The Patriots (11-2) might have an opportunity to win the AFC East title if they knock off the Packers (8-5) on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium in front of a national audience.
The Green Bay Packers, meanwhile, are in desperate need of a victory if they want to keep pressure on the Bears in the NFC North, as well as stay alive for a playoff spot.
Leading the Pack will likely be former LSU slinger and 2008 seventh-rounder Matt Flynn, as Aaron Rodgers' status is uncertain.
WHEN AND WHERE
Sunday, December 19, 2010, 8:20 p.m. ET Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
The Packers lead the all-time series 5-4, including their victory in Super Bowl XXXI. The Patriots are 3-2 against the Packers in New England, but the Packers are 1-0 at Gillette Stadium and were the first team to ever beat the Pats at Gillette.
Since 2001, the Patriots are an NFL-best 58-14 (.806) in games on or after Thanksgiving. They haven’t gone undefeated in that stretch since 2003, but they're 3-0 since Turkey Day this season.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 1-1 in his career against the Packers, and he's completed 44 of 75 passes (58.7 percent) for 427 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion Sunday and didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday, and Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers couldn’t even watch film or attend team meetings Wednesday. His availability for Sunday's game seems to be very much in doubt.
Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn has thrown 46 career passes, completing 25 of them (54.3 percent) for 246 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. In last week's loss to the Lions, Flynn was 15-for-26 for 177 yards and one interception. So, until last week, Flynn had attempted just 20 career passes.
There was a point when the Packers looked like a true Super Bowl contender, but they've been overcome by injuries and are in serious danger of missing the playoffs. The Patriots, on the other hand, have been steamrolling teams in the last few weeks, and they're hitting their December stride in Patriot-like fashion.
The Patriots should beat the Packers, and if quarterback Aaron Rodgers can play, he'll probably keep it close. Otherwise, the Patriots will be giving the Pack a tour of blowout city.