I’ll be honest, the pessimist (or reverse psychologist) side of me wants to say, “Mail it in”. We have back to back away games at Los Angeles and New England. Traveling quite literally from coast to coast, over 4,500 miles, and it’s going to take a toll; but I digress.
Facts are facts. The Los Angeles Rams are undefeated and per Vegas Insider, this is going to be the largest underdog spread that Aaron Rodgers has faced in his career. As it is now the Packers stand +9 against the Rams. As reported by ESPN’s Ben Fawkes, the Packers largest underdog spread with Aaron Rodgers at the helm came in week 8 of the 2010 season at the New York Jets. For the eventual Super Bowl Champion’s, that game was the last time the Packers shutout a team before week 4 against the Buffalo Bills this season.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making excuses, we may have a chance to triumph in the way the 2010 team did. The Packers will face the number one rusher in the league in Todd Gurley, as well as the number three passer in the league, Jared Goff. That is frightening for a fan that knows the Packers defense is less than special, but that doesn’t even account for the fact that the Rams have one of the top wide receiver corps and the league’s leader in sacks on defense.
Not everything is doom and gloom in Green Bay. The Packers will have had 13 days to prepare for this matchup, allowing players like Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, Jaire Alexander, and some guy named Aaron Rodgers to rest and heal lingering ailments. Tweeted by Packers reporter Rob Demovsky, McCarthy is hopeful that Rodgers will be a part of Wednesday practice, something he hasn’t done since the knee injury.
Perhaps the bye has also given Mike McCarthy some time to reestablish his backfield which should predominantly feature Aaron Jones as the lead back, but could still end up being a 50/50 split. Jones is posting 5.9 yards-per-carry, while Williams sits at a meager 3.8 on the season. Jones is a more explosive back than Williams and has the ability to really open up the passing game for Rodgers. Since the beginning of 2017, Williams has posted at least a run over 15 yards once. In the same span, Jones has one in all four appearances this year, as well as an additional four games last year.
In the end, come Monday morning, it may simply have to be a day to reflect on what went right, even if the scoreboard and standings don’t represent a winning effort. If the Packers can make it out of the next five weeks with three wins, they can still be on track for a run at the playoffs. I just don’t think one of those three wins is Sunday against the Rams.
Game predictions: Rodgers 380/3/1, Davante Adams will catch his 7th TD of the year, Aaron Jones will continue his near 50/50 split while posting a significantly higher YPA, and the Packers will lose 31-38. If the line stays in the 8-9 range, I’ll take the Packers (2-4 ATS) to cover as well as the over on 56.5.
Until next week, Soosh out.