The Green Bay Packers (4-0) will face off with the St. Louis Rams (2-2) Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. The game is set for a 12 p.m. kickoff on CBS.
These two teams will meet for the 94th time with the Rams leading the series 46-45-2. This will be the first meeting in Green Bay in four years.
Although the Rams are leading the series, Green Bay has won 5 of the last 6 meetings. The first ever meeting between these two teams was in 1937 when the Rams were in Cleveland. The team then moved to Los Angeles before settling in St. Louis for the last 20 years.
The Green Bay Packers are coming off yet another win this time over the San Francisco 49ers, 17-3.
The offense struggled for much of the game after the first drive, which resulted in an Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers 9 yard touchdown. Rodgers finished the game 22-of-32 for 224 yards and a touchdown while rushing 3 times for 33 yards.
Though the offense was stagnate, they were able to rush Eddie Lacy 18 times for 90 yards and John Kuhn scored his first touchdown of the year on a 1-yard carry in the 3rd quarter.
Without much fire power from the offense, the Packers defense stepped up for the third straight week.
The defense was able to finally slow down 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who has had success against the Pack going 3-0 before Sunday’s game.
Kaepernick is known for his read option ability, but only rushed 10 times for 57 yards against the much-improved Packers defense. The defense also picked up six more sacks on Sunday bringing their total to 13 in the past two weeks.
Aaron Rodgers reflected on the defensive effort by the Packers after the game:
“Fun to see the defense play like this.”
Head coach Mike McCarthy praised the performance of the whole team:
“Best performance of the year.”
As for the St. Louis Rams and their 2-2 start, it has been a roller coaster ride for them beating the two top teams in their division and losing to two teams they should’ve beaten.
After beating Seattle in Week 1, it looked good for newly acquired quarterback Nick Foles and the Rams, but they blew a tire in weeks 2 and 3 with losses to the Redskins and Steelers.
Sunday, they seemed to get the tire changed and put together a great team performance beating the previously unbeaten Cardinals, 24-22.
The Rams defense was able to shut down the Cardinals twice on goal to go situations in the first half, resulting in six points instead of 14.That kind of performance and much more is what they will need to do to stop the Packers at Lambeau.
As for the Rams offense, they will look to quarterback Nick Foles, wide receiver Tavon Austin, and rookie running back Todd Gurley.
In the win over the Cardinals, Foles was 16-of-24 for 171 yards and 3 touchdowns with two of those touchdowns with 96 yards going to Austin. Rookie Todd Gurley out of Georgia had a break out performance running 19 times for 146 yards and playing like a veteran. When he had a wide open path to the end zone, he didn’t score and stayed in bounds to let the clock run out.
The Packers will need to do a lot on offense as they usually do, and the Rams will need to stop Rodgers and their own running game going if they have a chance of winning.
Keys for Green Bay:
- Slow Down St. Louis run game: Though Gurley had a great week against Arizona and Green Bay should focus on him in their game planning, Green Bay also has to worry about Tavon Austin who is a very fast threat out of the back field in pistol formations.
- Continue defensive domination: The last two weeks Green Bay has a combined 13 sacks and has held opponents to very little in the passing and running games.
- Set the tempo: If Green Bay can get out in front early and let the defense play with a lead, the game should be all but over.
Keys for St. Louis:
- Get run game going: The Packers have held their last three opponents running back to less than 70 yards each. If the Rams want to win they will need to get Gurley going which will open up the passing game for Nick Foles.
- Keep momentum: The Rams have two very good wins and two losses that they shouldn’t have had. If they come out firing like they did against the Cardinals they will have a good chance of upsetting the Packers if not it will be a long day for the Rams.
- Get an interception: Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at home since 2012, if the Rams can get pressure on Rodgers and force tough passes the Rams defensive back cannot let the opportunity slip through their hands.
This is one game you won’t want to miss it should be an outstanding football game between two teams that have different things to prove.
My prediction: Packers 30 Rams 20
Podcast Record (15-8)
Week 5 Picks:
Texans over Colts
Bills over Titans
Ravens over Browns
Chiefs over Bears
Bengals over Seahawks
Buccaneers over Jaguars
Saints over Eagles
Falcons over Redskins
Cardinals over Lions
Patriots over Cowboys
Broncos over Raiders
Giants over 49ers
Chargers over Steelers
(Podcast picks coming Thursday)
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