Last week the Green Bay Packers finally put everything together and produced their best game of the year defeating the previously unbeaten Houston Texans 42-24 and now this week they look to do it again versus another physical defensive squad in the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are coming off of a tough 17-14 loss last week to the Miami Dolphins and will look to this game versus the Packers to not only help them forget that loss but also try to get back into the race in a very tough NFC West.
The Rams defense is very, very good and currently rank seventh in the NFL in total offensive yards allowed per game (311.5 yards), 14th in rushing yards allowed per game (103.7 yards) and fifth in both passing yards allowed per game (207.8 yards) and points allowed per game (18.5 points). The St. Louis defense led by defensive ends Chris Long (4 sacks this season) and Robert Quinn (6 sacks) with corner back Courtland Finnegan (41 tackles, a sack, 7 pass deflections and 3 interceptions this year) will have their hands full this week attempting to stop Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers (1,637 yards, 16 TD, 4 INT and completed 68% of his attempts this season) who is coming off of his best game this year. Last week against a stout Houston defense Rodgers completed 24 of his 37 attempts for 338 yards and tied a Packers record with six touchdowns. Expect Rodgers to look for wideouts Jordy Nelson (32 receptions for 410 yards and 4 TD) and James Jones (who leads the NFL with 7 receiving TD’s) early and often to make up for the lack of a running attack which has been even worse of late due to injuries. Speaking of the Packers rushing game, Alex Green is next up in line and he must find some type of way to produce anything so that way the dangerous St. Louis pass rush can remain honest against the Green Bay O-Line and Rodgers who has already been sacked 23 times this year (2nd most in NFL).
The Packers defense is hit or miss; one week they look great and the next not so much and based on that pattern following an impressive showing last week they may be terrible this week. That could be a good thing for the Rams who struggle moving the football on offense and are tied for 26th in the NFL in points scored per game with just 18.3. Sam Bradford has passed for 1,337 yards, six touchdowns, five interceptions and completed just 59.5% of his passes. Bradford has also been sacked plenty times this year, 18 to be exact which is tied for third most in the league and things won’t get any easier for him and the Rams offensive line against Clay Matthews who is second in the NFL with eight sacks on the season. Bradford is going to have to hook up with Brandon Gibson (20 receptions for 275 yards and 2 TD) and Chris Givens (7 receptions for 197 yards, TD and 28.1 yards per reception) due to the fact that his favorite target Danny Amendola is injured and will be for at least another month. The Rams major source of offensive production comes from their running game and the duo of Steven Jackson (89 carries for 323 yards) and rookie Daryl Richardson 47 carries for 246 yards) however neither has reached the endzone for a score yet this season, that will need to change if the Rams intend on pulling off the upset this week.
I think the Packers have finally figured out their offensive woes and they will just be too much to match up against this game for the Rams. I’ll take the Pack, big 38-17.