Green Bay Packers v. Rams: Divisional Round Predictions

Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) gestures during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) gestures during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s been a long two weeks, but it is finally game day! The Green Bay Packers are set to host the Los Angeles Rams this afternoon with a trip to the NFC Championship on the line, and here at Dairyland Express, we have our predictions for how this matchup will play out.

But first, speaking of matchups, this game is filled with plenty of them. We have the NFL’s top offense against the NFL’s top defense. There is Matt LaFleur against his former mentor and friend Sean McVay. Davante Adams is expected to be covered by Jalen Ramsey for much of the day, and All-Pro’s Aaron Donald and Corey Linsley will be going head to head as well.

As far as injuries go for each team, Donald did suffer a rib injury against Seattle, but he is going to play. Meanwhile, Cooper Kupp, who left the Seattle game with a knee injury, is listed as questionable, as is offensive lineman David Edwards. For the Green Bay Packers, Kingsley Keke is the only player with a designation, and he is doubtful.

It’s playoff football at Lambeau Field, and there really is nothing better. So let’s dive into those predictions to take a look at who our crew at Dairyland Express has moving on to the NFC Championship.

Kenny Jilek

The Los Angeles Rams have one of the best defensive units in the league. However, if there’s a team that’s perfectly equipped to score against them, it’s the Green Bay Packers. Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald are great, but Davante Adams won’t let himself be contained in a playoff game, and the Packers’ interior line, led by All-Pro Corey Linsley, can handle Donald, even if they don’t completely neutralize him. Even though Adams will still do his thing, he can’t be counted on for a monster 150-yard two-touchdown game, so the Packers will have to find other options. Robert Tonyan will come in huge as a target in the passing game and should be well integrated into the game plan.

On the other side of the ball, the Rams will likely have a tough time moving the ball and scoring against the Green Bay Packers. Jared Goff should have a tough time throwing in the cold weather, and the temperature will likely be a shock for most of their players who played half their games in balmy Los Angeles. They can’t let rookie running back Cam Akers get loose like he did last week against Seattle, but the defense has been peaking at the right time the last few weeks, and with the addition of Snacks Harrison, they should be able to shut this Rams offense down.

Prediction: Packers 27 – Rams 16

Matt LeVene

The Green Bay Packers and Rams will be a clash of opposites. Los Angeles brings with them an outstanding defense headlined by perennial All-Pros Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. While the Packers have an absolute juggernaut of an offense. The battle will come in the highly anticipated Ramsey – Davante Adams matchup. But perhaps more important than this will be the interior blocking of Corey Linsley and Elgton Jenkins on Aaron Donald. Donald can and will wreck games if he is not game planned for.

With the mastery the Packers have displayed on the offensive end thus far, I see no reason why they will not have a tremendous game plan and get the offense moving through Aaron Rodgers and the monsters in the backfield. Look for the other receivers and Bob Tonyan to have big games in the play-action game. As dominant as the Rams defense has been, play-action has been their kryptonite, so look for Green Bay to take advantage.

With an injured Jared Goff and in a freezing cold environment, the Rams’ offense will lean heavily on their streaky but effective run game. Normally, a potent rushing attack would cause concern for the Pack, but the past few outings, the defensive unit has been very effective, having a new look and swagger in their play. If the Green Bay Packers’ secondary can contain Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, and the front seven limits the production of the LA backfield, this game will be won by the Packers. If not, it could go either way. Look for Krys Barnes to have a big statistical day.

Prediction: Packers 27 – Rams 16

Trevor Bender

The Rams have been a good rushing offense all year, Football Outsider’s DVOA ranks them fourth, and PFF ranks them fourth in run blocking. While the Rams have been good at running the football, they are not nearly as good as a passing team, even with weapons like Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. For the Green Bay Packers, their run defense has not been as bad this year, especially since the second Vikings game. DVOA ranks them as the 18th best run defense unit, while PFF has them at 16th best in the league for their rush defense grade.

This seems advantageous for the Rams, but I think the Packers can help themselves by stopping the run early and forcing the Rams to throw the football by scoring early and as often as the Rams defense will allow. I trust the Packers’ defense more at this point than I would trust the Rams’ offense due to all of the quarterback concerns.

I like the Packers to win, and I think that the addition of Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison will help slow down Cam Akers while the rest of the Packers defense’s star players (Alexander, Clark, Smith, Gary, Savage, Amos) will continue to play at a high level for a convincing Packer victory and advancing to Aaron Rodgers’ first NFC championship game in Lambeau Field.

Prediction: Packers 28 – Rams 10

Paul Bretl

The game plan for the Green Bay Packers’ defense will be slowing Cam Akers and taking the easy completions away from Jared Goff. The Rams have relied heavily on Akers over the last month, especially last weekend with the uncertainty at quarterback, and I expect much of the same Saturday. The good news is that the Green Bay defense is peaking at the right time, and if they can slow the LA run game, I’m having a hard time imagining Goff picking this defense part in the cold and with a bad thumb.

Next. Packers v. Rams: Behind Enemy Lines. dark

For the Packers’ offense, it won’t be easy, but because of the Rams’ offense, they won’t have to put up a lot of points either. The obvious keys are keeping Aaron Rodgers clean in the pocket and not abandoning the run game. It’ll also take a collective effort in the passing game as well, and while it might not always be pretty, they’ll have enough success to get the win.

Prediction: Packers 24- Rams 16