Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts to Air It Out in Green Bay

Aren DowCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2008

Ending the three game losing streak was just what the Green Bay Packers needed. A surging Indianapolis Colts team is most definitely not.

As the Packers beat Seattle last week to improve to 3-3, the Colts are on a two game winning streak commanded by a Peyton Manning that looks to have shook off the early rust.

The Colts, known for their aerial assault, will have to lean heavily on it again if Joseph Addai sits out this week as well.

Yet, the Packers secondary has more than proven themselves this season.

Despite losing Atari Bigby and Al Harris for the last few weeks, backups like Tramon Williams have kept the defensive strong as they have a league-high 11 interceptions. Nick Collins and Charles Woodson have been absolute ball hawks and combined have three touchdowns.

Where the Colts gain the upper hand on the offensive side, however, is their depth. With Harris most likely out for the game, the unproven Will Blackmon and rookie Pat Lee are the third and fourth corner backs. Manning is too good of a quarterback to not find an advantage sometime during the game with Anthony Gonzalez or Dallas Clark.

While Aaron Rodgers has proven himself this year, running back Ryan Grant has not. While many tried to tell me in pre-season he was the latest one-year wonder, I vehemently defended him.

I'm not so sure now.

Yes, he's been hurt, and the line has been anything but stellar. But his production so far has been abysmal and his vision narrow. There were some improvements against Seattle last week, but he still only had 90 yards on 33 carries.

If there a team to run against, it doesn't get much better than Colts. Giving up over 160 rushing yards a game, this is a do or die week for me to see if Ryan Grant can step up.

Look for Aaron Rodgers to continue his magic touch if Bob Sanders doesn't play this week. Jennings has quietly built upon his sophomore year, leading the league with 653 yards. Rodgers has also put the ball into the hands of his other wide receivers, giving seven different players touchdowns this season.

While the game is being played in Green Bay, the Packers haven't exactly exerted a home field advantage this year. Losing two and squeaking a win out against the Vikings, Green Bay needs to get back to defending the Frozen Tundra.

Look for the passing game as a primary means of moving the ball down the field. Manning and Rodgers will air it out this game, but both will need time from their offensive line.

Whichever pass rush can disrupt either quarterback can quickly gain an advantage. Look for Aaron Kampman and Robert Mathis to get in the backfield as they have six and five sacks respectively.

Both teams were expected to make the playoffs this season, and have started out of the gates slowly. Both are looking to build upon recent victories.

This game may come down to who is healthier. The Packers have Bigby, Hawk, Ryan Pickett, and Chad Clifton that are injured but could play. The Colts list includes Freeney, Sanders, Gonzalez, and Addai.

One thing is for sure, neither team can afford to lose much more ground.


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