After edging out a winless New Orleans Saints team in Week 4, the confusing Packers will take to the road against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts will be a heavy-hearted team from this week forward, as head coach Chuck Pagano has taken a leave of absence for leukemia treatment. It will be interesting to see how the team responds in Pagano’s absence.
Green Bay, as is customary, holds high hopes for every football season. Though they sit at just 2-2 through four contests, you get the feeling there is much more for this team to offer. After averaging just 19 points through their first three weeks, the Packers finally broke out putting up 28 against a weak New Orleans team. Expect the Packers to continue rolling in Indianapolis against a susceptible defense. The Packers will be without star wide-out Greg Jennings for the next little while, though Aaron Rodgers has the ability to turn any receiver into a star, and expect the likes of Nelson, Finley, Jones, and Cobb to all step up in Jennings’ absence.
For the Colts, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will take over the interim role of head coach with Pagano now gone. The Colts have set their sights on making a playoff run, prolonging their season, and perhaps giving Pagano a chance to return to the sidelines later in 2012. All nice sentiments, though winning this week should be their main goal. And going against a bitter Packers side, won’t make things all that easy. The Colts are however coming off of an important bye week, and sit with a 1-2 record that easily could’ve been 2-1 if it weren’t for a last-second meltdown against Jacksonville in Week 3. Expect an inspired outing from the Colts in this one, with an emphasis on putting points up on the board. Arians is a pure-offensive guy, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Colts emerge as a pass-first team from this point forward. Finally for Indy, they’re currently dealing with a wealth of injuries to key starters. Their best player, defensive end Dwight Freeney will be a true game-time decision, while key corners Vontae Davis and Justin King will miss this game for sure.
Packers vs. Colts Spread & Betting Odds:
Green Bay Packers -7 (-115)
@ Indianapolis Colts +7 (-105)
Over 48 (-110)
Under 48 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Packers vs. Colts Pick:
Look for Green Bay to enter Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday afternoon a bitter bunch looking to transform their offense into the juggernaut they know it can be. Going against a defense riddled with injuries and uncertainty could make things easy on Pro-Bowler Aaron Rodgers. Without Freeney along the Colts’ defensive line, Indianapolis will struggle to establish a pass rush. Look for Rodgers to pick apart a depleted secondary. The speed of Jones, Cobb, and Nelson an a fast turf track cannot be matched, and look for the Packers to take to the air with regularity on Sunday.
On the defensive side for the Packers, though they haven’t been all that stellar this season, it remains a talented unit. Much like their offense, expect this to be a big week for their defense as well. The Colts’ offensive line is in shambles right now, and look for B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews to get to the rookie Andrew Luck at will. Though Luck will one day be a great quarterback, the Packers will force the Stanford product into making mistakes against a very opportunistic secondary.
Though Indianapolis is coming off a bye and should be inspired for their ailing head coach Chuck Pagano, the Packers can be and will be a force on Sunday afternoon. The dome perfectly suits their style of play, and the Colts won’t have a hope of stopping Rodgers and Co. either through the air, or on the ground. Cedric Benson has been a huge boon to the Packers’ attack and should have his best game of the year in Week 5.
This game is looking like it could be a recipe for disaster for the Colts. Packers Nation will travel, as they always do, and expect a lot more cheers for the road squad than the home team. Green Bay will move the ball with ease, while the Packers’ pass-rush will wreak havoc in all four quarters. Take the Packers minus the points in a high-scoring affair.