5 reasons why the Packers will beat the Rams (and 1 reason why they might not)
I keep hearing over and over again how this St. Louis Rams team could be trouble for the Green Bay Packers this afternoon.
“Oooooohhhhhhh,the Rams have a great front four. Aaron Rodgers will be running for his life.”
“Ooooohhhhhhh,lookit the Rams new rookie running back Todd Gurley. He might be the next Adrian Peterson!”
“Ooooooohhhhh,the Rams went into Arizona and beat the Cardinals. Did you hear that? THE RAMS BEAT THE ARIZONA CARDINALS!!!! BE AFRAID,PACKERS. BE VERY AFRAID!!!!!”
Let me be as clear as I possibly can before proceeding. The Packers are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.47 times better than the Rams. In fact,I feel guilty even including the Rams in the same sentence as the Packers while writing this silly preview.
Unless every Packers player catches whatever disease Matt Hasselbeck had this week,the Packers will beat the Rams by a wide margin. A 50-burger is not out of the realm of possibility,so save room if you’re eating bratwurst at your pregame tailgate. Those 50-burgers take up a lot of stomach space.
Let me refute the aforementioned talking points people are using when trying to fool us into thinking the Rams led by Nick Foles actually have a shot at beating the Packers led by Aaron Rodgers:
- With the exception of last season,the end of 2010 and most of 2011,Rodgers has spent his entire time as the Packers quarterback running for his life. It’s what he does. He runs for his life. It hasn’t stopped him from being the best player in the league before and it sure as hell won’t stop him from being the best player in the league against the lousy Rams.
- In their last three games,the Packers have stonewalled Marshawn Lynch,Jamaal Charles and Carlos Hyde. The last thing the Packers are worried about is some rookie coming off ACL surgery lighting them up. Puh-leaze.
- So,the Rams beat the Arizona Cardinals last week,eh? And I’m supposed to be impressed by this? IT’S THE ARIZONA FREAKING CARDINALS!!! We’re not talking about the Bill Walsh 49ers here,we’re talking about the ARIZONA CARDINALS! C’mon,man. Beating the Cardinals is like shooting a squirrel. It’s fun,but you don’t mount the squirrel on the wall in your man cave next to the 13-point buck.
Still not convinced that the Packers are going to roll over the Rams? Here are five more reasons why you should believe me:
The Rams forced three turnovers to beat the Cardinals in Arizona last week. That ain’t happening today. Rodgers does not turn the ball over in Lambeau,so the Rams and their one-trick pony Todd Gurley offense will be forced to go long distances if they want to score.
Everyone is talking about how tough the Rams defensive line will be for the Packers offensive line to contain. What about the Packers surging defensive line against the Rams mishmash of an offensive line? Mike Daniels and B.J. Raji are playing some of the best ball of their careers. Even Datone Jones got in on the action against the 49ers and Letroy Guion is back. The Rams have three first-year starters up front (right tackle,center and left guard). Hats off to the Rams front four. They’re talented. But the Packers defensive line isn’t too shabby,either,and I think they match up favorably with the Rams’ inexperienced o-line.
We all know how great Rodgers is. We also all know that Nick Foles is…well,Nick Foles. Foles is definitely a step up from Colin Kaepernick,but it’s not like he’s going to match Rodgers throw for throw. If the Packers get out ahead early and let their defense tee off,things could be over in a hurry. I can’t see the Packers losing a game at home where their advantage at the game’s most important position is this big.
The Rams are allowing over 120 rushing yards per game,26th worst in football. After losing LB Alec Ogletree last week to a broken ankle,stopping the run won’t be getting easier any time soon. Yes,the Rams front four might be able to get after Rodgers,but that pass rush can be slowed down some if Lacy and a Packers offensive line with 287 combined starts under their belts are able to get going on the ground.
The Rams defense is coordinated by Gregg Williams,the Bounty Gate guy who really,really,really loves to blitz. With the way Rodgers uses cadence to not only draw opponents offside,but also get the defense to commit to what they’re doing early,I just don’t think it’s a good idea to consistently blitz Rodgers at Lambeau. I also don’t think Williams will be able to contain himself. Look for Rodgers to buy time and make plays when Williams brings extra pressure.
If all the hype and consternation about the Rams proves to be true and they do put up a fight at Lambeau,they might be able to pull off a win if…
Copying the Bears
Why would anyone want to copy the hapless Chicago Bears? Because they almost beat the Packers in week 1 by running the ball,keeping Rodgers on the sideline,and not letting Packers receivers make big plays downfield. If the Rams do what the Bears did in week 1,they’ve got a good shot to win because the Rams are much more talented defensively than Chicago is.