Packers Offense Needs To Keep Rolling
After a somewhat anemic offensive showing in snowy conditions against the Seahawks in week 10, the Packers offense bounced back in week 11 against the Vikings.
The going will be tougher against a Rams front that features two future Hall-of-Famers in Aaron Donald and Von Miller and another above average pass rusher in Leonard Floyd.
Ohh, yeah, also the top (healthy 😉 ) cornerback in the NFL in Jalen Ramsey
If you factor in the loss of Elgton Jenkins to an already depleted offensive line it could be a long afternoon for the boys in Green & Gold.
If the Packers are going to have success on offense it’s going to be squarely on the shoulders of Matt LaFleur to call a masterful game.
We know Aaron Rodgers is god-like and you’d be foolish to ever bet against him but the margin for error on offense is growing slimmer and slimmer by the week.
Imagine, this Sunday, a hobbled Rodgers constantly under duress being forced to hurry his throws. Not having the time he needs to hit on deep shots and with limited ability to extend plays.
It would be a huge boon to have Aaron Jones back to
take some of the pressure off of both Rodgers and AJ Dillon.
Dillon played pretty well against the Vikings but the combo of Jones and Dillon together are what’s truly elite.
I think to beat the Rams the Packers are going to have to roll with an efficient, uptempo quick-passing attack and rely heavily on the run. I just don’t see much in the way of opportunities for 5- & 7-step drops against this defensive front with a depleted O-line.
But, bet against Rodgers at your own peril, right?
Who Are The Rams This Season?
A familiar foe comes to town in the LA Rams who are no doubt looking for retribution after the Packers bounced them from the playoffs in the divisional round last January.
The Rams are loaded with big names at just about every position but they haven’t really coalesced this season as of yet.
They have one impressive win at home over the Tom Brady led Buccaneers and a solid win on the road against the Colts but both of those were in the first three weeks of the season.
Recently, the Rams have beaten the teams they’re supposed to (Giants, Lions, Texans) but they got pummeled at home by the Titans and then embarrassed on the road at the 49ers leading into their bye week.
As Packers fans know, the bye week can be helpful for healing up mid season injuries but it can also disrupt continuity.
In the case of the Rams, the bye week may just be what they needed to get back on track.
Packer fans will be hoping that Rams players and coaches spent the bye week vacationing and not gameplanning for the last third of the season.
The Packers are quite familiar with Matthew Stafford from his years with the Lions so they will have an advantage there in knowing some of his tendencies, the question remains will they be able to capitalize?
Rams newcomer wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. flirted with joining the Packers a few weeks ago in a highly publicized free agency decision. OBJ adds another deep threat option to the Rams that the Packers will have to account for.
Luckily for the Packers OBJ is not the same player that he once was, but still someone that can gash a defense if given the opportunity.
Number one wide receiver Cooper Kupp is playing like the best receiver in the league and already has formed a connection with Stafford similar to the likes of Rodgers and Davante Adams.
The Rams represent the third toughest defense (Football Outsiders $) the Packers have played this season after the Cardinals and Saints, ranking 8th in DVOA.
The Keys To Victory
- Efficient, quick-tempo offense with a focus on running the ball (even if there isn’t immediate success) and wearing down the Rams front 7. Let AJ Dillon feast in the fourth quarter.
- Keep the Rams WRs from taking the top off the defense. The Packers struggled against the Vikings with the big play, and Cooper Kupp and OBJ will be salivating at the opportunity for a game breaking play or impactful pass interference penalty.
- A strong opening quarter on offense will be huge for the Packers. The Rams have been stingy in allowing points in the opening quarter, and the Packers have been just plain bad on opening drives. A long drive that comes away with a touchdown will be a major tonesetter for the Pack.
- Will the Packers have enough pass rush if Rashan Gary doesn’t play? The Packers cannot let Matthew Stafford get comfortable if they want to win. Kenny Clark is unblockable right now and Preston Smith is coming off a great game against the Vikings but Jonathan Garvin hit the reserve/covid list this week leaving the cupboard bare.
- The Packers Special Teams and specifically Mason Crosby cannot give the game away. No team is good enough to win while leaving points on the table or giving the opposing offense consistently excellent starting field position. If Mason has another short miss he will be squarely on the hot seat.
- The defense HAS to capitalize on turnover opportunities. I know the nature of football is that sometimes it just doesn’t bounce your way, but the Packers have to create extra possessions for themselves. Especially when the offense is sputtering. Here’s hoping for some positive regression with bad turnover luck!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I hope the Packers FEAST for the remainder of the regular season. I know I will!
You can follow Adam on twitter at @adamjcarlson28.