Packers (13-3) vs. Rams (10-6) Divisional Round Preview

Packers Offense vs. Rams Defense:
STATS GB O vs. LAR D_Updated2
Rams Offense vs. Packers Defense:
STATS GB D vs. LAR O_Updated2

The match up of the Packers Offense vs. the Rams Defense is about as good as it gets. The number-1 scoring offense vs. the number-1 scoring defense. There’s an expectation that we’ll get to see Davante Adams and Jalen Ramsey go head-to-head and battle it out all game. Sure, Ramsey will be matched on Adams at some point. You might see Ramsey align to the same side as Adams (similar to how the Rams handled D.K. Metcalf this season), but you likely won’t see him lock up on Adams and follow him around the field. That’s not how the Rams have played all year. They are a predominant zone-coverage team. As a result, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Green Bay align Adams inside or motion him away from Ramsey’s side pre-snap to get him some favorable matchups elsewhere.

The other element to this side of the ball is the protection vs. pressure matchup. The Rams are one of the best pass-rushing teams in the NFL, and the Packers have been outstanding in protection all season. Even with the loss of left tackle David Bakhtiari, I don’t anticipate the Packers allowing quite as much pressure as the Seahawks did last week. Aaron Rodgers has been playing within the framework of the offense more consistently this season. This means he gets the ball out of his hands quickly, which is not something we saw out of Russell Wilson last week or really in any game during the second half of the season. Rodgers and Green Bay just seem more equipped to handle L.A.’s pass rush.

Even if the Rams are able to limit the Packers’ effectiveness on offense, their ability to keep up on the other side of the ball is a major concern. It’s not so much that the Packers Defense should be a problem for the Rams. It’s that Jared Goff has not played well during the second half of the season. And that was before he broke the thumb on his throwing hand and had surgery less than three weeks ago. Keeping up with Aaron Rodgers in freezing cold temperatures is hard enough when your throwing hand is healthy. With a banged up hand that is reportedly still not fully recovered, the Rams will have to absolutely dominate with their running game the way San Francisco did vs. Green Bay in the 2019 NFC Championship Game.