The Los Angeles Rams (10-6, 4-4 away) take on the Green Bay Packers (13-3, 7-1 home) in the first game of the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Los Angeles surprised Seattle last weekend to move on, while the Packers enjoyed an off week as the NFC’s top seed. The winner advances to the NFC Championship next weekend against either New Orleans or Tampa Bay. Saturday’s kickoff is at 4:35 p.m. EST at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. As expected, the top-seed Packers are a 6.5-point favorite in the divisional round, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles snuck into the postseason with an 18-7 victory over Arizona in the regular season’s final game. The Rams did it without starting quarterback Jared Goff, sidelined with a thumb injury suffered in the previous week. John Wolford, Goff’s replacement, sustained a neck injury in the wild-card game against the Seahawks, prompting the Rams to plug in Goff to lead them to victory.
Goff came in with Wolford sidelined and completed 9-of-19 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown against the Seahawks. The fifth-year pro wrapped up his 2020 season, throwing for 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns. Goff added a career-high four rushing touchdowns to his total this year.
Three rushers carried the ball over 100 times for the Rams, with rookie running back Cam Akers (145 carries, 625 yards, two touchdowns) emerging as the lead back late in the season. Akers toted the rock 28 times for 131 yards and one score in last week’s wild-card matchup.
Cooper Kupp (92 receptions, 974 yards, three touchdowns) and Robert Woods (90 receptions, 936 yards, six touchdowns) each accumulated over 90 receptions during the regular season. Kupp paced the receiving core last weekend, catching four passes for 78 yards against the Seahawks’ secondary.
What to Know – Green Bay Packers
Green Bay opened the season with four-straight wins and closed the season, winning their final six. The Packers locked in the top seed and enjoyed the time off last week as the only NFC team to receive a bye.
Aaron Rodgers had a career year, throwing for 4,299 yards and a career-high 48 touchdowns. Rodgers’ season accomplishments put him in the driver’s seat for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award.
While Rodgers was playing pitch-and-catch all season, running back Aaron Jones quietly put together a 1,000+ season on the ground. Jones totaled 1,104 yards with nine touchdowns in 14 games this season.
Davante Adams also had a historic season as the primary target for Rodgers. Adams hauled in 115 passes for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns as one of the top wideouts in the NFL. Tight end Robert Tonyan chipped in a career-high 11 receiving touchdowns as well.
The Pick is In
This is a classic battle of strengths, with the Packers sporting one of the league’s top offense and the Rams showcasing the NFL’s top defensive unit. These two teams did not get a chance to play each other during the regular season, marking the first time for viewers to see the matchup. Green Bay has been near perfect at home this season, and the weather forecast is favoring the host, with snow showers expected. The Packers should make enough stops on defense to take this one by a touchdown or more.
The Pick: Green Bay Packers -6.5