Green Bay @ Tampa Bay
Recommended Wager: TB +1
Green Bay Packers: (Week 5 bye)
-WR DeVante Adams (hamstring) was injured week 2 and INACTVE weeks 3 and 4. He will return week 6.
-TE Mercedes Lewis (knee) was INACTIVE week 5 after not practicing all week. He was limited Wednesday, but did not practice Thursday.
-DT Kenny Clark (groin) was injured week 1 and INACTIVE weeks 2 – 4. He is practicing in full and should return week 6.
-OLB Rashan Gary (ankle) was injured week 3 and INACTIVE week 4 after being questionable/not practicing. He returned to practice this week as limited.
-CB Kevin King (quadriceps) was injured week 4. He is not practicing.
-Slot CB Chandon Sullivan (concussion) was injured week 4.
IR: WR Allen Lazard (core), WR Devin Funchess (opt out), TE Joslah Deguara (ACL – season ending), RG Lane Taylor (knee), LB Christian Kirksey (shoulder)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (Week 13 bye)
-WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) was injured week 3 and INACTIVE weeks 4 and 5. He returned to practice this week as limited.
-WR Justin Watson (chest) was INACTIVE week 5 after not practicing all week. He is practicing in full and should return.
-RB Leonard Fournette (ankle) was INACTIVE week 4. He was active week 5 after being listed as doubtful, but did have a single carry and was for emergency purposes only. He is limited in practice.
-RB LeSean McCoy (ankle) was injured week 4 and INACTIVE week 5 after not practicing all week. He returned to practice this week as limited.
IR: TE OJ Howard (Achilles – season ending), RB Kejon Barner (suspension), DT Vita Vea (ankle – season ending)
Spread watching: The line has held at GB -1 for the most of the week.
Aaron Rodgers is back, baby. Neck and neck with Russell Wilson for the MVP award, Rodgers is completing 70.5% of his passes, gaining 8.7 YPA with 13 TDs and zero picks. Those zero INTs isn’t a fluke either — PFF hasn’t charted him with a single throw that was deemed turnover worthy, and they also have him ranked as the best QB in football. He’s done this while missing his star receiver, DeVante Adams, for two games. Adams will play in this one, which is much needed since Green Bay really doesn’t have any capable secondary options– their second best receiver is probably their running back, Aaron Jones. Their offensive line is mostly solid, but they have areas that can be exploited. LT David Bakhtiari is an imoveable object, but RT Billy Turner has struggled. Their offense is best in football according to both DVOA and EPA/play. The defense goes in the other direction — ranking 29th in DVOA and 23rd in EPA/play. Their pass rush is mediocre — nobody outside of Za’Darius Smith has double digit pressures on the season. Jaire Alexander is ranked as the best corner in football, but the rest of his peers has struggled. They also struggle against the run, ranking 25th in DVOA.
The Bucs on offense have been a bit of a letdown, ranking 19th in EPA/play and 11th in DVOA. Tom Brady is the 5th best QB in the league per PFF, but his supporting cast has been decimated by injuries. Mike Evans clearly wasn’t 100% last week, and Chris Godwin has missed the last two games. The hope is Evans has another week to get healthy and Godwin returns (though that is uncertain), and that should be enough to move the offense in our direction, particularly against a bad packers defense. The offensive line has been very impressive as well, so it does seem the lack of receivers has been the issue. On defense, the Bucs are 2nd in both DVOA and EPA/play, though they did lose DT Vita Vea to an ankle injury last week. Vea was second on the team in pressures with 16 and also is solid against the run, but the next man up, William Gholston, has also been impressive. Shaq Barrett (27 pressures) has been flat out dominant, while Ghoston (13), LB Devin White (11), and Jason Pierre-Paul (11) are also in double digits for pressures. Their secondary has been insane — Jamej Dean has a rock solid 82.4 PFF grade, while CB Carlton Davis and rookie safety Antoin Winfield Jr have also played well.
At the end of the day, the Bucs are at home and are the better team per Football Outsider’s DAVE stat. We’ll take the point.