We've got ourselves a potential bandwagon game here. Lose and fall to 4-4, its "eh, good thing the NFC North is weak." Win, and it's "Hey, we're 5-3 and just beat the undefeated Titans!" while the highlights lead on ESPN, there are more Aaron Rodgers stories written to count, and the secretaries in your office start talking Packers again - for better or worse.
I really think this could be a springboard game. One that, if victorious, could show that the sky's the limit for Green Bay. Why? Not just because the Titans are 8-0, rather because they are 8-0 and their strengths are perfectly matched up with the Packers weaknesses.
In the trenches, Tennessee is as tough, big, and physical as they come. One Packer weakness: pass rush. They protect the QB (Cocktail Kerry Collins has been sacked once all year. Once!), and run the ball like the Super Tecmo Bowl Kansas City Chiefs (Christian Okoye, Barry Word). Ouch. The Packer D-line does get a boost simply by having more available bodies. Mike Montgomery, Jason Hunter, and - gasp - Justin Harrell should all play. How well, that remains to be seen.
Look for Green Bay to play a quasi 4-4 defense with a safety (Rouse/Bigbie) up in the box, or even a 4th linebacker (Chillar) most of the time. We'll take our chances with Collins trying to beat us throwing to dueling Justin's - Gage and McCariens. Actually, one of the most important match up's in the game will be Chillar covering TE Bo Scafie. Now there's a marquee match up! Scafie is the Titans best receiver.
On offense, the Packers much maligned running game faces a very strong Titans D-Line. I've seen a few different sources this week describing Al Haynesworth as "unblockable." Uh oh. Like the defense, the Pack's offense is finally healthy. James Jones is back, finally getting this thing %100 so James Jones can go out there and be James Jones. I smell a big game from Driver - don't know why. Keeping Rodgers upright is crucial, as always, but especially this Sunday. By the way, it's come to my attention that Rodger's nickname in high school was "Chuck." I like it. From this point forward, Aaron Rodgers will now be referred to as "Chuck."
Like I said, if Green Bay can win this one, the sky's the limit. Tennessee's coming off a short week, the Packers a bye. Call me crazy, but I see McCarthy's boys coming out on the "Pawsitive" side - the Titans are due for a loss, right?
Green Bay 20, Tennessee 19