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Why the Packers Will Beat the Rams and Why They Might Not

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Why the Packers Will Beat the Rams and Why They Might Not

Following the bye week, the Green Bay Packers will resume their 2018 schedule Sunday and they will do it against the Los Angeles Rams, who are quite possibly the best team in the NFL.

The Packers have faced some difficult challenges before, but this Rams team is loaded. With Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Marcus Peters and many others, LA might have compiled the most talent of any roster in the league right now and that's why Green Bay will enter the game, which is on the road, as more than an eight-point underdog. In fact, it will be the largest spread of Aaron Rodgers' career.

In that regard, it might not be a bad thing. If the Packers are going to have any shot at winning this game, they will need to be firing on all cylinders and that usually means Rodgers is on his "A" game. 

Green Bay is going to need that in order to win, but it's going to need a lot of other things to happen too. Not many are going to give the 3-2-1 Packers a shot at knocking off the 7-0 Rams, however, that's why they play the games. 

Why Green Bay Might Win

If the Packers are going to win this game, Rodgers needs to be spectacular. He is still the best player in the NFL, in my opinion, and he needs to play like that Sunday at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Yet, that is much easier said than done and certainly, Rodgers is going to need some help.

His offensive line is going to have to play its best game of the season and try to find some way to neutralize or at least contain Donald, who has eight sacks.  While the Rams pass rush is fierce, Los Angeles has 19 sacks compared to 18 for Green Bay. So maybe the Packers pass rush isn't as bad as we think, although inside linebacker Blake Martinez leads the team in sacks with three, so that tells you Green Bay is relying on a lot of scheme sacks, not Nick Perry or Clay Matthews winning off the edge.

Offensively, the Packers come into Sunday ranking fourth in terms of total yards but just 16th in points scored and 20th when it comes to rushing yards. The Packers are scoring on 40 percent on their drives, which is eighth-best in the NFL, yet their red-zone percentage ranks them 19th. 

A big key for the Packers in two of their last three wins has been the running game. Green Bay has rushed for 100 yards or more three times this season and is 2-1 in those outings, with back-to-back wins over the Bills and Niners when rushing over 100. 

But if that's going to happen, Aaron Jones needs the ball more. He's Green Bay's best back and against the best team in the league, the Packers can't afford to limit his touches anymore. 

With a run game, some solid protection and a decent effort from the Green Bay defense, the Packers could have a chance to win this game. They need to get a lead early, somehow hold Gurley in check and make Goff try to beat them, something he will have to do without promising second-year receiver Cooper Kupp. 

Additionally, the Packers, following their bye week are actually somewhat healthy. Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison should be back on offense, while Jaire Alexander and Bashaud Breeland should be good to go for the defense. Seeing Breeland on the field will help, but not as much as Alexander, who has been arguably Green Bay's best defender along with Martinez and Kenny Clark. 

The offense will need to score 30 points or more win this game and the defense, well it's not going to stop the Rams, yet it can be opportunistic. If the Packers can make some impactful plays (sacks and turnovers) on defense, it might just have a chance. If not, Aaron Rodgers will need to be just about perfect and against the Rams fourth-ranked defense, that is a big ask.

Why the Packers Might Lose 

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the Rams are playing as well as any team in the NFL right now and beating them on the road, is not going to be easy. Los Angeles is 3-0 at home and is winning those games by an average of 17 points. Two of those wins came over the Chargers and Vikings, two solid teams.

More impressively, the Rams are fresh off three straight road wins and are 4-0 away from home. Goff has come into his own as one of the game's elite young signal callers and is completing nearly 70 percent of his throws and has 14 touchdowns and five interceptions through seven games. On top of that, Gurley might be the best skill guy in the NFL right now and Donald might be the best defender.

The Rams have the NFL's best rushing attack and are also ranked second in the league in defending the run. Their offense ranks third in total yards and their defense is fourth. To put it simply, the Rams are a juggernaut and as of right now, they are the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Obviously, there is a lot of football left to play and we shouldn't count out the Packers today, just know that in order for Green Bay to win, it will have to play a complete game, with all three phases clicking. 

That hasn't happened yet in the 2018 season, but if you ask me, Sunday in Los Angeles seems like a perfect time to finally put it all together. 

__________________________

Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

Why they might win: They have several bounces go their way and surprise us with tenacity on defense and intelligence on offense that we haven't seen yet.

Why they might not: Um.... everything else under the sun. The Rams are a more talented, younger, better coached team right now.

The TKstinator's picture

“Any given Sunday” could be today.

(On account of my calendar says it’s Sunday today.)

Rossonero's picture

We won't win if we bury ourselves by 18 pts. or more by halftime like we've done three times this season (Bears, Redskins, Lions).

We will win if McCarthy gives Aaron Jones the freaking football and Rodgers gets solid protection -- but also gets rid of the ball quickly when need be.

Defensively, we'll win if our secondary plays well. Maybe this is the game where Brice gets yanked. You can bet Sean McVay will wanna test us deep after watching film of Brice getting torched.

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

It all comes down to decision making. CHTV shirt or my Rodgers jersey...will my coonhound have on his Packer collar or bandana...garden gnome right or left side of the TV...G-force flag or standard Pack flag...commando or Packer boxers. So much goes into a Packer victory that cannot be included in an article like this. This is totally on us. I hope the rest of you chose wisely.

Chris Peterson's picture

Right? None of my jerserys have brought consistent success. Gonna have to rock the Rodgers Super Bowl 12 today. No other choice.

4thand1's picture

Why they will win, because AR will have to carry the load, why they will lose, because AR will have to carry the load. Saw a good commentary this morning on how the Packers have wasted AR's talents over the years. His prime years, something that's been echoed in her over and over. We put average to below average teams on the field only to have AR pull games out, but fail to get to another SB.

MarkinMadison's picture

I think we will all be dumb-founded if the Packers find a way to win this game. If I was in Vegas I'd take the Rams, even with the Rams giving 9 points. My prediction: Rams 41- Packers 21. MM's seat is about to get really hot.

Reasons why I'm right: (1) The Packers won't be able to run against the Rams. (2) #12 is looking for the big play too often, which is hard on his OL and hard on him. (3) The Packers can't cover Gurley unless Burks takes a huge leap forward today. (4) Kentrell Brice. (5) Too many weapons to hide Tramon Williams' lack of speed.

Reasons why I'm wrong: Ummmm.

holmesmd's picture

Well I’m glad you didn’t bet because you were pretty much wrong about everything! LoL

Since '61's picture

Reasons the Packers will win:

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Aaron Jones
3. Win the LOS on both sides of the ball
4. Packers secondary
5. Mason Crosby

Reasons the Packers could lose:

1. Todd Gurley
2. Aaron Donald
3. Rams win the LOS
4. Terrible edge players for the Packers defense
5. Packers beat themselves with stupid penalties

The Packers will need to play a near perfect game to defeat the Rams. They need to play with a lead and they can't afford to take off a play, never mind a quarter on defense. Hoping for the Packers in a close one. Our best chance is to keep the game close and have the ball in Rodgers hands during the last 2 minutes of the game. Thanks, Since '61

EdsLaces's picture

100% agree on the playing a perfect game to win.

Skip greenBayless's picture

Why the Packers could win? Why not.

Why the Rams could lose? They are due.

That is all. Thank you.

Dash

Doug Niemczynski's picture

If the Rams bus is late getting to the game, then Packers win by 2.

Since '61's picture

I'll take it. Thanks, Since '61

Colin_C's picture

Packers - 34
Rams - 26

Here's hoping!

EdsLaces's picture

If we dont dig ourselves a gigantic hole to climb out of....mayyyybe we win.

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