I mentioned on “Good Packer-Nation Morning” this morning that I am hoping (and my son Jonah was the first to say this) that Hundley plays the entire first half and the last two quarters get divided up between Callahan and Williams. I do expect Hundley to get some serious reps in this game, particularly considering he missed the first two. So with that as my basis…I proceed with my prediction.
Here are other factors that I think will play into this game.
1. Special teams
I think the kicking game looks fine but I am suspicious of the kick coverage and return units. After last season, the last thing we want to see is a step back but missing Janis and with Goodson suspended for the first 4 games for PED’s (sound familiar?) the Packers will be searching for a gunner with anywhere near the talent that they had last year. I think the punting game will keep us in the field position battle on this one. And with the new touch-back rule, there will be little to see in the kick return game so to be honest, I expect a lackluster game from special teams.
I expect the defense to be sorely tested in this game. The absence of BJ Raji could be felt this time around though I expect the Packers to stay with Kenny Clark longer. Dean Lowry looked pretty good
As I said above…Brett Hundley’s play time will be the key for the Packers’ offense. Hundley flashed last year and has been forced to wait his turn in 2016. I expect to see a lot of Hundley and a lot of the Packers’ running game. Coach McCarthy showed against the Browns that he wants to run the ball and that trend will continue. That doesn’t mean play-action on first down would surprise me but coach McCarthy wants to make sure Eddie Lacy is where he should be. In light of that, I think we get one touchdown on the ground and one through the air. The Raiders will be playing more starters longer so I am expecting other points to be in the form of field goals…Mason Crosby gets two again Thursday night.
Packers 20 – Raiders 17