Rams vs. Packers: NFL Divisional Round odds, preview, and pick
For either the Packers or the Rams, there are just eight quarters left before a potential trip to the Super Bowl.
The fanfare, the prestige, the history, and a halftime performance from the Weeknd. What more could you want?
The Packers are the No. 1 seed and will host the Rams, who sprung a surprise and took out the Seahawks, 30-20, on Saturday.
Green Bay opened as a touchdown favorite for the game at Lambeau Field, and in no small part because of the Rams' quality defense, the total is the lowest out of all the games in the Divisional Round.
Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Rams
Sat, January 16 2021, 9:35 PM
Can Green Bay buck the playoff trend?
The Packers went 13-3 during the regular season and racked up 509 points along the way, as the highest-scoring offense in the league.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is having an MVP season, wide receiver Davante Adams is pulling down catches that boggle the mind, and running back Aaron Jones surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for a second consecutive season. It’s a serious offense.
On the other side of the ball, Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith have strengthened the Green Bay defense and contributed to a fierce pass rush.
The only concern for the Packers is their playoff form. They were defeated in the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco in 2019, got hammered by Atlanta in 2016, and had overtime heartbreak against Arizona in 2015 and Seattle in 2014.
The defensive battering Rams
The Rams' success this season has been built on a rock-solid defense.
During the regular season, they gave up the fewest passing yards per game (190), third-fewest rushing yards per game (91), the fewest total yards per game (282), and the fewest points per game (18.5). They kept the Giants, Patriots, and Falcons all to single-figure point tallies this year.
In the Rams' victory over the Seahawks in the Wild Card round, Los Angeles restricted Seattle to just 11 first downs.
The problem for the Rams has been offense.
Quarterback John Wolford suffered a neck injury against the Seahawks, which meant starter Jared Goff might need to step in again, even though he isn't 100% after a recent thumb surgery.
Rodgers is the MVP in waiting
Rodgers is in line for his third MVP Award. He threw for 48 touchdown passes during the regular season and completed passes at a 70.7% rate, which both led the league. He also averaged 8.2 yards per pass attempt.
It helps when you have Adams at the end of your passes. Even though he missed a few games, Adams still boasts a 30% target share for the Packers and has hauled in 115 catches for 1,374 yards — only 12 yards shy of his best season in the NFL.
They’re not bad in the rushing game, either. Only Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, and Jonathan Taylor had more rushing yards in the regular season than Jones, and the Packers running back averaged 5.5 yards per carry.
The Rams Secretary of Defence
President-elect Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Lloyd Austin as his Secretary of Defense, but he might have been better going after Aaron Donald or Leonard Floyd. The pair recorded 25 sacks between them during the regular season.
Donald exited Saturday’s game against the Seahawks with a rib injury, but the Rams are confident he’ll be able to suit up against the Packers.
Josh Allen is the only quarterback who threw for more than 266 yards against the Rams this season, while only three players managed to rack up more than 70 yards on the ground.
But with Wolford and Goff out or diminished there are going to be problems under center. Receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have both struggled to follow up strong 2019 seasons, although Cam Akers has done enough in recent weeks to boost the run game.
The Rams rank 22nd in the NFL for points scored and that might not be enough to keep up with Green Bay.
The Rams have done an incredible job to shut down opponents, and Seattle managed just 278 yards of offense Saturday. If there is one man to unlock the challenge of the Rams elite defense, it’s Rodgers.
Los Angeles doesn't have the firepower to keep up with Green Bay, but the Rams will be able to stop the scoreboard ticking over too much.
The Packers will cover in a low-scoring affair.