The Saturday Morning Packers Game Day Preview

Good Morning Packer Nation!!! Welcome to a Divisional Playoff Edition of The Saturday Morning Packers Gameday Preview!  This week, the Green Bay Packers head into the divisional round with a date against the number 1 rated defense in the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams.  The Rams seem to be the sexy pick by league pundits for a variety of reasons, one of the biggest reasons being that Aaron Rodgers is 0-4, in his last four starts against number 1 ranked defenses (CBS Sports).  

Conversely, optimism abounds for the Packers, why is that you ask, it’s pretty simple, back to back 13-win teams just don’t simply grow on trees. Let me say more; the Packers offensive unit put 31 on the #1 ranked Colts defense (at the time), they scourged the Bears defense in a (sort of) must win game, but most importantly, they have had guys like Krys Barnes, Kamal Martin emerge and fill areas of need while guys like Jaire Alexander and Adrian Amos have ascend to all-pro levels.  If all of those facts don’t seem to give you a positive outlook consider this: Jared Goff’s passer rating under pressure is 45.9 and he has thrown 7 interceptions this season while under pressure (Zack Kruse and pro football focus).     

In light of these facts, will the Packers defense rise to the occasion and have their best performance of the season this afternoon?  Will the Packers run defense continue to ascend?  Will Aaron Rodgers have yet another MVP performance and lead the Packers to their second straight NFC Championship game?  I will have the answers to these questions and more in this week’s edition of the Saturday Morning Packers Gameday Preview.  

I am happy to have you with me here today for all things Packers; so just sit back and relax with your morning cup of Joe or drink of choice.

What to Expect Against the Rams?

The Packers have earned home field throughout the playoffs which will immediately pay dividends today against the Rams because what Southern California team doesn’t want to play in a cloudy, flurry, 25-degree windchill game at Lambeau?  

Jared Goff is going to have to contend with these conditions with a broken thumb on his throwing hand which cannot be an easy task.  Expect the Rams to force the issue on the ground with Cam Akers initially and then try and get Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods involved on quick screen plays.  If Akers and Goff do not have some early success, the Rams offense could be in for a very long day. The Rams defense is definitely a force to be reckoned with and could keep the Rams in the game and even provide a path to victory.  

The Packers need to get the ball out of Rodgers hands quickly and safely in order to move the ball down the field and neutralize Donald, Brockers, and Floyd (if cleared to play) early on.  Quick, safe, passes and early sustained drives will allow the Packers to use all three of their running backs (as the game progresses) which will set up play-action where Rodgers does a lot of his damage.  The key to sustained offensive success and long drives will be to get rid of the ball quickly, establish the run, and protect Rodgers like your life depends on it.

I see this game being more of a defensive struggle (by today’s standards) where field position and time of possession will be key.  I think the Rams defense contains but does not stop the Packers offense and Davante burns Jalen Ramsey twice.    

    Three Burning Questions That Will Determine the Outcome of Tonight’s Game:

  1. Can Davante Adams get the best of Jalen Ramsey?
  2. Can the Packers contain Cam Akers and focus on pressuring Jared Goff?
  3. Can Corey Linsley and the rest of the line contain Aaron Donald?

Sunday Afternoon Fantasy Football Picks (Daily Fantasy)

  • Robert Tonyan- I think Tonyan stays hot and continues to get targets from Rodgers because the Rams are going to have to devote their focus to taking away both Davante Adams and Aaron Jones. We know Aaron Rodgers will not force the ball which means Tonyan should see some targets on check downs, third downs, and RedZone situations. I think Big Bob will have yet another 5+ catch, 50+ yard, touchdown performance.
  • A.J Dillon (risky)- I know this is a risky pick but I really think Dillon could breach the Rams front seven first and gouge them for multiple big runs to set up Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams success later in the game.  I think the Packers could end up giving Dillon anywhere from 5-10 carries depending on his early production.  I see a 7-10 carry day for 75-100 yards and a touchdown.  
  • Allen Lazard-, I expect the Rams to try and take away Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, and Robert Tonyan (which will limit Aaron Rodgers options making for more of a struggle on offense) so I am expecting Rodgers to try and establish his secondary options like Lazard and MVS.  Lazard needs to step up and make some plays, and I think he does just that in this afternoon’s showdown.  Expect a 4+ catch, 60+ yard, touchdown performance from the Lizard. 

 

Picks, Parlays, and Game Props

  • Viable Anytime TD Scorer Options: Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marques-Valdes Scantling, Bob Tonyan, Cam Akers, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, and Aaron Jones. 
  • Anytime TD Scorer Parlay: Davante Adams, AJ Dillon, Tyler Higbee, Cam Akers, and Robert Tonyan (+44557) Realistic Anytime TD Parlay: Davante Adams, Robert Tonyan, and Tyler Higbee (+1928)
  • Two Touchdown Scorer: Davante Adams (+400)
  • Game Parlay: Rams +7.5 and under 45.5 points (+230)
  • Game Pick: I think the Packers defense continues to get better and the offense executes in crunch time.  The offensive line will contain Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, and Leonard Floyd, and Davante Adams will show why he is the best receiver in the NFL. Give me the Packers 24-17.               

Packer Fans, I want to hear from you!  Let me know your thoughts on this afternoon’s game against the Rams.  How do you see it playing out? Did you hit on any fantasy or game/parlay picks from the last few weeks?  What are your picks for this week?

-------------------

David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (8)

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Cubbygold's picture

January 16, 2021 at 10:09 am

Game is setting up much like the bears matchup. Their goal was to run the ball and control the clock, while trying to keep Rodgers off the field. Early on, they were successful and the game was close. But the mistake the bears made was settling for FGs early, allowing GB to eventually take over the game.

Same thing here. Rams may control clock, they may keep Rodgers off the field and frustrate the offense early. But if GB defense can play well in the red zone, it's only a matter of time before the offense runs away with the game.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 16, 2021 at 12:30 pm

If the Rams hold GB to 44 offensive plays GB loses this game.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 16, 2021 at 03:07 pm

What if 5 of those 44 are touchdowns?

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GregC's picture

January 16, 2021 at 11:06 am

I could see Lazard making some big plays in this game. But A.J. Dillon not so much, unless Jones or Williams gets hurt. If Dillon was going to be a big part of the offense in the playoffs, I think we would have seen more of him in the Bears game.

There was a classic sequence in the Rams-Seahawks game that I'm surprised has not really been mentioned much. Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf threw a tantrum on the sidelines because the ball was not getting thrown to him much. Not long afterward, Russell Wilson tried to force the ball to Metcalf on a sideways pass. A Rams CB anticipated the play and got a pick-six out of it. Davante Adams does not throw tantrums, but Aaron Rodgers DOES often try to force the ball to Adams on sideways passes. I hope that both players took notice of what happened to the Seahawks and don't fall into the same trap.

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tonys247's picture

January 16, 2021 at 02:14 pm

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tonys247's picture

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