NFL Week 8 SNF Packers vs. Bills: Aaron Rodgers in Unfamiliar Underdog Role

stefon diggs buffalo bills pass nfl
Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills catches a pass during the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Jason Hanna/Getty Images/AFP

Two teams headed in opposite directions will meet in Buffalo on Sunday. The Bills are riding a three-game winning streak, with the most recent victory coming over the Chiefs in what might have been the marquee showdown of the first half of the season.

Then Buffalo got a week off for its bye to celebrate in the afterglow of the big win. The Bills lead the NFL in point differential, outscoring foes by an average of 16 points per week, thanks to an explosive offense and a defense that is the only one in the NFL not to allow 100 points yet this year.

They’ll face the visiting Packers, who are searching for answers after losing their third straight game on Sunday, to Washington. The Packers have struggled on offense this season, including games where they’ve put up seven, 10 and 14 points.

The normally automatic Aaron Rodgers has struggled with accuracy and, on Sunday, had to cope with a thumb injury that had him tape up his hand at halftime.

Green Bay Packers vs. Buffalo Bills

Sunday, October 30, 2022 – 08:20 PM EDT at Highmark Stadium

Looking for Answers

The Packers are suffering through their longest losing streak since 2018, and it’s come against what was supposed to be a soft spot in the schedule. Green Bay lost to the Giants, Jets, and Commanders over the last three weeks.

A week ago, Rodgers called for Green Bay to simplify its offense. He wasn’t happy after the most recent loss, either. “We scored 14 points [on offense],” he said. “Seven in a two-minute [drill], seven on a short field. Last week, we scored 10 points –three in a two-minute, seven in a no-huddle. It hasn’t been winning football on offense.”

Rodgers struggled with accuracy, and when he did have the ball in the right spot, his young receivers often responded with drops or miscommunications that had them elsewhere. All in all, the Packers are just not on the same page on offense.

Rodgers’ Lineup Has Suffered Significant Injuries

Part of the problem might be injuries to veterans. The team had to scramble its offensive line at the last minute before Sunday’s game when tackle David Bakhtiari wasn’t able to go due to a knee injury.

Receiver Allen Lazard, who is Rodgers’ most reliable target this season, suffered a shoulder injury late in Sunday’s game, and rookie receiver Christian Watson has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.

All three players will be monitored, and the team desperately needs them to return to full strength if it hopes to snap out of its funk.

Receiver Randall Cobb won’t be back for Sunday’s game after being placed on injured reserve.

Everything Coming up Bills

Buffalo made its statement that it’s the team to beat in the AFC, and possibly the NFL, with a win over the Chiefs in a rematch of last season’s AFC title game.

The Bills’ offense has not had any of the problems the Packers are currently facing. Receiver Stefon Diggs was second in the NFL in catches, yards and touchdowns following the Chiefs game, although the bye week gave receivers on other teams the chance to catch up, and quarterback Josh Allen has been rolling all season long.

The team’s run game hasn’t been as explosive as the passing offense. Buffalo ranks middle of the back in rushing offense and reportedly checked in on the price for Christian McCaffrey, who the Panthers ended up trading to the 49ers late last week.

Even without trading for an All-Pro, however, there are signs the run game could be trending up. Devin Singletary had 85 yards in the Chiefs game.

Packers vs. Bills: The Betting Pick

Rogers is a surefire Hall of Famer and has always found a way to carry his team to victory.

He’s a double-digit underdog for the first time in his career and was playing the role this week, saying, “this week nobody is going to give us a chance, we’re going to Buffalo on Sunday night football with a chance to get exposed…shoot, might be the best thing for us.”

He may be right, but the smart money is that the Buffalo defense will keep Rodgers and the Packers from finding any answers on Sunday night.

NFL Pick: Bills -10.5 (-110) at FanDuel