Week Six of the NFL season is upon us, and the Ravens will host the Green Bay Packers at M&T Bank Stadium Oct. 13. After game temperatures reached 93 degrees Oct. 6 in Miami, the temperature Oct. 13 should be cooler for the Baltimore players. The game-time temperature is expected to be around 67 degrees. But it could be worse -- the average temperature in Green Bay in October is a balmy 48 degrees.
There are two key players to watch in this matchup: wide receiver Torrey Smith (Baltimore) and quarterback Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay).
Smith has been the Ravens' MVP this season. He has more than 100 yards during each of the last two games. He will try to tie current Ravens broadcaster Qadry Ismail's team record from 1999 by having a third consecutive game with more than 100 receiving yards. Smith has been quarterback Joe Flacco's go-to guy, having 40.9 percent of the team's receiving yards and making big play after big play, despite having only one touchdown reception.
Torrey Smith Versus Other Ravens Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Receiving Yards: 556 for Smith, 688 for other wide receivers/tight ends
Receiving Yards Per Game: 111.2, 137.6
Average Yards Per Catch: 20.6, 11.3
Longest Reception (In Yards): 74, 43 (Ed Dickson)
For the Green Bay Packers, look no further than Rodgers. In 2005, he sat in the green room waiting to be drafted. Rodgers was expected to be a high draft pick after playing in a pass-happy offense at the University of California. While at Cal in 2004, he tied an NCAA record with 23 consecutive completions against the University of Southern California, which went on to win the national championship that year.
But come draft time, Cleveland (receiver Braylon Edwards), Tampa Bay (running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams), Minnesota (twice -- receiver Troy Williamson and defensive end Erasmus James) and Jacksonville (receiver Matt Jones) all passed on Rodgers. Rodgers was one of three quarterbacks that were drafted during the first round in 2005. His numbers are eye popping (especially his touchdown-to-interception ratio).
NFL Quarterbacks Drafted During The First Round In 2005
1. Alex Smith, San Francisco: 2,362 attempts; 1,398 completions; 15,482 yards; 59.2 percent completions; 88 touchdowns; 66 interceptions
24. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay: 2,817 attempts; 1,853 completions; 22,992 yards; 65.8 percent completions; 180 touchdowns; 49 interceptions
25. Jason Campbell, Oakland: 2,186 attempts; 1,329 completions; 14,688 yards; 60.8 percent completions; 76 touchdowns; 52 interceptions
Outlook: The Baltimore Ravens have won 20 of their last 22 home games and dismantled the Green Bay Packers, 48-3, in 2005, when they last met in Baltimore. After then-Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre was ineffective and threw his second interception of the game, Rodgers replaced him. Rodgers was just as ineffective, going 8-for-15 for 65 yards with one interception and getting sacked three times.
Fast-forward eight years and Rodgers, who has a Super Bowl MVP award on his résumé, should put up a better performance this time around. He has 15 touchdowns, three interceptions during his last five starts versus AFC teams and continues to show why he is currently the only NFL quarterback to have a career passer rating of more than 100.0 (105.0).
Wide receivers Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones all average more 81 yards receiving per game and present a defensive nightmare for the Ravens. The Ravens have had a problem with their pass defense this season, allowing 300 yards passing Oct. 6 to Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill and allowing more than 400 yards passing Sept. 5 to Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.
Flacco will likely have to lead the Ravens' offense to the end zone at least four times in order to win this game. Running back Ray Rice came to life Oct. 6, rushing for two touchdowns during a victory at Miami. This is a statement game for the Ravens against one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
Prediction: Ravens 28, Green Bay 24