Meet Devil Siny and Angel SinyPosted:Nov 6th, 2015 3:28 pm
I feel like Pinto in Animal House right now, as I try to forecast what I expect to witness in Charlotte on Sunday. You know the scene: his date has passed out on his bed and he contemplates what to do. Up pops the devil version of himself over one shoulder telling him to get busy. Then the angel version of himself pops up over the other shoulder, bringing him back to earth. So without further ado:
Devil Siny: What, they're gonna beat Cam Newton and the Panthers at their place? Did you not witness the stink pile of a game your boys gave us last Sunday night?
Angel Siny: Ah, but the NFL season is a roller coaster and is fed in large part by emotion. The Packers were embarrassed in prime time. The Panthers, meanwhile jumped ahead on Monday night, lost their lead and then won in overtime. They're feeling good about themselves. The Pack will come in angrier and more desperate.
Devil Siny: Great. That will last about five minutes. Then they have 55 more minutes to play. I can already see the defense's performance: First down, stop Jonathan Stewart for a two yard gain. Second down, incomplete pass. Third and eight, Newton scrambles for 11. Next time he'll hit Greg Olsen to move the chains. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Angel Siny: When is the last time you saw Aaron Rodgers deliver back to back stinkers. People have been questioning him and the offense all week. He's ready to show that rumors of his unit's decline have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, the Panthers are a tough defense, but they're middle of the road against the run. And Andrew Luck gashed the pass defense in the second half when he picked up the tempo. Watch Eddie Lacy look like Eddie Lacy again (though perhaps a few pounds heavier) and watch the Packers move the chains and run more than 60 plays this week.
Devil Siny: Two words: Luke Kuechly. Wait, I'll add two more: Josh Norman. Want two more: Thomas Davis. How 'bout Kawann Short. The Panthers defense is loaded with studs. Studs who watched what Denver did and said, 'oh, that looks easy enough.' Bring 'em on. The Packers offense has not looked right for weeks and probably won't until they get to play the Lions. Fortunately, that's next Sunday at Lambeau. You better move #12 outside of the pocket in this one, because he ain't seen nothin' like the interior of the Carolina D.
Angel Siny: Maybe not, but they've already faced two upper echelon defenses in the Seahawks and Rams, which should prepare them for this one. They'll need to figure out how to cover Olsen for sure--the last two games they've let the Chargers and Broncos tight ends to run free. With Sam Shields and Quentin Rollins unlikely to play, they'll be thin at corner but they can get away with that against this team and its weak WR corps. There's no question the health of Clay Matthews' ankle will be huge, as he will be shadowing Newton all day. I fully expect a bounce back defensive effort, against an average offense.
Devil Siny: So go ahead and pick the Packers to win. Seems like you do every week. They've feasted on the bottom dwellers on the road, but haven't proven they can beat a very good one away from Lambeau in quite some time. The offense is out of sync, the defense has given up 1,000 yards in its last two games. Yeah, they're really peaking.
Angel Siny: Yet, despite all of that the Vegas handicappers have the pack as 2.5 point favorites. Nine out of ten "experts" at Pro Football Focus picked the Pack this week, as did most of the ESPN prognosticators. Sometimes, it's not who you play, but when you play them. If the Pack loses this one, they fall three behind the Panthers in the NFC home field race. Don't see that happening. The Pack rises and somehow finds a way.
Packers 23 Panthers 21