Five Questions About Rams-Packers’ Playoff Clash
Green Bay Packers start their potential Super Bowl run on Saturday afternoon against the Los Angeles Rams. This is the first time these two are meeting in the playoffs since 2002. That game did not work out well for Green Bay, so, let’s hope this is a little different. Packers are the favorites out of the NFC. The expectations with them are higher this year, but the team itself knows the goal here. They know that this is a special opportunity and want to bring a title back to Titletown. Rams aren’t going to be an easy opponent.
FIVE QUESTIONS I HAVE
1. Will Green Bay need their other weapons because of Jalen Ramsey? – One of the things that has been overblown this week is the idea that Jalen Ramsey is going to shut down Davante Adams. Adams is the best receiver in football. The only people who don’t know that live in a box. But if Ramsey does, will the other guys be there? This isn’t as much of a concern as it might be for others. All of these players have had great years whether it’s Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan, or Aaron Jones. This team can win without Davante having a huge game.
2. Does anyone respect the Packers’ defense? – All week we’ve been hearing about this vaunted Rams defense. And for good reason, they’re number one in scoring defense. But people are sleeping on the Packers’ defense. The #narrative is that Green Bay doesn’t have a good defense, but that’s been proven wrong of late. Green Bay has dogs and will make it very difficult on Jared Goff. That pass rush is going to be a problem along with Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage in the secondary. If Green Bay makes Goff’s life a living hell, this could get ugly for Los Angeles.
3. Do people know how bad the Rams are against playaction? – One stat that I’ve loved this week has been the Rams’ defense against playaction. It isn’t good, folks. Rams are in the bottom third in multiple categories against playaction as Mina Kimes of ESPN pointed out. Packers and Aaron Rodgers are the top playaction teams in football. Many of Rodgers’ touchdowns this season have happened because of playaction. As Kimes noted, Rodgers has more touchdowns in playaction than anyone in the last 20 years.
4. Will Cam Akers be Raheem Mosert 2.0? – Green Bay struggled with good running backs in different points throughout the season. But as the months went on it got better. They shut down Derrick Henry. David Montgomery did not have a good day on the ground either. Cam Akers did have a big night against Seattle. Packers can ill-afford to have him get going quick in the first half. If Akers starts pounding the ball, Green Bay will need to adjust.
5. Who is the x-factor in this game? – The term X-factor is a little overrated, but for the sake of the question, it is Lucas Patrick. For the most part, Patrick has been solid this season inside. This is his hardest opponent in Aaron Donald. No one expects Patrick to be shut him down entirely, but if he quiets him, that’s a huge step forward.
Prediction: The more I think about this game, the more I think Green Bay starts fast and never looks back. Packers take this one, 27-13.