On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers will travel to M&T Bank Stadium to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The game is scheduled to kickoff at noon with television coverage on FOX. Both teams are coming off of victories, with the Packers defeating the Detroit Lions, while the Ravens took down the Miami Dolphins.
The Packers defense will face some adversity this week as star linebacker Clay Matthews is out for a month with a broken thumb. With Matthews out, the Packers will need to turn to second year linebacker Nick Perry, and defensive end turned linebacker Mike Neal. Perry was drafted with the thought that he could be Matthews’ compliment as the other pass rushing linebacker. But, after suffering a season-ending injury early last season, the Packers weren’t able to see what Perry could do on defense. With Matthews sidelined, it’s Perry turn to prove why he was a first round pick.
Considering how strong the Ravens defense has been in previous years, this game might just come down to the battle of the kickers. Last season, a saying like that would have scared Packers fans to death. This year, while many fans would normally be worried if it came down to kicking, Packers kicker Mason Crosby is showing why fans should not be concerned anymore. After having a horrible season last year, Crosby seems to have regained this mush needed confidence. Last week against the Lions, Crosby was a perfect five for five, including a long of 52 yards. For the most part of last season, Crosby looked like a kicker who was going to be out of a job. But late in the year, Crosby seemed to regain his confidence and was making field goals with ease. That is the Mason Crosby that has been kicking for the Packers this year. As long as he keeps making kicks, the Packers will be just fine.
This matchup against the Ravens should get the Packers’ players all fired up. After all, they are facing the defending Super Bowl champions. This game will also be another statement game for the Packers. Earlier in the year, they lost their other big games against the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals, both of which were on the road. If the Packers want to prove they are legit contenders, they have to win these big road games.