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Five weeks into the 2023 NFL Season, teams are already starting to feel the desperation of having to fight for a playoff spot. In this Monday Night Football matchup, the Green Bay Packers (2-2) are set to go on the road versus the Las Vegas Raiders (1-3).
The Packers won key matchups on the road versus the Chicago Bears in week one and at home versus the New Orleans Saints. They also suffered tough losses at Atlanta and against Detroit. The Raiders opened the season with a 17-16 road win at the Denver Broncos before losing the next three games.
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The Packers' offense is confident in the leadership and passing abilities of Jordan Love after the departure of long-time franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Love has completed 74-of-132 of his passes for 901 yards, eight touchdowns, and interceptions. He has also rushed for two touchdowns. The Packers' offense ranks 10th in the league in points per game (25) despite not being explosive.
The Raiders' defense has had its positive moments this season. They haven't faced an efficient offense outside of the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Chargers. They have seen good performances against the Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but their offenses have been terrible this season.
The Raiders' offense is one of the most disappointing units in the league through four games this season. Las Vegas' offense has underperformed despite having elite talent at running back in Josh Jacobs and wide receiver in Davante Adams. The Raiders are ranked 30th in the league in points per game (15.5), 32nd (last) in rushing yards per game (65.2), and 28th in total yards per game (281.8). Two of the biggest reasons for the offensive flaws are the lack of efficient playcalling and the offensive line.
Defensively, the Packers are one of the worst teams in the league at stopping the run. Green Bay ranks 21st in points allowed per game (24) and 31st in rushing yards allowed per game (155.2). This will be a problem if the Raiders can get Jacobs going on a rhythm. This game will be a great chance for a young Packers' defense to develop more confidence and gain composure.
Jordan Love has had some up-and-down performances for the Packers this season. When the offense is focused, they can create a steady rhythm. Love averages 225.3 passing yards per game through four games. Against a Raiders' defense that hasn't been able to slow down the passing game, the Packers might test Love's passing abilities and develop him more.
It is not a matter of time before the league's leading rusher last season and one of the most dynamic players has an explosive game. This Green Bay defense is one of the least effective rushing defenses in the league. Jacobs is bound to be one of the Raiders' most reliable scorers, perhaps the only scorer in this game for Las Vegas.
Raiders star defensive end Maxx Crosby has accounted for four sacks through four games this season. Jordan Love has been sacked eight times in four games. This is going to be a growing problem for the Packers as their offensive line is suffering significant injuries.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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