Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers
Sunday, 21:25 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Action
Backfield support key for Rodgers
Throughout his career Aaron Rodgers has dazzled with a unique passing style that has seen him win two MVP awards, set multiple NFL records and win a Super Bowl, but he has often suffered from the lack of a consistent running game to support him. That seems to have changed in 2019, with young runner Aaron Jones enjoying a career best season. Jones has developed in to a genuine dual-threat in his third year as a pro, he is third in the league in rushing TDs and only three running backs have more receiving yards than the 24-year-old.
Rodgers has thrived with the support of Jones but has also benefited from the emergence of another running back, Jamaal Williams, as an excellent pass catcher. Rodgers has thrown a touchdown pass to Williams in each of the last four games a streak that I don't think will end on Sunday night. Both Jones (5/6) and Williams (15/8) are a good price to score, particularly as the Panthers have already conceded 14 touchdowns to running backs this season.
McCaffrey at it again for Carolina
Every week Carolina's opponents set up to try and stop Christian McCaffrey, and every week they fail. The MVP award is usually won by a Quarterback, but McCaffrey will surely pick up a few votes this year. The Colorado native has amassed 1,244 yards from scrimmage (42% of team total) and scored 13 touchdowns (43% of team total) as he has been the undisputed heart of the Panthers' offence. With QB Cam Newton now officially out for the year Kyle Allen will continue to deputise, the sophomore signal caller is a solid player but teams will key in on McCaffrey and challenge Allen to beat them with his arm.
However, Green Bay may not have much success stopping McCaffrey as they've struggled against the run all season. The Packers are ranked 24th against the run and gave up a combined 150 yards and two TDs in a surprise loss to the San Diego Chargers last week. While Green Bay are rightly favourites for this game, and should win well, look for McCaffrey to continue his sensational season.
Expect points with stars on show
With so many offensive stars on show on Sunday in Green Bay I think the points line, Over/Under 46.5, is far too low. The Panthers did well to hold Deshaun Watson and the Texans to just 10 points in Week 4, but have given up at least 20 points in every other game they have played. Green Bay have been a little better, allowing 21 points per game, although they have played some pretty anemic offensive units so far this year. The return of wide receiver Davante Adams didn't do much for Green Bay last week but the 26-year-old adds an extra dimension to the Packers passing game that they lacked in the weeks he missed through injury.
Adams has been Rodgers favourite target for a while now and will no doubt be relied on to move the chains this week. On the other sideline, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel have been dependable options for Kyle Allen. As the Packers try to stop McCaffrey it could open up space for Moore and Samuel to have some success. I expect the home crowd to go home happy, and they'll have seen a high scoring game in the process.