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Buffalo Bills host Sunday Night Football in Week 8: What to know about the matchup

ORCHARD PARK - Minutes after the Green Bay Packers lost their third straight game Sunday afternoon, a third straight game against a team they were favored to beat, Aaron Rodgers had this to say about their next challenge.

“This week nobody’s gonna give us a chance going to Buffalo on Sunday Night Football,” Rodgers said. “It’s a chance to get exposed. Shoot, it might be the best thing for us.”

Be careful what you wish for. Rodgers is right, the way the Packers have played this season, they very well could get embarrassed if the Bills play up to their capabilities when they host Green Bay at Highmark Stadium.

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Since going 3-1, the Packers have a loss to the Giants in London, a one-sided loss to the Jets at Lambeau Field, and then perhaps worst of all, a seemingly impossible defeat Sunday to Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders in Washington.

Aaron Rodgers leaves the field Sunday after losing to the Commanders.
Aaron Rodgers leaves the field Sunday after losing to the Commanders.

Rodgers has thus lost head-to-head QB duels to the Daniel Jones, Zack Wilson and Heinicke, none of whom will ever be compared to Josh Allen.

Before the Sunday night game in Miami, Cris Collinsworth commented that while Rodgers may have just played the “nobody thinks we’ll win card” he also said no one should ever discount Rodgers’ ability to turn things around. After all, he is Aaron Rodgers.

All of which is to say, yes, the Bills should win the game, but they better not take a future Hall of Famer lightly.

Top players for Green Bay Packers on offense, defense

Aaron Jones scored on this first-half run in Green Bay's loss to Washington.
Aaron Jones scored on this first-half run in Green Bay's loss to Washington.

QB Aaron Rodgers: Do you think he misses Davante Adams? The Packers simply don’t have enough viable receiving weapons and Rodgers is struggling because of it. His single-game passing yardage high this year is 255 against Tampa Bay and his passer rating is 94.9 which, if the season ended today, would be the third-worst of his career.

RB Aaron Jones: He’s averaging 5.5 yards per attempt but in the last two games he has 17 carries for 42 yards. And now he’s going against what is statistically the NFL’s No. 1 run defense as the Bills are allowing just 76.2 yards per game.

RB A.J. Dillon: He’s the other half of the Packers decent 1-2 running punch as the 247-pound freight train has 301 yards on 77 carries. However, in the last three games the Packers have managed only 192 yards on the ground.

WR Allen Lazard: He has been given the task of trying to replace Adams and to date he has 26 catches for 340 yards and four TDs. Simply put, he’s no Adams.

WR Sammy Watkins: When Randall Cobb went down last week, Watkins was activated off injured reserve Sunday after he missed four games. He didn’t have much impact against Washington, but for the season he has averaged 18.4 yards on his eight receptions.

▶ TE Robert Tonyan: He’s not in the ballpark of Travis Kelce or George Kittle, but he’s an athletic pass catcher who leads the Packers with 30 receptions which have gone for 251 yards and a TD.

DE Rashan Gary: He has been Green Bay’s best all-around defender with the highest cumulative grade from Pro Football Focus. He leads the team in pressures (25) and sacks (6) and has 20 stops, defined by PFF as a play that constitutes a failure for the offense.

DT Kenny Clark: Now in his seventh season with the Packers, the 315-pounder is still a force in the middle of the line.

LB DeVondre Campbell: He was in on 12 tackles, three for lost yardage, and also had an interception return for a touchdown in the loss to Washington.

CB Jaire Alexander: He’s the highest-paid cornerback in league history because he’s one of the best one-on-one cover men in the league. In some games, he has traveled with the opposition’s best receiver, but against the Bills, he may not because they have both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis.

What the game means to Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers

Kenny Clark has never played a game for the Packers as a double-digit underdog.
Kenny Clark has never played a game for the Packers as a double-digit underdog.

For the first time since Matt LaFleur became head coach in 2019, the Packers have lost three games in a row. His overall record is a magnificent 42-14, as good a start to a career as any coach has ever had, but for the first time in his tenure he is now facing some real adversity.

The Packers are 3-4 and they trail first-place Minnesota (5-1) by 2 ½ games in the loss column and that’s before you factor in that the Vikings have the head-to-head tiebreaker right now. Green Bay is desperate for a victory.

For the 5-1 Bills, they cannot let up. The AFC East is much better than anyone could have predicted as the Jets are now 5-2, the Dolphins are 4-3 and the Patriots will most likely be 4-3 after Monday night when they play the woeful Bears. The Bills may be the best team in the NFL, but their division lead is tenuous.

Who is favored in the Bills vs Packers game?

Oct 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam (24) celebrates with linebacker Matt Milano (58) and cornerback Dane Jackson (30) after an interception against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam (24) celebrates with linebacker Matt Milano (58) and cornerback Dane Jackson (30) after an interception against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in his career, Rodgers is staring at a double-digit point spread that’s not in his favor. It almost looks like a misprint to see the Bills as the early 10.5-point favorite over Green Bay. Imagine that.

The money line is Bills minus-500 (bet $500 to win $100) and Packers plus-375 (bet $100 to win $375). The over-under for the game is 47.5.

What time does the Bills vs Packers game start?

Kickoff is set for 8:25 p.m. at Highmark Stadium.

How to watch Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills

Cable/Network TV: NBC with announcers Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst), and Melissa Stark (sideline reporter). The game will be available locally via the following stations: WHEC (Channel 10, Rochester), WGRZ (Buffalo area), WSTM (Syracuse area), WKTV (Utica area), WETM (Elmira area), WNYT (Albany area), and WBGH (Binghamton area).

Online streaming services: NFL.com and the NFL mobile app. Also, the NFL has a new streaming service called NFL+ which replaces NFL Game Pass, though you can’t cast the games to your TV - you must watch on your phone or tablet. The cost is $5 a month or $30 for the season, and a premium tier costs $10/$80 which includes all-22 coaches film and condensed and full-game replays. With it, you’ll be able to watch every local game on Sunday and the national games on Monday and Thursday nights as well as the playoffs and the Super Bowl. You can also stream if you have subscriptions to DirecTV, fuboTV, NFL+, Sling, Vidgo, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and Peacock.

On the radio: How to listen to the Bills vs Packers game

The Bills Radio Network has stations all across the state. They include Rochester (WCMF 96.5 and WROC 950 AM), Buffalo (WGR550, 550 AM), Syracuse (WTKW 99.5/WTKV 105.5), Binghamton (WDRE 100.5FM), Ithaca (WIII 99.9/100.3 FM), Bath (WVIN 98.3 FM), Newark (WACK 1420 AM), Dansville (WDNY 93.9 FM), Elmira (WNGZ 1490 AM), Auburn (WAUB 98.1 FM/1590 AM), and Geneva (WGVA 95.9 FM, 1240 AM). You can also listen on SiriusXM satellite radio on channel 225 (Bills) and channel 226 (Packers).

Sal Maiorana can be reached at maiorana@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.To subscribe to Sal's new twice-a-week newsletter, Bills Blast, please follow this link: https://profile.democratandchronicle.com/newsletters/bills-blast

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Who do the Bills play next? Key Sunday Night Football game in Week 8