|2009 Bengals at Packers Point Spread Odds & Matchup Report|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Wednesday, 16 September 2009 11:59|
Green Bay, WI - The Green Bay Packers were not sharp offensively in their opener, but Aaron Rodgers was able to lead his team on a winning drive in the final minutes.
The Cincinnati Bengals, meanwhile, have had a week to dwell on a stunning last-minute defeat.
Rodgers and the Packers try to open 2-0 for the third straight season Sunday at Lambeau Field, where they will take on a Bengals club that has lost four straight on the road to NFC foes.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Packers –9.5 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 82% of bets for this game have been placed on the Packers –9.5 (View NFL bet percentages).
After Robbie Gould's field goal gave Chicago a 15-13 lead with 2:35 remaining Sunday night, Rodgers took the Packers on a 72-yard drive, throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings with 1:11 left. Jennings caught six passes for 106 yards and a two-point conversion following his touchdown in Green Bay's 21-15 victory.
"I was thinking, 'We're due. We're due for one good drive,''' Rodgers said. "I told the guys, just give me one drive."
Rodgers completed 17 of 28 passes for 184 yards and was sacked four times. In his first season as the starter in 2008, he endured 34 sacks as the Packers went 6-10.
"He had a rough night,'' coach Mike McCarthy said. "He was hit a bunch. Our pass protection was not what we were looking for.''
Right tackle Allen Barbre allowed two of the sacks Sunday in his first NFL start. McCarthy, though, told the Packers' official Web site that he is not ready to replace Barbre or any of the starting offensive lineman yet.
"I'll say this about Allen - he wasn't the only one who didn't play very well up front," McCarthy said. "Our protection unit did not play well, and that was a major cause for our frustration and our inability to move the football."
Cincinnati was held scoreless in its opener versus Denver until Cedric Benson's one-yard run with 38 seconds left gave the Bengals a 7-6 lead.
The Bengals has the Broncos pinned on their 13-yard line on the ensuing possession, but on second-and-10, a ball intended for wide receiver Brandon Marshall was deflected by Bengals cornerback Leon Hall. Denver's Brandon Stokley caught it and raced to the end zone with 11 seconds remaining.
According to the NFL, it was the longest winning play from scrimmage in the final minute of the fourth quarter in league history.
"I've never seen anything like that,'' Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer said following the 12-7 loss. "I've played football since I was 7 or 8, and I've not seen that.''
Palmer, who missed 12 games in 2008 after partially tearing a ligament in his right elbow, went 21 of 33 for 247 yards and two interceptions. He will try to lead Cincinnati to its first road win versus an NFC club since a 31-16 victory over New Orleans on Nov. 19, 2006.
Palmer and the Bengals will be facing Green Bay's newly installed 3-4 defense. The scheme worked well last week, as the Packers held Chicago to 2.8 yards per carry and forced Jay Cutler into a career-high four interceptions.
Johnny Jolly, a 320-pound defensive end, had one of the picks on a screen pass in the second quarter after Cutler led the Bears to the Packers' 8-yard line.
Green Bay last had four interceptions in a 37-31 win at Detroit on Sept. 22, 2002.
Packers safety Atari Bigby, who had three tackles Sunday, may be unavailable against the Bengals after suffering a knee sprain in Week 1. Aaron Rouse or Derrick Martin could replace Bigby.
Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco caught five passes for 89 yards in Sunday's loss. He has not caught a touchdown in his last five games, but during a conference call Wednesday, said he'd do the "Lambeau Leap" into the stands if he scores Sunday.
Ochocinco has not recorded a 100-yard receiving game since he had 131 with two touchdowns against Miami on Dec. 30, 2007.
Green Bay won 24-10 on Dec. 3, 1995, in the teams' last meeting at Lambeau Field.
Posted: 9/16/09 4:58PM ET