbers, but the Packers are 3-2 and Rodgers still has a 10-4 touchdown-interception ratio this season.

Besides the 2011 NFL season, Rodgers never seems to get off to as fast of a start, but he will get better as the year goes on. He absolutely is the glue to keeping the offense together, because he is still one of the NFL's best QB's.

 

2. How does Eddy Lacy compare to some of the better running backs in recent Packers history?

For a rookie, Lacy is pretty darn good, but give credit to the Packers' offensive line. In the offseason, the Packers switched Josh Sitton from right guard to left guard, made Don Barclay and Evan Dietrich-Smith the full-time right tackle and center, respectively and the Packers also selected one of the most underrated steals in the 2013 NFL Draft in rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari.

The Packers have the fifth-best rushing offense in the NFL right now and sure Lacy is talented but the offensive line, is a huge reason for his success. Remember, backup running backs James Starks and Johnathan Franklin each had 100-yard rushing games this season as well, so it'll take more time to determine where Lacy falls among past Packers runners.

 

3. How badly will the injury to Randall Cobb hurt the Packersreceiving corps?

Losing Cobb is a tremendous loss because of how dynamic of a playmaker he really is, but the Packers can move on from his injury. Cobb may be the most dangerous offensive player the Packers have, but he isn't the most important. Like I said in the first question, Aaron Rodgers is the glue to the Packers offense.

A great quarterback makes great receivers, so it'll be interesting to see how youngsters Jarrett Boykin and Myles White take advantage of their opportunities. In Green Bay, in the words of head coach Mike McCarthy, the team has to "keep calm and carry on."

 

4. How will the injuries to Clay Matthews and Nick Perry affect the Packers' defense?

Without Matthews last week, the Packers defense still held the Baltimore Ravens offense to 17 points and only 47 rushing yards and registered five sacks on quarterback Joe Flacco. Take Perry out though and the Packers lose some skilled pass rushing on the outside, but it doesn't mean defensive coordinator Dom Capers will dial-down the pressure any time soon.

Packers inside linebacker A.J. Hawk recorded three sacks and five tackles for loss against the Ravens and the defensive line has been outstanding. On passing situations, the Packers pass-rush will obviously hurt, but it won't slow down the defense any time soon.

5. As Browns fans, we have to know: do we have ANY chance to win this game?

Of course Cleveland has a chance to win this game, because it is the NFL. The Brownies have won three of four games since the Trent Richardson deal and everyone thought they were throwing in the towel. Cleveland has some excellent young talent on both sides of the football with Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron, Barkevious Mingo, Craig Robertson and Joe Haden among other players.

This game though will come down to quarterback play and Rodgers is a heck of a lot better than Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden. Rodgers is playing with a chip on his shoulder, his receivers are down and the criticism has increased over his play in the past couple of weeks.

I see Rodgers breaking out, even with a battered group and making NFL fans remember what kind of special talent he really is. Playing at Lambeau Field is a pretty great advantage as well.

Prediction?

Packers 31, Browns 13

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Tags: Cleveland, Cleveland Browns, Football, NFL, Packers

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