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Saturday, October 01, 2005 

Sloth: Week 4 Packer Predictions

Last week was a heartbreaker and I fear that it is the way the season will go. The Packers could still lose this one and not start worse than the [shutter] Lindy Infante 1988 team, but it would be nice to get the monkey of 1988 off their backs. Monday Night Football has not been kind to the Packers of late and they return to the site of one of the most bizarre MNF losses in recent team history, the “Brad Hoover Game”.

Packers (0-3) at Panthers (1-2) (-7.5) Over/Under: 43

The Panthers are a solid, if unremarkable team. They had the misfortune of opening against the Saints, who won an emotional game for their city and region. Receiver Steve Smith is as talented as he is injury prone and is a good complement to a strong running game. On defense, DE Julius Peppers is as good as they get, OT Mark Tausher draws the unenviable tasks of blocking him. This matchup will be key, if we see a back and a guard moving over to help Taush, we are in big trouble.

Brett is got to come out of the slump at some time, and this week is as good a time as any. In fact, it is a great opportunity for him to show that he is still MVP-worthy to a national audience. Brett has risen to such challenges in the past, I fully expect him to do so again. The Panther defensive backfield is very good, but can be had if the running game is a credible threat. It is important for the Packers to get that sluggish running game in gear, I think this means RB Najeh Davenport more than Green. Green needs to have the initial hole opened, which the OL has not been able to do, while Davenport is a bruiser and get power through poor blocking on occasion. As of this writing TE Bubba Franks is unavailable, but could still play Monday night. If he does, it will help the offense greatly.

The much-maligned (by me as well as others) Packer defense is showing some signs of life. Even Ahmad Carroll is improving. They did a good job against Tampa last week and the Panthers are in the same mold. They are playing well enough to win, if they can keep it up and the offense gets rolling, the season could be saved.

I’ll take the points and the OVER. I'm a sucker for more than a touchdown.

Packers 24
Panthers 23

Fantasy Players: Brett Favre, Steve Smith

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