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Bills-Packers preview: Next Gen Stats highlight Aaron Rodgers, De’Vondre Campbell

How will the Bills fare in primetime as double-digit favorites?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Washington Commanders Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After an electric Week 6 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and a Week 7 bye, the Buffalo Bills are back to business as they prepare to host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. The Bills are currently 11-point favorites, which—if the line holds—would be Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’s first career game as a double-digit underdog. Expectations are high for Bills Mafia because Buffalo has been dominant, while Green Bay has lost three straight games to below-average opponents—most recently the Washington Commanders.

Rodgers has been vocal the last few weeks about the losing and miscommunication within the team, but played the underdog card in a post-game press conference on Sunday evening, saying that the Packers’ forthcoming trip to Orchard Park, NY as underdogs “might be the best thing for us.”

When it comes to the game plan for Buffalo, there aren’t many true threats aside from Rodgers, but he has been struggling mightily this season. He went 23-of-35 for 194 yards and two touchdowns against the Commanders.

Per Next Gen Stats, Rodgers garnered a passer rating of 99.0 and found success through quick, short routes—with his average intended air yards (5.0) ranking the third-lowest of the week. Rodgers also ranked second-fastest in average time to throw (2.35 seconds) and second-lowest in average completed air yards (2.9).

The Bills have limited opposing quarterbacks quite well thus far, and with a fully healthy defense (aside from cornerback Tre’Davious White and safety Micah Hyde), they shouldn’t have any many issues covering Green Bay’s underwhelming receiving threats. Get ready for plenty of checkdown throws to running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon on Sunday night.

On the defensive side of the ball for the Packers, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell is much like Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds—meaning that he’s usually all over the field accumulating relatively high tackle numbers. In the second quarter of Week 7, Campbell picked off Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke and took it to the house for a pick-six.

According to Next Gen Stats, since Campbell joined Green Bay in 2021, opposing quarterbacks have lost -33.2 EPA when targeting him, which is nearly double any other linebacker. This won’t matter too much, because Campbell won’t be guarding wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, but it will surely affect quarterback Josh Allen’s thought process in throwing across the middle of the field near him.

Even if the Packers turn it around in one week’s time and look rejuvenated, it may not be enough to overcome Allen and the Bills. Diggs and Davis may not perform per usual against the league’s top-rated pass defense, but running back Devin Singletary has a real chance to post his best game of the season. That’s because the Packers’ defense has allowed over 975 rushing yards and an average of 4.8 yards per carry thus far this season.