There are many statements made about NFL games that can be considered simple hype. The Green Bay Packers are hearing a lot of it this week.
And they should.
The Packers sit at 4-4, no less than two games worse than they have any right to be, and now with virtually no chance of catching the Fighting Favres for the NFC North.
It's a far cry from where people thought this talented team could have been at this point.
They're reeling from a loss to what was a winless team last week, and they have a red-hot 6-2 division leader coming to town this week.
Sounds like a must-win to me. This team can't afford to go 4-5, especially with the vultures circling over 1265 Lombardi Avenue already.
People want Mike McCarthy fired. They want assistants fired. They want general manager Ted Thompson's head, but that's been a common issue. None of this can last forever, because either the team will turn around, and the front office will look smart, or they'll go 6-10 again and management will have no choice other than to make changes.
In the meantime, the changes have to happen on the field. The sacks need to go away. The line has been terrible, and Aaron Rodgers can't keep standing back there and not using his athleticism when the mental clock runs out.
The defense has been pretty good, unless they are facing Favre. Perhaps it's some sort of brain lock, but they've had their moments in other games. It's certainly better than it was last year.
However, the Packers are out of chances. The Cowboys are tough, resilient, and will break Rodgers in half if the line doesn't suddenly get better.
The pick: Dallas
Other games (home team in CAPS)
SAN FRANCISCO over Chicago
New Orleans over ST. LOUIS
MIAMI over Tampa Bay
MINNESOTA over Detroit
N.Y. JETS over Jacksonville
TENNESSEE over Buffalo
PITTSBURGH over Cincinnati
Denver over WASHINGTON
Atlanta over CAROLINA
OAKLAND over Kansas City
SAN DIEGO over Philadelphia
ARIZONA over Seattle
INDIANAPOLIS over New England
Baltimore over CLEVELAND
Last week: 8-5