Following their 23-21 loss to the Washington Commanders yesterday—a loss which dropped the Green Bay Packers to 3-4 on the year, 2.5 games behind first-place Minnesota—quarterback Aaron Rodgers was encouraged about his team’s prospects, riding a three-game losing streak into a Sunday Night Football showdown with the Buffalo Bills.
“I’m not worried about this squad. In fact, this might be the best thing for us,” Rodgers told reporters after the game, as relayed by Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “This week, nobody’s going to give us a chance, going to Buffalo on ‘Sunday Night Football,’ with a chance to get exposed. Shoot, this might be the best thing for us.”
It’s an interesting take, considering that the Packers as a franchise have never won a game in Orchard Park, NY. They don’t come by often, true, but the Packers are still 0-6 all-time in road games against the Bills. That stretch goes all the way back to 1979, with the most recent defeat coming at the hands of Doug Marrone and Kyle Orton in 2014.
Another noteworthy fact: the Bills are 5-0 coming off of their bye week since Sean McDermott took over as head coach in 2017.
It’s also worth casually mentioning that Buffalo is currently on a six-game winning streak at home—including playoffs—which has seen them vanquish the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, and Pittsburgh Steelers by an average final score of 35-11.
Then there’s the fact that the Bills are 5-1 and very much playing on par with their sky-high preseason expectations, while the Packers... are taking a different path. And yet, Buffalo will not overlook this Green Bay outfit, despite their currently diverging paths, considering that the Packers have won 13 games in each of the last three regular seasons, and are spearheaded by a future Hall of Fame quarterback, a strong running game, and a talented defense. That is not the profile of a team that McDermott and the Bills would take lightly.
Perhaps, considering all of these historical and current-context factors, that’s why the Bills opened the week as 10.5-point betting favorites in the game—which, if it holds, will be the largest point spread deficit that Rodgers has faced in his pro career.
I certainly understand a competitor playing the underdog card. It’s a great way to rally the troops in the midst of troubling times. The Bills are very familiar with playing the underdog card themselves—but they’ll have no need for that this coming Sunday night.