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NFL Divisional Playoff: LA Rams @ Green Bay Packers Prediction

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/14/2021

The Los Angeles Rams looked like long shots in their wild card game against the Seattle Seahawks. After all, they were starting backup quarterback John Wolford, since Jared Goff had broken his thumb in Week 16 and had surgery to install three pins in the days following. Wolford scrambled in the early going and suffered a neck injury that sent him to the hospital, leaving Goff as the only quarterback on the field for the Rams. On he came, and he led the Rams to a 30-20 win.  Jazz Sports offers a generous welcome bonus ($1000 max bonus)

Next up for the Rams is a trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers, who had a bye through the wild card round.

Can the Rams win on a cold field? Or will the Packers punch their ticket to the NFC Championship? Don’t miss our thoughts on this divisional showdown.
 
NFC Divisional Playoff (January 16)
L.A. Rams at Green Bay Packers
 
When: Saturday, January 16, 2021, 4:35 pm ET
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
TV: FOX
Radio: Westwood One
JAZZ Sports Odds: Packers -7 / Total 49.5 *
 
Why the Rams Will Win

Sean McVay has a career record of 43-21, but his teams are 34-0 when leading at halftime. So when he gets out to a lead, he finds a way to latch on and hold it. Even with Aaron Donald limited with his ribs, the Rams have a fearsome pass rush that likes to get in the backfield and disrupt the opposing offense. If they can get after Aaron Rodgers and frustrate him and keep the points low, they have a chance.
 
On offense, Cam Akers was a bruising running back against Seattle, and Green Bay has also shown some vulnerability against the run. However, they were able to bottle up Derrick Henry, mostly by getting out to an early lead and forcing the Titans to throw the ball to catch up. If you like the Rams, you see their defense doing a better job than Seattle’s did at keeping things close.
 
Why the Packers Will Win

How do you beat the Rams? You load the box to stop the run, as well as the outside zone. You change up your defensive fronts and your coverage looks as the play clock winds down to confuse Goff, and then you blitz on third down. You use the blitz to force Goff into hurried throws and the sort of mistakes that he will make. The Seahawks couldn’t do that well enough in the wild card game, as they just could not mount pressure, and they lost as a result.
 
Oh, and then there’s the fact that the Packers will get to host the Rams on a day when the high will be 32 degrees, according to the current forecast. Aaron Donald (ribs) will come in less than 100 percent, and Goff’s thumb will still have three pins in it. The Rams play an offense that looks a lot like Tennessee’s, especially with the use of the outside zone. They were able to shut down the Titans’ 2,000-yard running back, Derrick Henry, in a Week 16 thrashing. I see them shutting down the Rams as well.
 
The Final Word

I thought that the Seahawks would take care of the Rams, but their collective inability to pay attention on defense hurt them, particularly in the running game. I don’t see the Rams doing well in the cold, especially with Aaron Rodgers waiting to slice and dice their secondary. The Rams’ pass rush won’t do as well in the cold, and the Packers will make them pay.


*Odds are subject to change.

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