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Nobody's underdog: Aaron Rodgers, Packers face massive odds vs. Rams

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Nobody's underdog: Aaron Rodgers, Packers face massive odds vs. Rams

-- For as much as Mike McCarthy hates being labeled as an "underdog" the week heading into a game, there's hopping, skipping or jumping around the fact that this week, the Green Bay Packers are, in fact, underdogs.

They'll be on a business trip to the west coast for a meeting with the Los Angeles Rams -- their first regular season game against the Rams in Los Angeles since 1991 -- and the odds are far from being in their favor.

According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, the Packers currently opened as 8.5-point underdogs via the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

It would be the largest underdog odds quarterback Aaron Rodgers has faced in his career as the Packers' starting quarterback.

The Packers are coming off a last-minute victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football before heading into their bye week, giving them a much-needed opportunity to rest before what is expected to be their toughest slate of upcoming games.

They'll face the Rams, then travel to New England for what should be Rodgers' second career start against Bill Belichick's Patriots, return home for the Miami Dolphins and then take flight for back-to-back road trips to Seattle and Minnesota.

The Rams, meanwhile, are the last undefeated team in the league after a 39-10 throttling against the same 49ers team the Packers struggled to keep in check last week.

Demovsky also notes the other times in Rodgers' career that the Packers have entered a game as major underdogs: The 2014 NFC Championship against the Seahawks, the 2015 NFC Divisional round against the Arizona Cardinals, a regular-season game against the New York Jets in 2010 and the 2016 NFC Championship against the Atlanta Falcons.

While the Packers are 1-3 in each of those aforementioned games, they remained competitive in most of them, sans their most recent playoff loss to the Falcons.

The Packers, sitting at 3-2-1, have been on the opposite side of the spectrum this season as opposed to the Rams.

While they've been mostly trying to figure out their identity on offense, find a sense of consistency on defense under a new defensive coordinator and struggle overall to stay healthy as a team, the Rams have been favored by at least 6.5 points in every game they've played this season, according to ESPN's Ben Fawkes.

Since taking over as the Packers' head coach in 2006, McCarthy is 9-3 coming out of a bye week. Prior to last season, his first two losses were to unbeaten teams.

The Packers have clicked offensively at various points throughout the season. With an extra week to prepare for such a potent foe like the Rams, it could be an indicator that they've formulated more of a well-rounded plan of attack. The plays have been there, it's just a matter of executing successfully.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Daren726's picture

I hope the bye week is enough time for them to figure out their issues, but I doubt it. Short, quick passes mixed with good running plays is the key on offense. No penalties. Good safety play and quarterback pressure is the key on defense. Can they pull this all together? I hope so.

GBPDAN1's picture

I'll be at the game and I'm hoping for the best, but I'm not getting my Hope's up. I don't like that our D went from top 10 against the run to bottom 10. Gurley and the Rams are number one in rushing and are a top offensive unit overall. Our D will have their hands full against them. We need to out score them.

If we had a Rodgers at top form and an offense clicking on all cylinders for an ENTIRE game, we'd have a decent chance of winning. We just haven't seen anything close to that all year yet. I hope the bye helps our O get going, as this season requires it if we want to win on the road against the Rams, Pat's, Seahawks, Vikings and bears (and home against the Falcons). No more undisciplined, penalty ridden, uninspired, sloppy offense for parts of the game. We need a crisp unit with optimal performance including in the red zone.

dobber's picture

Everything for the Rams hinges on Gurley and play-action. Yes, play-design and play-calling, but the fact that teams absolutely must stop Gurley opens everything else up. He's a prime example of the importance of a stud runner (who can catch the ball well) in a passing league.

"If we had a Rodgers at top form and an offense clicking on all cylinders for an entire game, we'd have a decent chance of winning. "

The Packers need to find a way to play this game in the 40s to win. They need to make this about scoring TDs. The defense that gets the most stops, wins.

Coldworld's picture

True. The key is to stop Gurley and force them to air it out to keep up. This will be a test, even more so on the road. That said, we will have had two weeks to figure out our tactics.

As to those who compare our score with that of yesterday. That is the kind of margin we should have achieved had we turned up on offense for the middle quarters and on D in the first half. That’s the difference between a team that is yet to find a consistent groove and one that, like the Rams, is hot in October. We will need to match that to break their run. Tough ask on the road.

tincada's picture

Dreamer. The Pack beat SF 33 - 30. The Rams wiped them up at 39 - 10. These next 5 games going to be Fat Boys nightmare.

Bearmeat's picture

I think he's got a point...

RCPackerFan's picture

That was referring to the Fat Boy comment.

PAPackerbacker's picture

They haven't pulled it together yet. And MM coming off a bye week at 9 -3 will be 9 - 4 if they play like they have been the first 6 games.

Point Packer's picture

Nobody's underdog for sure! Except the Rams home or away, the Patriots home or away, the Vikings home or away, the Eagles away, the Chiefs home or away, the Steelers away, the Falcons away, the Saints home or away and hell, probably the Bears away.

Probably missed a few. This team isn't any good. And everybody is going to know it when they get blown out by 20 in LA.

Barnacle's picture

MM + 2 weeks planning = disaster!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

1. Take scrub brush to playbook
2. Collect all of the iso route plays removed by scrub brush
3. Run only those plays

tincada's picture

There wasn't any stupid scrub brush. Same ol' tired game plan....yawn. Bye bye MM and hopefully the other football wizard, the Murph who has no clue what a football team with AR does. WIN!

CAG123's picture

He’s 9-3 after the bye so clearly disaster isn’t something that happens often.

The TKstinator's picture

You’re throwing data in the way of a good rant!!

mnklitzke's picture

Cause of MM game planning for two weeks or cause Rodgers is one of the best QB in the league. Rodgers has is the only reason MM has a job.

dobber's picture

There's always the possibility that ARod has held this team back for the last 8 years. If there's no ARod, everything else changes....

Old School's picture

Nonsense. If the Packers and M3 part ways he'll have huge offers thrown at him from other teams.

You know, last year, we played without a starting-caliber NFL QB for more than half the season, with an offensive line that featured 4 different starters at RT, with one of the worst defenses I've ever seen the Packers put on the field (not quite as bad as the 83 Packers, but certainly in the discussion) and we won 7 games.

The year before, we were out of running backs so we converted a WR. We had another horrible defense. And yet we were in the NFC Championship game where our healthiest WR had broken ribs.

And you don't think McCarthy has anything to do with that. It's all Arod, just like it was all WHFN before him. This is just so contrary to the reality that football is a team game that I can't even understand why you'd advance a theory like that.

JHitTheB's picture

Old School - actually GB was 4-1 with Rodgers before his season ending injury. In other words: MM was 3-8 without him...and 1 of those wins was against the bottom feeder Browns with a rookie Kizer as QB...in OT. He had 2 years to prepare Hundley. Two. Years. And he was absolutely unprepared. He also failed to make the necessary adjustments during the rest of the season to play to Hundley's strengths (if you can even call them that) to put his team in position to win games.

MM without Rodgers does not win football games. His record without him speaks for itself. He has been gifted back to back HoF QBs which has padded his win total. 1 SB to show for it. Simply put MM is not a good coach.

In contrast Belicheck is 14-6 without Brady. Why? Because he adjusts his game plan and play calling to cater to his QBs/players strengths and limits weaknesses being exposed. That's what good coaches do. MM just keeps banging his head on the wall with the same scheme and same play calls. Over and over and over again. Go watch how Sean Payton uses Kamara to get WRs 1v1 coverage and mismatches for Brees. Go watch how Andy Reid uses Hunt to get WRs 1v1 coverage and mismatches for Mahomes. Go watch how McVay uses Gurley in the passing game. Go watch how LeVeon Bell was used in the passing game. Go watch how Shanahan used his RBs in ATL...GB has some good weapons at RB/WR right now but MM has no idea how to use them.

Yes, based on his "winning record" MM most likely would be hired by any number of teams...and then quickly fired once they see he does not know how to win games in today's league.

Coldworld's picture

Few teams win multiple games with backups. Fewer still win like that when the backup plays behind an elite paid QB. To add to the equation, we don’t know if MM was truly happy with Hundley or whether TT told him that he would have to be. What’s that mean? To me it means that judging MM on last season without Rodgers is a meritless exercise.

Point Packer's picture

"Yes, based on his "winning record" MM most likely would be hired by any number of teams...and then quickly fired once they see he does not know how to win games in today's league."

Couldn't agree more. The response to Nagler's kinda just funny now assertion that if GB were to let McCarthy go, he would be swooped up in the second. Agree that he would be hired immediately, not sure if he'd even make it through a full season.

RCPackerFan's picture

I have already seen a lot of talk about the Packers barely beating the 49ers, and how the 49ers got blown out by the Rams this weekend. Most people follow up with the Packers having 0 chance of winning.
I just want to remind everyone that this is truly a week to week league. In week 3 the Buffalo Bills destroyed the Vikings. In week 4 they got shutout by the Packers. That's just one example.

What I do know, is the Packers are coming off a bye. They should be A LOT healthier. Getting Cobb, Allison, Alexander back, and also hopefully we will see Breeland for the first time. Rodgers hopefully will be healthier also.

But also with Cobb and Allison out it allowed MVS and EQ to shine! And they did. Now they have 5 legit weapons at WR. They are starting to get the TE's more involved in the passing game as well.

A few good things we have seen. The defense has given up an average of 7 points in 2nd half of games. Meaning that Pettine has gotten the defense to adjust and play better. Perhaps with the bye week he will have figured out a way to get them going faster and be more consistent.

I'm looking forward to seeing what changes are made on both sides of the ball.

dobber's picture

"I have already seen a lot of talk about the Packers barely beating the 49ers, and how the 49ers got blown out by the Rams this weekend. "

There is no transitivity in sports.

Razer's picture

...There is no transitivity in sports...

Never heard the word 'transitivity' but I like it. And, I agree with its use.

Johnblood27's picture

I am pretty sure I saw Nick Perry in a dress...

stockholder's picture

I believe Perry does not want to be in GB anymore. He doesn't like the coaching. The weather. The teammates.

The TKstinator's picture

More transitivity...

carusotrap's picture

You're largely talking about talent. The real question is whether McCarthy has the ability to capitalize on that talent by providing whatever a competent head coach provides to get that talent to execute an effective game plan.

Patrick Mahomes has 22 TDs and 2200 yards. Rodgers is obviously a better QB than Mahomes. It's McCarthy's job to get Rodgers into a position to succeed AND if Rodgers is off-script, get him back on script. That's what the HC is supposed to do, and right now he's doing neither.

MM said they were self-scouting. What I suspect that means for GB is watching film and saying, "Well, that SHOULD have worked. And THAT should have worked. So, we're perfect, right guys?" Rinse. Repeat.

Two weeks to prepare and two weeks to get healthy should mean a very competitive game. I fear it actually means McCarthy has twice as much time to stubbornly scheme his team into paralysis.

RCPackerFan's picture

While I agree that its McCarthy's job to put the talent in the best position to succeed, its the players on the field to do their jobs!
I will argue if you truly look at the Packers games, they have had good game plans. The problem has been the execution wasn't there. Rodgers has missed a number of open WR's. His throws have been off target and WR's have dropped passes. And how many times have they converted a 3rd down to have a penalty wipe it out? Which of course puts them in 3rd and longer and they fail to convert.

Honestly Rodgers has been his own worst enemy. He has lived on extending plays. The problem is his mind is telling him he can still play like that, but his body is telling him he can't. His mobility has been lacking. He should know this but he thinks he is superman that can do anything. That has hurt him. Also he has trust issues. Missing Cobb and Allison has hurt him, but will help him in the future because he has gained trust in the rookies who really have performed well.

If McCarthy and the staff are being realistic with themselves, they will see that they have been their own worst enemy. To many untimely penalties that take away either big plays or 1st downs. Untimely penalties include a holding penalty on each of the long kick returns, and holding penalty's on 3rd downs in which they converted to be brought back. To many dropped and incomplete passes. The good news is that stuff is correctable.

I think with the bye to get healthier, it will be the biggest benefit to the team. Lets not forget Rodgers, Cobb, Allison, Bulaga, Alexander have been ailing. Not to mention others. That's a lot of top end guys hurting.

The 2 people coming back from injury that I think will help the most are Cobb and Alexander. Cobb is Rodgers go to guy when he needs a play. IMO, Cobb probably would have been good to play against the 49ers but they wanted him to get completely healed up. Same with Alexander.
Alexander has a swagger that really seems to fuel the guys around him. He has an energy that fires guys up. I'm looking forward to him and King playing together really for the first time.

I'm excited for the ride!

Old School's picture

Why is Aaron Rodgers, in the year 2018, obviously a better QB than Mahomes in the year 2018?

For all your lamentations about McCarthy, this team moves the ball really well. The offense has failed to finish drives for a number of reasons:

1) Our receivers have one of the higher drop rates in the league. We're playing rookies because our vets are injured. We released a very good vet in the offseason and brought in Jimmy Graham, who is essentially another new receiver. Our QB only took a few snaps in the preseason, then got hurt in the opener so he couldn't practice the next couple of weeks.

How any of that demonstrates incompetence on McCarthy's part is beyond me. This is filed under "Stuff that Happens" and he's done as well as any coach could have under the circumstances.

Your self-scouting "analysis" is so far off target of what real coaches do. It's more a piece of analyzing your tendencies (Do you realize we're
twice as successful running the ball to our left as our right?)

So here's the deal: It's midseason. We have one of the best records in the NFC. We have ALL of our preferred starters on offense healthy and practicing for the first time all season. We've gotten contributions by everybody, including St. Brown and Bell and Tonsil. We have one of the best groups of RBs we've ever had here and they're all still healthy (remember two years ago, 2016?)

McCarthy is a damn good coach, one of the best in the league and one of the best in Packers history. It is highly unlikely we could replace him with somebody better.

JHitTheB's picture

Coldworld - actually it's not.

Bill Belicheck (14-6)
Andy Reid (17-18)
Mike Tomlin (7-7)
Mike McCarthy (5-13-1)
Sean Payton (0-1)
Pete Carroll (1-1)

Coaches with at least 150 games and a SB appearance. MM is not a good coach without a HoF QB.

**Amazing that Brees has missed only 1 game since he got to NO.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Rams have been favored by at least 6.5 points in every game they've played this season"

A part of that is that the massive population of So Cal is betting on the Rams. Las Vegas has to adjust the spread to balance the betting.

dobber's picture

A bigger part of that is that the Rams are the best team in the NFC by a significant margin.

RCPackerFan's picture

While I agree they are the best team in the NFC, lets not lose sight that the Rams have faced opponents with a combined 18-28-1 record to this point. They have played the Raiders, Cardinals and 49ers who have each won 1 game this season.

They are about to hit their hardest part of their schedule also.

tincada's picture

And the Pack has played what power house team?

RCPackerFan's picture

Not talking about the Packers. Talking about the Rams.

But since we are going there...
Packers teams they have played have a combined record of 17-21-1. (they have played 1 less game then the Rams).

Some comparisons -

Packers have played 1 team with 1 win, Rams have played 3. Packers have played 2 teams with winning records, the same as the Rams. Packers have played 2 teams with losing records, the Rams have played 4.

Those are the comparisons. They have both faced the 49ers and Vikings. Packers are 1-0-1, Rams are 2-0.

We will see Sunday who wins.

flackcatcher's picture

Heck, I'll the obvious here. The NFL is a week to week league, with talent so even that one player can make the difference between winning and losing.(Yeah Yeah I know it's a cliche........:)

RCPackerFan's picture

by the end of the year teams start to balance out with who is good vs who is pretending to be good.

That being said it truly is a week to week league.

Old School's picture

Wide margin? Narrow victories against Seattle and Minnesota? Have you seen 5-1 New Orleans?

If you want to crown them, then go ahead and crown them. I don't think they'll go 16-0 and I think the Packers are one of the toughest games on their schedule.

The TKstinator's picture

@Old School: Are they who you thought they were?

The TKstinator's picture

Let’s say the Rams lose Gurley, Goff, and Aaron Donald to injury. Quite a change, and that type of thing can happen to any team at any time, so yes, it’s a week to week league.
Or week to “weak”, for that matter.

flackcatcher's picture

Wish I wrote that......

JHitTheB's picture

RC - the difference is the Rams blow bad teams out of the stadium...as a good team playing a bad team should. With the exception of Buffalo GB struggles and has to rely on #12 pulling another rabbit out of his hat. That is not a formula for success.

The Rams also played the Vikings without their #1 and #2 CBs which I think allowed Minn to even keep it close. Talib is still on IR. Their D improves drastically when he returns. Not many teams have decent #3 and #4 WRs or a good TE that can step up if their #1 and #2 guys are covered.

I'm as big of a Packers fan as anyone - but realistically - do you think GB can compete with the Rams? The Saints? I personally don't take Minn as too much of a threat. In my eyes GB already beat them once and should be able to do so again. Of course - a fully healthy #12 changes A LOT and more than likely wins GB the division. But I think we can all agree - barring melt downs by the Rams, Saints and Panthers - GB won't sniff a #1 or #2 seed or possibly even a #3 seed and will be playing road games in the playoffs if they get there.

The TKstinator's picture

That’s only because they are so much better than everyone else, dobber.

Coldworld's picture

They are at the moment, but it is a long shot from where they are now to being undefeated. At some point the wheels will likely come off based on history.

dobber's picture

They'll probably get beat...a couple times, yet. I'd love for it to be the Packers to do it, and the only way it could set up better (Packers coming off the bye) is if the game were at Lambeau. Tall order, though.

RCPackerFan's picture

The Rams remaining schedule looks like this.

H- Packers
A- Saints
H- Seahawsks
H- Chiefs
A- Lions
A- Bears
H- Eagles
A- Cardinals
H- 49ers

Packers, Saints, Seahawks, Chiefs, Eagles figured to be the toughest games. Lions, Bears could be tougher as well.

Tundraboy's picture

For some strange reason I'm more confident because they're not playing at Lambeau this week. Hoping for, the team will come together on the road,angle I suppose.

ShanghaiKid's picture

it’s going to be a long day for 12 on the road. I don’t know how the interior of the OL is going to keep Suh and Donald in check.

Old School's picture

You run. You do play action. You use max protection. You move the pocket. You get rid of the ball quickly. You run screens and draws.

Back in the day when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, that's how teams protected their QB. It still works.

ShanghaiKid's picture

Yeah the Packers did a lot of those aforementioned action items vs Niners. He still got hit 10 times and multiple pressures that forced throw aways, including an intentional grounding. Go back and watch the offensive tape that Andy Herman put together and see how many plays the offensive line blows. The Rams interior is going to be a problem.

BigCheese2's picture

That's weird... I thought you just keep calling PA's without ever actually using your running back that averages ~6 yards a carry. At least that's what I learned last week from Couch McCarthy!

The TKstinator's picture

Now THAT is old school, Old School.

Also, if teams back then could protect their QB’s from dinosaurs, then today’s guys facing Khalil Mack have nothing to fear.

Handsback's picture

Right now, Green Bay will be predicted, by odds-makers, to loss the next 5 games...Do you believe it? Do you believe that Green Bay will win their next 5 games? I think its close. Green Bay will win next week and their next 4 games, but lose to the Vikes.

The difference in what the Packers are and what they can be is pretty far apart. We see it in losses to Redskins, and Detroit while blanking Buffalo. The two key pieces of the Packer's puzzle are Bulaga staying healthy, and finding a safety solution. Brice can't or won't do what is needed and HHCD needs another strong guy there to help. I've seen speculation of moving Williams to safety if Breeland is ready for prime time, or start Jones no matter if he's ready or not.

So if those two positions are solid, Green Bay can be a team that lives up to their potential....if not, a 8-7-1/ 9-6-1 record may be the best they can do.

dobber's picture

"Green Bay will win next week and their next 4 games, but lose to the Vikes."

You're an optimistic man. 4-1 over the next 5 would be really good...and it would likely mean that this team has come together quickly over the bye. It would be pretty awesome to see this team at 7-3-1 after this stretch.

Razer's picture

It will be a tall order - stopping Gurley and not getting gashed with the long ball. BUT - we have two weeks to prepare and we should be healthy. Couldn't ask for a better scenario.

If the first half Packers show up then shame on the coaches and shame on Rodgers. Looking for Rodgers to get rid of the ball quickly and a quicker tempo offense. I don't know what to expect on defense particularly with the safeties.

Should be a good game.

Handsback's picture

Call me crazy, but Green Bay actually seems to match-up pretty well against the Rams. They (should) have enough good CBs on the field to limit those long balls. (If a replacement for Brice is found see above post) and the Dline is pretty tough. The key will be pressure on their QB while the Packer DBs keep the passing windows small.

A team like the Rams will shut-out Adams, but with MVS and the speed he has along with Cobb and others...should be a close game.

RCPackerFan's picture

I think the Packers can match up well. Depends on how they want to play. 2nd half of games they have simply played better. The run defense needs to show up for 4 quarters, not 2.
Getting Alexander to go along with King will be huge. Also Breeland should factor in.
If the CB's can hold up in 1 on 1 coverage for most of the game they should be able to bring up a S to help with stopping Gurley.

Honestly IMO, with the way Adams is playing, they can't shut him down. They can slow him down but not shut him down. Adams is averaging 7.8 catches per game, 92.8 yards per game and 1 TD per game. He is coming off 2 of his better games in his career. Catching 19 passes for 272 yards and 3 TD's. That was against some of the better CB's in the league too, with going mostly against Darius Slay and Richard Sherman.
But if they were to truly shut him down, they have enough weapons to still beat teams. They have Cobb, Allison, MVS, St Brown, Graham who all can win 1 on 1 battles. Rams have 2 really good corners now that Talib is out.

I think this game will be really close. But all depends on what Rodgers shows up.

pacman's picture

I'm willing to let MM coach for one more week to see if he can learn and change.

JHitTheB's picture

This game (and the next) is basically a look at how GB stacks up against a legit SB contender.

GB has to play absolutely mistake free football for all 4 qtrs - can't take a single play off. No penalties, especially on ST. Can't leave points on the field settling for fgs in the red zone. Control the ball and the clock to keep the Rams offense on the sideline. Contain Gurley and Donald and there is a chance.

I hate to say it but I think the Rams are going to be too much for GB. Another slow start for GB means game over. Can NOT let the Rams jump out to a double digit lead. GB has to strike fast and hard and keep their foot on the gas. I just don't see that happening. MM will once again be way unprepared for his opponent - McVay will scheme his playmakers open and score points.

carusotrap's picture

I actually think the defense can keep things reasonable. Oh, they're going to give up eleventy billion yards, but once the field gets shorter in the red zone, they might have some hope. The problem is whether or not 1) McCarthy can (or will) scheme an effective set of plays FOR THE PLAYERS HE HAS and 2) will Rodgers actually execute those plays or simply chuck it 40 yards downfield in his eternal quest for The Big Play™? If they play the second half of the CHI game, they've got a legit shot. Anything else, and they lose by 20.

nostradanus's picture

I am optimistic the Packers will come out of this bye refreshed and ready.
Consider:
*Rodgers should be as healthy as he has been since game one
*Geronimo shouldl be back healthy
*Cobb should be back healthy
*Alexander should be back healthy
*Breeland should be ready to go
*Bulaga should be healthy and ready to go
*The new coaching staff has had a chance to step back and re-evaluate the good and the bad from the first six games
Also Packers are:
#6 in NFL Offense
#1 in pass blocking
#10 in sacks
#5 in pass coverage
According to PFF from last week
Also Rodgers, even on one good leg:
*Two incredible comeback victories
*One int. in 254 attempts

I understand statistics are relative but through the first 6 games, though disjointed and hard to watch. The Packers still have a winning record and are in second place in a close divisional race.

It ain't over yet my Packer brethren
NostraDANus

RCPackerFan's picture

Great optimistic post.

My take is the Packers haven't played there best football. They have been sloppy and inconsistent. The bye week came at a perfect time.

Getting back Cobb, Alexander and Allison back are huge. Also Breeland should be able to play.

I think Pettine getting a look at his defense, will allow him to make some changes that he thinks needs to be made. The 2nd half of games the defense has played well. They just need to figure things out in first half of games.

The Key is Rodgers. If he starts hitting the open WR's more often, that will help a ton. They have had WR's open. Get them the ball!
Also they need to stop shooting themselves in the foot with penalty's.

Those 2 things get fixed, they will start looking a lot better!

tincada's picture

And if "shoulds, coulds, ifs and buts" scored points we would be undefeated

4thand1's picture

The Packers are no longer an "elite" team, the Rams are. This is looking more is more like more like the last years of the the Brett favre era, having a HOF QB and trying to pull games out. All these teams with good young QB's are loading up with high draft picks and FAs. We hear it all the time now like in the past with Favre, as long as the Packers have Rodgers they have a chance. IMO it's a very small chance and it has been proven against elite teams.

Old School's picture

Why are we no longer an elite team? And if we beat the Rams, does that change anything in your mind?

I do agree with the parallels. Ted Thompson inherited a team with a 35 year old HOF QB who hadn't taken us to a Super Bowl in nearly a decade; Gutekunst inherited a team with a nearly 35 year old HOF QB who hasn't taken us to a Super Bowl in nearly a decade.

If you look back to the beginning of the FA/salary cap era, you'll see that the list of QBs who've won titles after 32 is a pretty short list, and that's why despite the fact that I think Rodgers is awesome, if I were running the organization I'd be taking steps for a post-Arod existence. Like Thompson did when he took over.

We need to remind ourselves that Aaron Rodgers is not the only future HOF QB in the league. Brady and Brees for sure, probably Roethlisberger, possibly Eli Manning, and lots of younger guys who may get there. It's not like Aaron Rodgers gives us such an enormous advantage at the position that everything else is irrelevant.

I'll also put this out there: Although Rodgers has stated his desire to play until 40, and it looks like he can if he wants to, his best football is behind him in all likelihood. You can't sign a starting caliber FA backup at QB because those guys are going to want to go someplace where they might get to play so we can't improve ourselves at the most important position as long as we have Rodgers unless we burn a high pick on the future guy.

Razer's picture

Well said and interesting perspective. Rodgers can be a Drew Brees going forward or a Brett Favre. Brees has evolved with the game and can lead the Saints to another Super Bowl shot. While Rodgers has great tools, he is struggling to expand from the drop back vertical passer QB. If the Packer offense embraced a more varied underneath game like a KC or even NE, we would be right there with the top offenses. Why aren't we doing this is the big question.

Old School's picture

The Rams are 7-0, but I think the Packers, after a bye week to practice and get healthy, will be a more difficult opponent than they've faced so far.

Their two best opponents so far, Seattle and Minnesota, showed they belonged on the field with them. And if you assume the Rams aren't going to go unbeaten, then the Packers are quite possibly their biggest stumbling block.

Remember, in the NFC, you have the Rams at 7-0 and New Orleans at 5-1. The teams with two losses include the Packers, Vikings, Redskins and Carolina. These are the teams best positioned to make the playoffs right now.

We could lose to both the Rams and Patriots and still win the division if we win our remaining home games and beat Minnesota and Chicago on the road. Doable.

The Vikings host New Orleans. Carolina hosts Baltimore.

Since '61's picture

While expect that the Packers will play better coming off their bye there is one big weakness that will still be there on defense. Our OLBs are bad. This is a weakness that the Rams can exploit with their run and short pass game. Handoffs and short passes to Gurley in the flat could really hurt our defense. Pettine needs to come up with a plan to cover the poor play of our OLBs. If he doesn't it could be a long day for the Packers defense.

On offense the Packers cannot beat themselves with stupid penalties. Hopefully Rodgers is fully recovered and plays a crisp game. MM needs to put this game into Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones hands. They are our best offensive players and we need to get the ball to Jones on the ground, Adams and Graham in the passing game. This game could be a shootout which can win but hopefully we can play with a lead and our defense can continue to win in the second half. It's just tough to know which Packers team will show up. Thanks, Since '61

BigCheese2's picture

Could not agree more. Relying on Burks (best LB option we have) to cover Gurley out of the backfield in the pass game is my biggest worry heading into this game.

Donster's picture

Just an observation, and you all can flame me if you want to. After watching the Browns play a few games, even though they have lost or tied in those games, the emotion level of that team is lights out in comparison to the Packers. Those kids on the Browns are hard at it every play. The Packers play with much less enthusiasm, and really seem to play not to lose, rather than go balls to the wall all out to win on every play.

McPuffy teams as of the past few years seem to all be this way, not every game mind you, but way to many. It's like they are sitting back, waiting for Rodgers to win the game for them. Especially the guys on defense. I guess the team is really a direct reflection on its head coach.

Attitude change can win many games. If they come out of the bye week with a winners attitude, they can win some of these upcoming games. And I sure hope they do. If McPuffy doesn't have the players ready, and doesn't make some changes for the Rams, and the Rams kick the Packs butt, McPuffy should be fired the next day and let Philbin take over for the rest of the season.

Lare's picture

post deleted

Lare's picture

Hope the Packers play well the next few weeks, but I'm not going to get too excited either way. As I've said since last March this is a rebuilding year for the Pack. There were simply too many holes on this team with limited resources in order to have them be competitive this season.

There will be several new starters on this team when they get to be legitimate contenders again.

Lphill's picture

I think the Packers win, MM opens a new playbook for certain teams, we will see a lot of Aaron Jones and more production from the tight ends, the defense will be fresh with a healthy secondary, Montravious Adams will be in more to slow down the run. its very possible.

Point Packer's picture

Great glass is half full take. Too back it lacks any semblance of reality. Case in point, any mention of Montravious Adams as having any impact on the Packers run D in this match-up. Here's something a bit more accurate:

- Missionary Mike continues with his dated playbook that features WR iso routes and play-action bootlegs. Throw in a few WR screens on third and long and RB screens inside the redzone. Run on 1st and 2nd in the first half. Get behind. Throw it 30 times in the 2nd half.

- McCarthy continues with the platoon approach at RB. This is all but certain given his remarks to date.

- Minus the redzone, we've already seen pretty good production from Graham/Kendricks. Expecting more seems a bit out of line with reality. I don't know why GB is wasting a roster spot on Lewis. I really don't.

- Defense better be fresh. They haven't played in two weeks. If they are not, then we have a problem.

- Montravious Adams.........(see above)

Point Packer's picture

The Rams have the gut punch of Gurley in the middle and speed on the outside, both creatively used by a coach who is firmly in 2018. That combination spells danger for the Pack.

I think #12 will be able to put some points on the board, but there's no way it will be enough to stop these Rams at home.

Hope i'm wrong.

ILPackerBacker's picture

As soon as you repeat the 'self scout' crap you should know you are damning the brain trust in green bay.

There is no "SECRET" that has to be discovered. No hidden gem of insight to be found. the problem are obvious, clear, underlined, highlighted and in BOLD CAPS.

To say or even imply a 'buy in' to this idiotic bar lowering excuse of a 'self scout' is self evidently the lowest common denominator of excusing people who are paid to know what is going on with the team. people who spend 'nightmare' work days on film and study.

How many weeks does it take to identify Jones as the best runner? To notice Brice can not make plays in deep coverage? That MVS should have been getting snaps?

I am Gute's picture

Hopefully 6 :)

Rossonero's picture

We rank in the bottom third of the league for red zone offense and red zone defense. That's not a recipe for victory and must change in this game or the Rams will run us right out of the building.

Hopefully Cooper Kupp won't play, but keeping Gurley in check is my worry. The 49ers RBs gashed us pretty good. I don't even remember their other RB's name, but we made him look good. Now we gotta face Gurley? Ugh....I think we'll keep it close, but the Rams at home will be too much of a track meet. Rams 34, Packers 31

4thand1's picture

Nobody's underdog is a good approach and fine, but the writing is on the wall IMO. The Rams will not take this game likely and are 8.5 favorites for a reason. Vegas is trying to get people to cover. The Packers can win by playing a mistake free game and getting a couple of turnovers. Playing from behind is not an option, they have to score 35+ IMO, the most points so far this year. Can it be done, yes I hope so, but I don't like depending on hope. I'll take flawless execution and players making plays over hope any day.

Samson's picture

The Pack will be back!! --- In season 2019.
This is a transition season for the Pack. --- Gute has a clue but needs more than just one off-season to execute his "return to glory" plan. ---- Once MM is shown the door (after season 2018), Gute will bring in his own HC.

The Pack could very well be 4-6-1 or 5-5-1 after the next 5 games (4 on the road). --- The start of MM's "last hurrah" as GB's HC.

JHitTheB's picture

Honestly I don't see any reason why GB should not win against Sea, Minn, Det, Chi, Atl, or the NYJ...other than playing sloppy and beating themselves like they have been doing. I really only view the next 2 games against the Rams and Patriots - 2 very real contenders - as challenges.

dobber's picture

I think it's very likely this team will be 3-4-1 after the NE game. It's not the end of the world (the wolves will be howling here even more than the last couple weeks), but they'll have to play very well after that to salvage the season...they'd have to go 7-1 down the stretch to play themselves into the tournament. Depending on how they look in these next two, that could be a lot to ask of this group.

RCPackerFan's picture

"I think it's very likely this team will be 3-4-1 after the NE game. It's not the end of the world (the wolves will be howling here even more than the last couple weeks)"

I mean really, whats the point in playing the season if that happens? Might as well forfeit each game right? I mean cuz it will be the end of the world in most eyes..

Doug Niemczynski's picture

The good news us we only have to play one team , one game and in one Sunday!
Go Pack Go!!

I would blitz my defense at Goff to high heaven!!

gary g's picture

I really hope that i am wrong, but our defense is going to get smoked. I can see being a fan and hoping for the best. But the rams will score in the mid 30's or higher against us. You can bash me if you want but we have no shot to win this week. This is far from an elite team.

LeotisHarris's picture

I hope you're wrong, too, but I agree with you. Any way we can get Bye Weeks up until we play the Cardinals? It was a relief to be free from my beloved Packers last Sunday.

Jamie Freier's picture

I see no reason for optimism. I'll hope for the best but be prepared to watch the worst. It's worked for me so far this season. Unless we find a RIGHT tackle and some competent guards hidden in the equipment room somewhere, stacked on top of a sh#tfire edge rusher that can get to the QB and set an edge, meh, I'd say the Rams will cover 20, not just a measly 8.5. Matthews will Olé Gurley in the flat, Bulaga will rollerskate back into 12 about 100 times, Daniels will get a couple personal fouls, McCarthy will call for WR screens with no blocking on all 3rd and long plays, Brice will wipe out guys who are actually playing the deep ball, and Crosby will be our top scorer.

Johnblood27's picture

very sad to realize that your predictions are very close to what will happen.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

The thing that is most important is for the coach MM not to panic. We don't need to do double reverses, onside kicks, fake punts, throw the ball wildly trying to jump out to a lead and then causing more pain with FF and Interceptions.

Our team on offense is a very balanced team. I think one of the best, but the play calling has got to be better and the use of the TEs has been a huge downfall.

On defense somebody has got to step it up at the safety position. We are getting killed on long passes. When there is 8 in the box they will pass and 7 in the box they will run it.

Packers CANNOT PANIC. DONT BE LIKE MIKE SHERMAN WHEN WE PLAYED THE RAMS AND FAVRE THRU 5 INTERCEPTIONS!!! We lost before the game even started.

Pack12's picture

The line is now -9.5 for the Rams. As a gambler I can tell you that I hope the line hits 10 because I will be all over the Packers. Not because I'm a Packers fan but because the line is much too high. Look for the Packers to keep this game close.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

What's most important over the next 2 games is improvement in all phases. This team has to have a fighting spirit.

And all we have to is win the division.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

The Rams might score 50 on us.

Remember what Tennessee and Washington did to our defense a couple years ago?
Remember how good CJ Beatherd looked last week against us?

This Rams running game is way better.
This Rams QB is way better.
This Rams WR Core is way better, although of Cooper Kupp is out, that helps the Packers a lot.

Rams 47
Packers 31

Rodgers throws 4 TD, 0 Int
Aaron Jones has 6 carries for 47 yards (7.9 per carry)

mrj007's picture

Lol... I think you are giving Packers D too much credit. Jones won't get much work 'cuz Packers will be down big early and we'll have to throw to catch up. Each year I hope we have a decent defense - and each year their play makes me puke in my mouth. I hope no one gets hurt

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Packers OL better stop Aaron Donald DL.
He was an absolute BEAST last Sunday against S.F !

Spock's picture

All I want is for MM to FOR THE LOVE OF GOD do NOT DEFER if we win the toss. It's not working. The other team is scoring on their opening drives and we are playing from behind. On this ROAD game the last thing we need is to have the home crowd getting fired up immediately. I'm actually hoping the Packers lose the coin toss. Let's start with offense for a change! Playing from behind the 'game plan' goes out the window way too soon. I'm hoping MM's self scout makes that abundantly clear and he does some soul searching on this. Do I think he'll change from that? No, sigh. :(
On the plus side MM does have an excellent record on games coming off the bye week so who knows?
Go, Pack, Go!

BigCheese2's picture

Going to have a significant mismatch issue with Gurley out of the backfield. We will now have to rely on Burks to stick with Gurley consistently. If Morrison is in, and consistently tasked with covering Gurley, (by way of D personnel or audible) its going to be a long game. Buccanon would have been an amazing solution for chess pieces like Gurley out of the backfield.

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