BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots fans are probably sick of night games at this point.
Sunday night’s clash with the Green Bay Packers will be New England’s fifth night game of the season, and when you sprinkle in all those late nights (and one really early morning) from the Red Sox’ World Series run, it’s been fairly exhausting to keep up with your favorites teams.
But fret not, because this week is the final night game on the Patriots scheduled. At least for now. They could still get flexed somewhere along the way, but we’ll have at least a few weeks warning if that comes up.
While three of New England’s previous four night games were duds, Sunday night against the Packers has all the makings to be a regular season classic: Two great quarterbacks against defenses that only occasionally play defense.
Here’s what the WBZ-TV and CBS Boston sports teams are expecting out of Sunday night’s tilt in Foxboro.
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV
The Patriots are in for their biggest challenge of the season. Don’t let the Packers’ 3-3-1 record fool you — this team can strike fast and often.
Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will square off for the first time in Foxboro and just the second time overall. I have a feeling both of these superstars will live up to the hype in this showdown.
The Patriots are 6-2 and still aren’t really rolling yet, but they should be soon. Green Bay is coming off a loss to the Rams; a game they should have won. So they’re coming in angry and hungry for a win. They have the firepower, but it won’t be enough against the Patriots on their home field.
Patriots 34, Packers 28
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
This matchup has shootout written all over it much like the Brady-Mahomes battle we saw with the Pats and Chiefs. Aaron Rodgers has had success against the Patriots going back to 2014 when he threw for 368 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 26-21 win in Green Bay. Not much left to be said about how Brady rises up to the challenge every time he faces a great QB. I like the Pats because they’re at home.
Patriots 34, Packers 30
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
This is one of those prime-time games that we all have circled on the NFL calendar.
It’s The G.O.A.T vs. The Gifted. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have only met one time before, back in 2014, and the Packers won in Green Bay. On Sunday night though, this will have a different outcome. The Patriots will get back to their running game because it looks like Sony Michel is improving.
The Packers are starting a very young secondary in this game, which means Brady and the offense should continue their pace.
Patriots 34, Packers 24
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Everybody’s caught up in the Brady-Rodgers hooplah, and it’s hard to blame them. The idea of these guys going out there and playing a flag football type of game is exciting.
While I do think the Patriots will have to lose another game or two between now and January, I actually like them in this spot. They’re 4-0 at home, where everything has just been flowing better offensively. I do think Aaron Rodgers will be able to have himself a day, but ultimately the Patriots have much better coaching and a better all-around roster, rendering the much-hyped QB battle a little bit meaningless at the end of the day.
Patriots 44, Packers 37
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
Pew Pew! We got a shootout coming!
Aaron Rodgers is awesome. He makes throws that no human should be able to make. The Packers will put up a bunch of points against a Patriots defense that is still trying to iron out some issues.
But Tom Brady is awesomer, and he too gets to play a defense that isn’t all that great. The Green Bay D is better than it has been in years past, but they are still giving up a ton of yards and points. They held the Rams to 23 points last week, which is no small accomplishment, but they’ve given up at least 23 points in every game but one this season. That was a shutout win over the Bills, whom we know are not a real football team.
This one will likely come down to which of those two quarterbacks has the ball in their hands last. The late nights have been tough, but I have an inkling there will be some extra football played Sunday night.
Patriots 37, Packers 31 OT