Green Bay Packers (3-4) at Buffalo Bills (5-1)
The Packers have started 3-4, a year after going 13-4, but their drop off isn’t all that surprising. Despite their record last season, the Packers finished just 10th in point differential and 11th in overall efficiency, despite an MVP season from Aaron Rodgers who, as good as he is, was no guarantee to play at quite the same level in 2022, now in his age 39 season. Add in the loss of by far their top wide receiver Davante Adams this off-season and some regression was to be expected from them, especially on offense.
In many ways, things have gone how you might expect, given the circumstances. The Packers’ defense has remained middling, ranking 17th in defensive efficiency in 2021 and 18th in 2022, but their offense has fallen off significantly, falling from 4th in offensive efficiency a year ago to 16th this season, while their horrendous special teams that ranked dead last efficiency a year ago has only been slightly better this year, ranking 28th. All in all, the Packers rank just 23rd in overall efficiency when adjusted for schedule, about two points below average, and my roster rankings only have them slightly higher, about one point above average. Despite the big name at quarterback, this team isn’t much more than a slightly above average team any way you look at it.
Making matters worse, now the Packers have to go on the road to face arguably the best team in the league, the Buffalo Bills, who rank first in my roster rankings and in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 12.5 points and 12 points above average respectively. This will be especially tough for the Packers because they tend to struggle away from home, in large part due to Aaron Rodgers having a 10 point drop off in QB rating on the road in his career, significantly above average. This line is 11, which is high, but I don’t think it’s quite high enough, with my calculated line at Buffalo -15.5. If that seems high, consider that 15 of the Bills’ last 17 wins have come by 12 points or more, with an average margin of victory over those 17 wins of 21.8 points per game, dating back to the start of last season. There isn’t quite enough here for the Bills to be worth betting, but they should be the right side for pick ‘em purposes.
Buffalo Bills 31 Green Bay Packers 16
Pick against the spread: Buffalo -11