WHEN: Sunday, Noon, CT
WHERE: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
TV: CBS, Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
SERIES: 8th meeting. The Patriots and Packers have only met seven times, with Green Bay winning five of those meetings. The biggest matchup came in Super Bowl XXXI when Brett Favre and the Packers outlasted New England 35-21. Green Bay has won four straight in this series, with the Patriots last victory coming way back in 1985. The last time these two met was in 2002 at Gillette Stadium. In that game, Favre threw for three touchdowns, while Tom Brady tossed three interceptions in a convincing 28-10 Packers victory.
2006 RANKINGS: Patriots: offense 11th (7th rush, 13th pass); defense 9th (3rd rush, 23rd pass). Packers: offense 7th (16th rush, 6th pass); defense 22nd (7th rush, 31st pass)
PREDICTION: Patriots 34-30
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Patriots will be without FS Rodney Harrison, and Packers QB Brett Favre should put up big numbers if he's allowed to sit in the pocket and survey the field. New England's pass rush couldn't pressure Jets QB Chad Pennington much last Sunday, but will get a chance to work against three rookies on Green Bay's offensive line -- including Tony Moll starting for injured veteran RT Mark Tauscher. This has the potential to be a horse race up and down the field with Patriots QB Tom Brady working against the league's lowest-rated pass defense. New England's ground game led by RBs Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney could prove to play an important role for the Patriots.
Patriots: First visit to Lambeau Field in 27 years. ... Are 21-3 since 1993 when the temperature at kickoff is 34 degrees or below.
Packers: OLB A.J. Hawk is on pace for 160 tackles, which would be six shy of Rich Wingo's franchise rookie record set in 1979. ... Have 38 players who weren't born the last time New England played in Lambeau in 1979.