By Danny Cox
The Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots both look as if they are heading for a playoff spot, barring a huge collapse, but a battle with one another is what is going down for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Many are looking at this as a potential Super Bowl match-up and one that will have two elite quarterbacks facing off in what could be one of the best shootouts of the current season.
CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson spent some time to talk with me about the big game of week 13 slate, and she knows that there are a lot of factors which will determine the team that comes out on top. Both have played well as expected, but Wolfson said that the teams need to play to their strengths and both head coaches need to play their type of game to come out with a win.
Both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are considered elite quarterbacks; with the season that Rodgers is having, do you think he has moved ahead of or pulled equal with Brady?
Tracy Wolfson: “I don’t think one has moved ahead of the other—they are both elite quarterbacks. One doesn’t stick out over the other.
You know Tom Brady, it doesn’t matter who he is surrounded by because he is going to make it work and make those players better. The Patriots are playing tremendous football and it is because they are on the same page.
Aaron Rodgers, in the same breath, has been playing great football and has an offense to help him. Both offenses are really working at this time and one quarterback can’t be put ahead of the other.”
The Patriots defense is playing well, but not great. How do they contain both the Packers’ passing game and Eddie Lacy?
TW: “They want to stop the run…they have the corners to stop the passing game of the Packers with (Randall) Cobb and Jordy Nelson. They have the corners that can stay with them, but then they are going to be focused on stopping the run. When it comes to Bill Belichick, he always dials up some defense that is going to work well. He’s always looking ahead and this is the number one game this week.
Belichick, you can be sure, has something up his sleeve to stop Aaron Rodgers.”
Do you believe LeGarrette Blount really kind of always wanted to just stay in New England?
TW: “I don’t know if he always wanted to be back in New England, but he wanted an opportunity to probe himself. He’s kind of struggled in his career of not getting into trouble. The leaving the field situation…he’s struggled and needed to find a comfort zone and that seems like it is New England. The Bill Belichick system can help him with that and Blount will utilize him the right way as he had before.
Now, the Patriots were getting a player that was upset and had something to prove and he did it last week. That may change this week and it remains to be seen, but so far, he’s shown that he’s more comfortable than he was in Pittsburgh.”
Are we looking at a possible Super Bowl match-up?
TW: “Oh, I definitely think we are. That’s what is so intriguing about this match-up. I thought Green Bay going into this season…everyone knew and thought they were a playoff team and a Super Bowl team. Watching New England earlier this year, you didn’t think that. Now, they seem to have everything going for them and all the parts are working – defensively, offensively, and they have so many weapons.
It’s the same thing with the Packers, they have so many weapons and you don’t know where they are going to hurt you. Both teams are improving week-to-week and that’s how they are winning these games. So yes, this is possibly an early preview of the Super Bowl.”
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.