Week Eight: Previewing the Los Angeles Rams

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Game Info: Sunday, October 28th at 3:25PM CST on FOX: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

Odds: Rams -9.5; over/under 56.5

Los Angeles Rams: 7-0; Last week: Won @ San Francisco 49ers 39-10

Head Coach: Sean McVay (18-6, first game vs Packers, 2nd NFL Season as HC)

All-Time Series: Series Tied 46-46-2 (1-1 in postseason)

Injury Report: NT Ndamukong Suh (QUES-knee), DE Michael Brockers (QUES-shoulder), WR Cooper Kupp (DOUBT-knee), OLB Trevon Young (QUES-back)

Los Angeles Rams Expected Lineup:

OFFENSE DEFENSE (3-4 base alignment)
QB 16 Jared Goff LDE 90 Michael Brockers
RB 30 Todd Gurley NT 93 Ndamukong Suh
RB2 34 Malcolm Brown RDE 99 Aaron Donald
RB3 33 Justin Davis OLB 96 Matt Longacre
WR1 12 Brandin Cooks ILB 58 Cory Littleton
WR2 17 Robert Woods ILB 26 Mark Barron
WR3 18 Cooper Kupp OLB 50 Samson Ebukam
TE: 89 Tyler Higbee CB 22 Marcus Peters
TE: 81 Gerald Everett FS 20 Lamarcus Joyner
LT 77 Andrew Whitworth SS 43 John Johnson III
LG 76 Rodger Saffold CB 37 Sam Shelds
C 65 John Sullivan CB 32 Troy Hill
RG 66 Austin Blythe K   4 Greg Zuerlein
RT 79 Rob Havenstein P   6 Johnny Hekker

 

The Packers, fresh off a needed bye week, fly into Los Angeles to take on a sizzling hot Rams squad that has started the season 7-0 and returns home after three straight wins on the road. While the Packers have been 11-2 in the state of California since 1990, this Rams team is a   daunting task as they currently rank as the third scoring offensive and the fourth ranked scoring defense in the NFL. The Packers will need to play a perfect game on Sunday to come away with their first win in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since defeating the Raiders there in 1990. While the Rams will be almost guaranteed to put up a high amount of points it’s what the Packers are able to do consistently on offense that will determine if the Packers’ fly back to Wisconsin with an “upset” win or a very humbling loss.

Must Contain the Rams Pressure Up Front

Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh put fear into offensive coordinator’s game plans across the NFL and now with them being apart of the same defense makes blood pressure’s rise greatly on the opposing sidelines knowing they can single handedly disrupt each play. The Packers must rely on their interior linemen C Corey Linsley, LG Lane Taylor and newly implemented RG Byron Bell to have near perfect games on Sunday to contain Suh and Donald and the blitz packages the Rams run off their lethal pair.

One way the Packers can help offset the menacing pair is to establish a solid run game, something which the Rams defense is in the middle of the pack against in the NFL rankings. Coach Mike McCarthy must find a way to get Aaron Jones more involved in the offensive game plan (this statement is starting to sound like a broken record) while also utilizing Ty Montgomery on quick passes to keep the Rams on their toes. The concern mentioned is Jones’ lack of pass blocking ability compared to the other running backs, but with a full stable of receivers Rodgers should have more confidence to dial up quick routes to keep the chains moving and keep the Rams’ defense guessing. 

Let it Rip and Make it Count in the Red Zone

For the first time since week three against Washington, a game which saw the Packers have a major case of the dropsies, they will have their full receiving group active with Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison both expected to play. Since week three some of the younger receivers have also stepped up and have proven they can make big plays when called upon, thus providing Rodgers with even more weapons as he continues to gain trust in Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown and J’Mon Moore.

While the Rams’ offense gets all the headlines, the Packers’ offense has put up a respectable 421 yards/game. However, one glaring difference comes down to third down efficiency. The Packers rank 19th in the NFL in team red zone touchdown scoring percentage at 50% which is an improvement from where they sat before entering the game against San Francisco but going against a team like the Rams that’s not going to cut it.  Not being able to capitalize for 6 on scoring opportunities could lead to the Rams’ winning in a rout.

PREDICTION: Packers 38, Rams 35

CLASSIC FLASHBACK

Sunday, September 5th, 1993: Packers 36, LA Rams 6: Milwaukee County Stadium

To open the 1993 season the Packers squared off against the Rams in Milwaukee and overwhelmed the visitors from Los Angeles. The Packers offense led by QB Brett Favre recorded 381 yards and scored on six of their eight possessions highlighted by a 50-yard touchdown strike from Favre to WR Sterling Sharpe.

 

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