Packers Periscope: Divisional Round vs Los Angeles Rams

A preview of Packers-Rams before they face off in Saturday's divisional round. 

The Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams have a long history. Los Angeles leads the all-time series 47-46-2, including two playoff games, and Saturday’s playoff game could be another instant classic. It’s the top-rated defense going up against MVP-hopeful Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s top-scoring offense. Almost everything about this matchup is intriguing.

You’ve got Davante Adams going up against Jalen Ramsey. You could argue that both are the best at their respective positions. You have Aaron Donald set to face the Packers' offensive line, which even without left tackle David Bakhtiari, is rock solid. There’s also the matchup of the Rams rushing attack vs Green Bay’s run defense.

All of these storylines make for a great game, but everyone will be waiting to see how the Packers perform against arguably the toughest defense they have faced all year. And also, did the week of rest help, or will they come out rusty? There is so much about this game that will be entertaining to watch as it unfolds.

The last time these teams met was in 2018, and Sean McVay was in his second year in Los Angeles. During that time, Matt LaFleur was the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. In case you forgot or were unaware, in 2017, LaFleur was working under McVay as the team’s offensive coordinator. Things have definitely come full-circle for Green Bay’s head coach.

The 2018 game turned out to be the start of a downward spiral that was Mike McCarthy’s last season with the team. Many will probably remember it for Ty Montgomery’s fumble on a kick off with under two minutes remaining. The brutal turnover robbed fans of the opportunity to witness a Rodgers comeback with the Packers down only two points. Jared Goff threw for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns in that game. Donald also had a productive day that ended with two sacks.

If you want to find the last time the Packers and Rams faced off in the postseason, you will have to go back to 2002. It was a divisional round game as well, and Green Bay was the four seed taking on the top-seeded team that, at the time, was based in St. Louis. The Packers suffered an embarrassing loss by a score of 45-17. Brett Favre threw six interceptions, never giving Green Bay much of a chance.

The 2020 Los Angeles secondary may be good, but it’s not good enough to pick off Rodgers six times. Rodgers didn’t even throw six interceptions all year. If anything, he should be worried most about the Rams' pass rush and the possible defensive player of the year in Donald. Rodgers isn’t going to put the ball in harm’s way, but taking a lot of sacks would greatly hinder Green Bay’s offense.

However, they have had an extra week of rest and plenty of time to examine what this Los Angeles defense may throw at them. People also forget how good of a coach LaFleur is. Yes, he’s from the same coaching tree as McVay and Kyle Shanahan, but he is no longer in anybody’s shadow. LaFleur is his own coach now and a damn good one at that.

Goff is still dealing with a thumb injury on his throwing hand, so expect the Rams to run the ball a good amount. They rushed the ball 43 times for 164 yards in last week’s win over the Seattle Seahawks. The Packers' defense needs to come prepared to stop the run.

Saturday’s game will be cold, and there will be fans at Lambeau Field, so mark that down in Green Bay’s favor. The Packers are 7-1 all-time at home in the divisional round. However, even though the conditions and history lend themselves to Green Bay, this one is going to be a dog fight.

It’s almost time to settle in, Packers fans. Playoff games are special and should not be taken for granted. Let's get ready for another fun ride.

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (27)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Lphill's picture

January 15, 2021 at 03:57 pm

Should the Rams be worried about Z Smith who had more sacks and tackles than Donald this season?

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murf7777's picture

January 16, 2021 at 07:34 am

Yes, but not as much as we should be about Donald as he is the DPOY and can wreck the run and pass.

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GregC's picture

January 16, 2021 at 07:40 am

Donald had more sacks than Smith.

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Coldworld's picture

January 16, 2021 at 09:12 am

Donald 13.5 to Smith 12.5 this year. It’s close.

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Swisch's picture

January 15, 2021 at 04:01 pm

I'm concerned about the Packers being overconfident with homefield and the cold and the QB's bum thumb; and about the Rams coming in angry thinking they've been disrespected and dismissed.
If the Packers come into this game with anything less than they're best effort, they're in big trouble.
I hope our younger guys -- all of our players, for that matter -- remind ourselves that there are no guarantees for tomorrow.
The 49ers rolled over the Packers en route to the Super Bowl last season, and almost won that game; this season they stalled with a record of 6-10.
Also, one of the commenters here, SterlingSharpe, did a good service in reminding us of Packer clunkers over the years at home in the postseason.
I've ruefully watched playoff losses to Michael Vick and the Falcons; to the Vikings and Randy Moss a week after beating them; and twice to the Giants.
Maybe bring in for a talk with the players the superb Badger blocker, Joe Thomas, a perennial Pro-Bowler in the NFL -- but due to no fault of his own, not one playoff game in 11 seasons.
We need to be ready like we were for Tennessee. Anything less than a titanic effort, and we're likely to smacked in the mouth and reeling.
If we bring energy, toughness, and smarts tomorrow night -- and play all the way through the game -- I think we're looking at a win.
Mistakes happen, and can be overcome -- but no regrets for lack of effort.
Confidence, yes; complacency, no.
A rare opportunity as a player and teammate to excel and shine. Please, seize it!

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Lphill's picture

January 15, 2021 at 05:37 pm

Nobody is disrespectful of the Rams in fact all the sports shows are raving about the Rams Defense , if anyone plays angry it should be the Packers.

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Swisch's picture

January 15, 2021 at 06:55 pm

I'm basing my comment on what I've read from other fans here at CHTV.
I don't really watch much of other sports shows as none of them seems that insightful to me.
I don't live in Wisconsin, and don't follow coverage within the state.
I'd be glad to hear of sports shows that others like, and why.
Anyway, I'm glad if you're right about the sports shows raving about the Rams defense. I want the Packers ready for a fight.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 16, 2021 at 02:35 am

Thank God Packers fans are not responsible for game & team preparation.

Articles on CHTV are realy instructive and with great respect to Packers opponent, but if you think that Goff will scote 3 TD, you are completely in dilusion.

Also, it is normal that only very good to excellent teams advanced to

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Stroh's picture

January 16, 2021 at 03:15 pm

I am thankful for this site. But I would not , by any means consider it instructive. It should not be a primary source of information.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

January 16, 2021 at 10:52 am

So you are basing your comment/opinion about the Packers players disrespecting the the Rams defense on fan comments here at CHTV? Here's a bold concept for you Swisch: How about basing your opinion on what the actual players have said about the Rams defense? Wouldn't the players actual statements regarding the Rams defense be a better indicator of what the Rams players are hearing, instead of fan posts?

Of course, someone like you who continues to live under the delusion that the Packers players read/care about your comments probably also thinks that the Rams players also read/care about CHTV comments.

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Coldworld's picture

January 16, 2021 at 09:19 am

? Seems like he was just cautioning against over confidence. He’s not the first.

Personally, I think the Packers D is better than credited now (if Pettine lets it), but still not as good as that of the Rams. On Offense I think. The difference is greater and in the Packers favor. What matters is if we show up, LaFleur has a decent game plan and we execute. I note that this is actually a battle of teams with among the worst ST. Let’s hope that is not a decider.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

January 16, 2021 at 10:51 am

Who exactly is he cautioning? The Packers players and coaches are the only people whose overconfidence could possibly matter, and I promise you that they are not effected by any gibberish he has to say.

Seriously, the guy is saying he believes that the Rams defensive players will be "angry" because some CHTV posters are supposedly disrespecting them. Not the Packers players, not respected NFL analysts, but anonymous internet posters. I know that you do not buy into that crazy.

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murf7777's picture

January 16, 2021 at 07:36 am

Listen to sports betting prognosis and you will see they are on the Rams with the points...they explain why and are very knowledgeable about the game within the game.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

January 16, 2021 at 08:31 am

Those broadcasts involve way too much factual data for him to understand. He's looking for the low information shows that spout self-help bromides such as "be your best" and "seize the moment". If Joel Osteen did a sports show he'd be all over that.

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porupack's picture

January 16, 2021 at 05:21 am

Refs should allow a little more physicality with pass defenders in post season, so that should favor King and Alexander as they do more than the average jostling. Our WRs should be ready for equal dose contact before the catch.

Also, I think GUte has really focused on stocking the team with 10 of 11 above average blockers. It has been a focus in drafts (TEs) and retaining free agents (Lewis), and drilled in the backfield with RBs or they don't play. That and WRs compelled to block and deference to Lazard, the tough blocker. That has been under the radar emphasis of superb blocking rather than just pure athleticism. That will pay on Saturday, as superb blockers can neutralize a stellar defense, especially if there is quick passes, and heavy use of tight end chip blocks, jet motion, and screens. A well crafted, up tempo offense can stalemate that defense.

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Cubbygold's picture

January 16, 2021 at 06:00 am

Very good point. Im cautiously optimistic that this team is well equipped to negate the pass rush with well designed plays, a commitment to the run game and a slowly emerging deep threat in MVS.

...but I also have nightmares about the Tampa game where the DL was in the backfield immediately after the snap

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 15, 2021 at 07:48 pm

If I were completely independent, I would pick the Packers to win. However, I am bias and a lifelong Packers fan, so I am picking the Packers to win 35-17. Either way, the Packers win!

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Stroh's picture

January 16, 2021 at 03:25 pm

I don't see anyway they'll score 35. It's likely to be relatively low scoring. 24-17.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 16, 2021 at 11:40 pm

Hate to admit it, but you were correct. We only scored 32 and the Rams got 18. I guess I'm an eternal optimist, but that's the nature of most Packer fans,

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PackfanNY's picture

January 15, 2021 at 09:26 pm

Very disconcerting picture of Matt LaFleur in his then Rams sweatshirt and hat. Let’s not see that again. As for the game, everyone keeps talking about how good the Rams D is. I point at the Rams O. Packers win 28-13.

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Since'61's picture

January 15, 2021 at 10:47 pm

I’m hoping/expecting that Rodgers speaks to the team about how much this opportunity means to be at home for playoffs and how this may be the only time that many of these players find themselves in this position.

It’s been 9 seasons for Rodgers to return to a #1 seed. He knows better than anyone that these opportunities don’t happen very often and when they do every player needs to make the most of it.

Difference makers for the Packers will be Rodgers, Dillon, Lazard and Tonyan on offense. Z. Smith, Gary, Amos and maybe Snacks on defense. STs, Crosby.

Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

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GregC's picture

January 16, 2021 at 04:16 am

You lost me at Dillon. He will barely see the field unless Aaron Jones or Jamaal Williams gets hurt. LaFleur is not going to change the RB rotation this deep into a successful season.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 16, 2021 at 05:07 am

All depends on what packages both coordinators have developed for this game. There are going to be some different looks on both sides. That said, this is playoff football, and the odds of a rookie taking snaps from two productive veterans are a bit low. (If Dillon had more field time than I could see him in the rotation early. Thanks Covid-19/// :-( )

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Coldworld's picture

January 16, 2021 at 09:26 am

One of the mistakes against Tampa and similar defenses. Let’s hope we don’t repeat that. Let’s hope we have incorporated a physical run up the gut component to our game plan. It’s a long tested tactic against a rush first run D.

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sohankhan's picture

January 16, 2021 at 09:47 am

The Green Bay Packers come out of their bye week and hit the road to visit the Los Angeles Rams, who are the lone undefeated team in the NFL at 7-0. Here's a look at this series - past, present and future.

FOR FREE :https://kotvlive.blogspot.com/NFL/

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