The Divisional Round kicks off Saturday, and the first matchup features the Los Angeles Rams (10-6) squaring off with the Green Bay Packers (13-3). The Packers will host this NFC showdown at Lambeau Field, and kickoff is scheduled for 4:35 pm ET.
The Rams made it through the Wild Card round by beating their division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks, 30-20. After John Wolford was knocked out of the game early, Jared Goff came in to throw for 155 yards and a touchdown. They heavily relied on the run game in the win as Cam Akers rushed for 131 yards and a score.
For the Packers, they were able to enjoy the Wild Card round from the comforts of their own home. After finishing first in the NFC during the regular season, the Packers were afforded a bye last week. Not only is Green Bay rested, but they also come in on a roll, having won their last six games of the regular season.
The Packers are the favorites playing at home. They are -310 to win while the Rams’ moneyline sits at +250. The spread features Los Angeles +6.5 while the over/under for total points is 45.5.
By The Numbers
Offensively, Green Bay has been the best team in the NFL. They sit atop the rankings averaging 31.8 points per game (33 over their last three). For the Rams, they rank 20th, averaging 23.6 points per game.
Defensively, it is the Rams who hold the edge. They rank first in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing just 18.6 points per game to opponents. The Packers rank 14th, allowing an average of 23.1 points per game.
Rams Try To Win Despite Injuries
It has been a rough few weeks for the Rams on the injury report. After starting in place of Jared Goff, who had broken his thumb just a couple of weeks before, quarterback John Wolford’s time in the postseason was cut short after suffering a neck injury against the Seahawks. While Goff came in to finish the game, he hardly looked like the quarterback we have seen before.
Even worse, the Rams suffered a couple of other injuries to star players. Aaron Donald had to get x-rays on his ribs while Cooper Kupp had knee issues. They both likely suit up, but only time will tell if they are at 100%.
Where the Rams will try to exploit the Packers’ defense is on the ground. Running Back Cam Akers has started to heat up after rushing for 625 yards and two touchdowns during the regular season. Green Bay ranks 13th against the run, so if the Rams can get it going and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field, they might have a chance.
Green Bay Looks To Stay Dominant At Home
At 7-1, the Green Bay Packers have been dominant when playing at home, a luxury they will have throughout the postseason. They will try to continue this dominance as they host the Rams Saturday.
Leading the way for the Packers is quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Maybe he has a chip on his shoulder because the Packers drafted a quarterback last April, but he seems like a man on a mission this year.
The favorite to win MVP threw for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns, and just five interceptions. He also rushed for 149 yards and another three scores.
By far, his favorite receiver this season has been Davante Adams. The star wideout caught 115 passes for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns during the regular season.
The Packers aren’t one-dimensional, though, as they have a backfield led by Aaron Jones and his 1,104 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.
Their offense has been a juggernaut, and the Rams’ top-ranked defense will undoubtedly have their hands full.
Green Bay Wins And Covers
It has been a nice little run for the Los Angeles Rams, but that run ends here. Green Bay has easily been the most dominant team in the NFC this season, and I don’t anticipate that changing against a banged-up Rams team.
Look for Rodgers to continue to show why he is the favorite to be MVP, and look for the Rams’ plethora of injuries to affect them on both sides of the ball. In the end, I like Green Bay not only to win but to cover the 6.5-point spread as well.