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Buffalo Bills vs. Green Bay Packers Week 8 preview

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© Jamie Germano / USA TODAY Sports

 

A well-timed bye week for the Buffalo Bills now sets the herd up with a showdown against the NFL’s reigning MVP for each of the past two seasons. Yet, even though Aaron Rodgers has developed a reputation for being among the greatest quarterbacks of our era, he just hasn’t been as lethal in 2022. 

 

That’s the big picture heading into the matchup against the shockingly 3-4 Green Bay Packers, who never seem to struggle for long going back to when Rodgers took over in 2008. Rodgers has had just two losing seasons in his 15 years as a starter, and much like Tom Brady, this guy hates to lose.

 

Yet, there are several other Packers who can make an impact, just not at the same level as Rodgers. We all know about Green Bay’s lack of a receiving corps, with Davante Adams now playing the slots in Vegas. Still, they do have several capable defensive playmakers who could make life very difficult for Buffalo’s passing game. 

 

Heading into the season, this matchup felt like a duel that would pit two of the game’s best quarterbacks against one another, with two of football’s best teams taking center stage. Only, through Week 7, that just isn’t the case. Instead, Josh Allen is playing at an MVP level, and the Bills are perhaps the best team in football. In contrast, Rodgers and the Packers are far off their mark.

 

Still, as we’ve seen too many times before, all it takes is a team showing up ready to play on game day, and everything we thought we knew goes out the window. Let’s hope that’s not the case when we tune in on Sunday Night Football

Buffalo Bills vs. Packers game details, where to watch

  • Sunday, October 30, 2022
  • Start time: 8:20 PM ET
  • TV channel - NBC
  • Location - Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

 

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© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Matchups to watch

  • Aaron Rodgers vs. His receivers

Usually, these matchups feature a player on one team pitted against a player on the opposing team. That’s not where we’re headed here. Instead, what we want to see is how Rodgers handles his receivers on Sunday if/when adversity hits. Rodgers wears his emotions on his sleeve, and when his young receivers drop a pass, he has a really tough time not either yelling at them, hanging his head in disappointment, or throwing tablets on the sideline

 

For whatever reason, Rodgers hasn’t been able to get on the same page with his pass catchers, and no one has stepped up to become a reliable primary option. Green Bay has six players with over 100 receiving yards, with Allen Lazard leading the way with 340.

 

Buffalo also has six players with 100 or more receiving yards, but both Stefon Diggs (656 yards) and Gabe Davis (383) top Lazard’s total. What was previously a high-output passing offense has become more reliant on pounding the rock, and that’s perfect since the Bills have the league’s best run defense, allowing just 3.5 yards per carry, limiting opponents to 76 rushing yards per game.

 

Green Bay will want to go back to what’s worked for them so far this season, but if Buffalo puts the clamps on the Packers’ ground game, they will have no choice but to try and air it out, which could lead to another long day for Rodgers. 

 

  • Josh Allen vs. NFL’s best pass defense

While the Bills have several advantageous factors going their way, the Packers are still an NFL team, and they have plenty of other talented players aside from their 39-year-old QB.

 

For example, the Packers have the league’s top passing defense, limiting opponents to just 168 passing yards per game. Part of that could be a byproduct of the Packers not blowing anyone out or holding large leads, meaning teams haven’t been forced to pass against Green Bay. 

 

But Buffalo won’t have much of a choice. Sure, the Packers are more vulnerable to getting run over, as they allow 4.5 yards per carry (eighth-worst in NFL), but we all know the Bills aren’t built to run the ball. 

 

Even though the Packers have a top pass defense, don’t expect that tidbit to bother offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey on Sunday. The former QB will just keep dialing up plays for his best players. Nothing wrong with that. 

 

  • Woeful Packers special teams vs. A disciplined Buffalo team

Everyone wants to pile all of Green Bay’s issues either on Aaron Rodgers or the fact that they traded an All-Pro receiver without putting much effort forth to replace his production. Only, there is one other area that’s been a constant issue for the past few seasons that still hasn’t been fixed.

 

Over the offseason, the Packers managed to hire former Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia who helped lead Las Vegas to the playoffs. Only, Bisaccia didn’t get the head coach gig, instead causing the special teams expert to land with the Packers, likely as one of the top-paid special team coordinators in football.

 

Well, it hasn’t worked. The Packers are still muffing punts, getting kicks blocked, and leading what Football Outsiders ranks as the fourth-worst special teams unit in 2022. So even if we think the drive is over, just watch the special teams plays closely because a punt could turn into a long gain if the Packers give Buffalo a gift via another fumble. 

 

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© Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills vs. Packers game prediction

  • This season’s record: Buffalo Bills 5-1, 1st in AFC East
  • Green Bay Packers: 3-4, 2nd in NFC North

 

Even though they’re the Green Bay Packers, who haven’t had more than four losses since 2018, expect the Buffalo Bills to win their fourth consecutive game against Rodgers and Co. 

 

The Packers simply don’t have the playmakers or the offensive firepower to stick with a team that’s proven to be excellent in all facets of the game. From coaching to the quarterback, the entire offense, and defense, the Bills are just better than the Packers in every way. 

 

Yet, the Packers have to be downright pissed at the fact they’re playing so poorly, dropping three games in a row. Don’t expect a team that comes out of the gate playing flatly; they know their backs are up against the wall and are desperate for a win. Trap game? It just might be. 

 

The Bills are favored by Vegas by 11.5 points, which just seems like far too many against a Rodgers-led squad, but this isn’t your grandfather’s Packers. 

 

Game prediction: Bills 28, Packers 21 - Bills victory

 

 

Go Bills!!

 

 

Related:

Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs Week 6 preview

Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Week 5 preview

Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins Week 3 preview

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