The Green Bay Packers will hit the road again and head to Baltimore to face the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens. The Packers have yet to have back-to-back home or road games this season and they will alternate home and road games until early November.
Winning on the road in the NFL is never easy, regardless of the opponent and the Packers have shown a tendency to win the hard way when away from Lambeau Field.
The Ravens entered this season having lost some of their salty veterans, but were still favorites to compete in the AFC in 2013. The Packers were also among the NFC favorites and are looking to take another step towards solidifying that notion with a big road win.
While it has been close to eight years since Green Bay visited Baltimore, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was there. It was his rookie season and he saw some playing time that Monday night. Unfortunately that was because the Ravens were pounding the Packers and then-quarterback Brett Favre. Rodgers was sacked three times and had an interception in relief of Favre. On ESPN’s “Tuesdays with Aaron” show this week, Rodgers recounted that game, showcasing more of his innate memory skills.
While Baltimore has had their share of struggles with a shaky offensive line and a lack of playmakers in the passing game, they are still the defending champions and they have not lost at home yet this season. If the Packers are going to emerge victorious, they will need a top-flight performance all around and mistake-free football to get it done.
Let’s look at this week’s keys to the game.
On defense, the Packers will be without linebacker Clay Matthews and they will need to find a way to keep pressure on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco has been sacked 14 times already this season and the Baltimore offensive line has struggled overall. Last week, the Ravens traded for Jacksonville Jaguars starting left tackle Eugene Monroe to help solidify the line, and Monroe is expected to make his debut on Sunday against Green Bay.
Last week against the Detroit Lions, the Packers were able to keep pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford with outside linebackers Nick Perry and Mike Neal. Both are expected to start on Sunday and an equally productive performance will be needed this week. Green Bay could be very thin on the outside, as rookie Andy Mulumba is nursing a knee injury and has not practiced this week.