Cleveland Browns vs Green Bay Packers Prediction, Betting Odds, Picks
- The Browns’ offense struggles to convert third downs and find the end zone
- The 11-3 Packers have clinched the NFC North and now a playoff spot is theirs
- Green Bay is on a three-game winning streak; their prior 2021 win streak was seven
Browns vs Packers Odds
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After suffering a Covid breakout, Cleveland might be able to suit up their starters now, their season essentially over unless they win out and get lots of help, the first task being to take care of the Packers, something that could be tough with a Browns offense struggling to convert third downs and find the end zone, a huge team problem that HC Kevin Stefanski must solve.
The 11-3 Green Bay Packers have clinched the NFC North and therefore an NFC playoff spot is theirs, so now QB Aaron Rodgers and his fellow playmakers like WR Davante Adams and RB Aaron Jones must stay healthy these final three games, but more wins could mean a number one seed and its playoff bye with home field advantage, so expect them to show up for this one.
These two cross-conference rivals have played each other 20 prior times (including 1 postseason game), with the Green Bay Packers winning 13 of those games and the Cleveland Browns winning 7 of the games.
Cleveland Browns vs Green Bay Packers Predictions
Can the Browns Roster Recover from its Covid-19 Outbreak?
Last week, so many Browns starters and coaches tested positive for Covid-19 (over 20) that the league decided to postpone the game until late Monday afternoon, yet still Cleveland was forced to start their practice team QB under center along with a lot of other new faces.
With a vastly depleted offensive line and receiver corps and a ragtag defense thrown together, the Browns still almost beat the Raiders in Week 15 but they failed to convert a critical third down that would have sealed their one-point win, a loss that has essentially ended their season.
Now the hope is that many of those starters – including QB Baker Mayfield, WR Jarvis Landry, and DE Jadeveon Clowney – will be cleared for this matchup with the Packers, a necessary win if they expect to have any chance to play football in January.
Can the Packers Avoid the Trap Game Now That They Have Clinched?
One of the main problems with clinching the division and a subsequent playoff spot is it can backfire in the sense that players take their foot off the pedal and play to stay healthy instead of showing up and playing to win, and that is how trap games are born.
The favored Packers should beat this beat-up and depressed Browns team, but with all the talent Cleveland has combined with its desperation to save their season, an underdog upset could happen and a loss like that would be a huge setback for the Green Bay Packers.
No doubt HC Matt LaFleur and QB Aaron Rodgers are fully aware of the importance of winning out their season and earning a number one playoff seed, so expect them to show up and give the Browns a tough game but with the relaxed attitude that comes with having already clinched.
Browns Key Player: (QB) Baker Mayfield
Watch the Browns QB Baker Mayfield in this one, that is if he is able to test Covid negative in time for Christmas, and after having to miss last week’s matchup with the Raiders, Baker is most likely ready to take the field and prove his worth as a franchise leader.
Some fans and NFL talking heads and haters have called Mayfield’s quarterbacking skills into question, the charge being that he is an ordinary QB who does no more than run the offense as game planned by HC Kevin Stefanski, and game operators don’t deserve big-money contracts.
With Mayfield’s contract up for negotiation, this season was supposed to earn him a multi-year deal worth life-changing money, but he has not given the front office much proof that he is worth the long-term investment and these final 3 games could help him prove his worth.
Packers Key Player: (WR) Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Now in his fourth NFL season (all with the Packers), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling is fast becoming a second-best favorite target of QB Aaron Rodgers, especially now that his favorite receiver to throw the ball to – Davante Adams – is constantly being double and triple-teamed.
That is where Valdes-Scantling comes in, a 6’ 4” 206-pound speedster who has the size to battle for contested catches, this season with 25 receptions for 427 yards and 3 touchdowns in 9 games, numbers that should improve as he and Rodgers continue to build their connection.
Watch for the two of them to use this game against the Browns’ 8th ranked passing defense as the perfect testing ground before the postseason ever begins, and as Valdes-Scantling proves he is dependable in more and more situations, he could become a critical part of this offense.
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How to Watch Browns vs Packers
|Browns vs Packers Information|
|What||Cleveland Browns vs Green Bay Packers|
|Where||Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI|
|When||Saturday, December 25, 2021; 4:30 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX / NFL NEtwork|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]