staff predictions

Most on pundit panel feel Patriots will edge Packers

Matt Tevsh, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 7-2
Sunday's game: Patriots 24, Packers 23
Comment: The Packers will play well this week, but fall just short. They are playing the Patriots at the right time, though, ripe for an upset. Losing Mark Tauscher for at least a week will hurt some of the continuity on the offensive line, still the home crowd will keep the Packers in it. The game has the makings of one of those that are remembered for a long time.

Ken Stills, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 6-3
Sunday's game: Pats 26, Packers 21
Comment: Pivotal game for both teams. A loss for either team, and it could be their season.

Harry Sydney, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 5-4
Sunday's game: Patriots 31, Packers 17
Comment: This week is a very simple pick for me. As good as the Packers have been playing they are going up against probably on of the greatest coaches of our time as well as a very well oiled machine in the Pats. The Pats will win 31-17 because they are too balanced with the ability to run or pass effectively.

W. Keith Roerdink, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 5-4
Sunday's game: New England 28, Green Bay 24
Comment: There's no reason the Packers shouldn't win this game. Well, except for the fact that they've lost three games already that they could've won (New Orleans, St. Louis and Buffalo). And they've yet to beat a team with a winning record. Okay, that's two reasons. And it's hard to imagine a team as talented as the Patriots losing three in a row. Okay, three reasons. So despite the Packers getting some tremendous play out of Brett Favre, Donald Driver and the rest of the offense, along with some sacks and turnovers from the defense, a win just doesn't seem like a likely scenario. Here's another prediction: There will be yet another miscue / botched assignment in the secondary that will result in a big play for the opposing offense. How does Kurt Schottenheimer keep his job? This unit went from first to worst in the course of a year, despite getting rid of Ahmad Carroll and Mark Roman. Hel-LO, is anyone in a decision-making position (wink, wink, McCarthy or Thompson) paying attention? This is getting ridiculous.

Doug Ritchay, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 5-4
Sunday's game: Pats 27, Packers 20
Comment: This game isn't about Brett Favre and Tom Brady, although the national media paints that picture. It's about Bill Belichick and Brady facing off against Packers defensive coordinator Bob Sanders (gulp!). If Belichick pinpoints the Packers' weakness on defense — the secondary — and attacks, Sanders must respond or Favre will be pressed into forcing plays. If the game relies on Sanders ... do I need to go there?

Jay Royle, Publisher
Packers season prediction record: 5-4
Sunday's game: Pats 24, Packers 17
Comment: I think the Pack simply runs into bad timing here as Brady and Belichek won't lose 3 in a row. As competitive as the AFC is this is a must win for the Patriots.

Bob Fox, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 5-4
Sunday's game: Packers 20, Patriots 17
Comment: Brett Favre vs Tom Brady. It doesn't get much better than that. It's hard to believe, but this is only the second time that New England has ever played at Lambeau Field. The game is huge for the Packers in terms of their playoff chances, plus the the team can get back to .500 for the stretch run. Bill Belichick will come up with some defensive schemes that will try and confuse the Green Bay offensive line that will be starting three rookies. The Patriots offensive line will also be tested as Brady has been getting hit a lot lately and one of the Packer strengths is rushing the passer. Look for the Packers to try and establish their running game, utilizing play action and for the Green Bay defense to continue and bring more blitz packages to pressure Brady.

Steve Lawrence, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 4-5
Sunday's game: Patriots 24, Packers 10
Comment: Tom Brady is the better quarterback, Bill Belichick is the more experienced coach and the New England Patriots, with two straight losses, are the hungrier team.

Todd Korth, Managing Editor
Packers season prediction record: 4-5
Sunday's game: Packers 24, Patriots 21
Comment: The Packers have been playing very well on offense and defense lately, and the Patriots are struggling. Behind a home crowd that is still pumped from last week's victory over the hated Vikings, look for the Packers to hold off the Patriots.

Tom Andrews, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 3-6
Sunday's game: New England Patriots 23, Green Bay Packers 21
Comment: I must say, the Packers' performance against the Vikings was, for the most part, very impressive. Brett Favre continues to make his critics eat their words with solid quarterback play and a very strong arm. Donald Driver is on course for Hawaii and the Pro Bowl. The young offensive line continues to mature and, on defense, the linebacking corps of A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett and Brady Poppinga are really turning heads. Unfortunately, the secondary still has communications issues and is very vulnerable to the big play. Also unfortunately for Green Bay, they're catching the Patriots after two straight New England losses. Tom Brady and Co. will be in a nasty mood and they have a long track record of making other teams pay for their mistakes. I look for a very entertaining game with New England producing the clutch big play at the very end.

Laura Veras Marran, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 3-6
Sunday's game: Patriots 27, Packers 20
Comment: Things are starting to come together for the Green Bay, and Patriots aren't at the top of their game. Is this the real turning point for these better-than-expected Packers? On the plus side, the Packers' promising defense should be able to handle New England's somewhat tame receiving corps, and Vernand Morency returns from an injury to join a resurgent Ahman Green in the backfield. However, the Packers' nagging injuries continue to pile up, and cornerback Al Harris' progress could be slowed by illness this week. There hasn't been a good time to play the Patriots under Belichick, and this New England team is dangerous in an unfamiliar way. The Pats have their back against the wall for the first time in a very long while. An experienced team in a desperate situation may be too much for the Packers to handle at this point.

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