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NFL Week 5 Predictions: Indianapolis Colts vs. Green Bay Packers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 26: Mason Crosby #2 of the Green Bay Packers kicks the game-winning 50-yard field goal during an NFL preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 26, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Packers won 24-21. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Greg JudyContributor IIIOctober 1, 2012

Coming off the bye week, the Colts face the Packers at home. After giving up a win to Jacksonville in an unlikely 80-yard touchdown reception from Blaine Gabbert to Cecil Shorts in the closing seconds, the Colts will try to fix their defensive and offensive kinks, while attempting to take advantage of a Packers team which has played below expectations so far this year.

The Packers offense is led by crafty veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who led the team to their first Super Bowl win in 14 years in Super Bowl XLV. The Packers have the toughest schedule in the NFL this year. Although they are 2-2, Green Bay has already beaten Chicago and New Orleans, while losing to San Francisco and getting ripped off by the replacement referees in Seattle. Green Bay is desperately looking to get their season back on track.

But anytime a team plays the Colts in Indianapolis, they had better be prepared for a tussle. The Colts have averaged slightly more passing yards (267), more rushing yards (90) and more total yards (357) per game this year than the Pack.

However, the defense is another story. Green Bay's defense is ranked 11th in the league, compared to the Colts, who have the 18th-ranked defense. The Colts, however, will be without their head coach Chuck Pagano, who announced today that he will miss 6-8 weeks while being treated for leukemia. Offensive coordinator Bruce Aryans will take his place.

There are two major factors which could determine a positive outcome of the game for the Colts. The first one is the extent of Packers' WR Greg Jennings' groin injury. He injured it yesterday during a touchdown reception and was forced to leave the game. He is Aaron Rodgers' go-to guy in the air. If he has to miss the game, the Colts will have one less receiver to worry about.

Another factor which could determine a positive game for the Colts is the status of Dwight Freeney. Freeney has missed the past two games for the Colts with a sprained ankle. If he is able to play, and is healthy, he will give Green Bay's weak offensive line one more pass rusher to deal with.

The Colts will hang with Green Bay for the first two quarters. In the second half, the Packers will pull away. The Colts' defense will not be able to contain Rodgers. The Colts fall to 1-3.

Colts 17  Packers 31

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