The Green Bay Packers will travel to St. Louis to take on a team that used to be considered one of the butt jokes of the NFL. Since fading from its glory days as the Greatest Show on Turf, the Rams have been best described as hapless. However, no longer. Under the tutelage of moustachioed head coach, Jeff Fisher the Rams have become competitive in what is suddenly one of the toughest division, the NFC West.
However, the arrival of the Packers in town signals a challenge unlike any the Rams have faced this year. Although both teams are 3-3, the Packers represent a team with significantly higher quality, especially like when last week, quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws for a personal-best and franchise record six touchdowns.
The Packers have blown hot and cold all year, turning up against teams such as the Chicago Bears but collapsing against others, such as the Indianapolis Colts. It is worrying how much the team depends on Aaron Rodgers being on form. If he has a bad, they do not have the defence or running game capable of bailing the team out.
Look for recievers, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb to test the Rams’ secondary. Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins is excellent but playing with a sore back. Playing opposite him fellow cornerback, Cortland Finnegan is also a capable player and one with a reputation for getting under the skin of the receivers he covers. The Packers’ receivers will have to keep their cool against him or face becoming a short-lived internet meme, a la Josh Morgan, the Washington Redskins receiver.
Steven Jackson, the Rams half back, has been consistently one of the best runners in the league for nearly the last decade. However, he is nearing the end of his career. His average of 3.6 yards per attempt so far this year is the lowest in his career. The Packers defence is fairly stout against the front seven’s battle against Jackson’s tough punishing style will be the factor that determines the success of the Rams’ offense. Without a decent running game, quarterback Sam Bradford will be put under pressure by Packer pass rusher, Clay Matthews. Bradford will also not be able to take advantage of the play-action game if Jackson cannot get it rolling.
Bookies have been giving the Rams five-and-a-half or six points when playing at home for a reason. Although their team has played tough and kept games close, it is not a team capable of winning in a shoot-out or digging itself out of a whole if it made mistakes or went down early. Expect Green Bay to come out with the victory and stay afloat in the race to win the NFC North division. St Louis, meanwhile, face a tough stretch with games against the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers interspaced with a bye week.
Green Bay will play St. Louis at 1 PM EST on FOX. The game will be shown across the Midwest and, strangely, in Sacremento, California; Anchorage, Alaska; Eerie, Pennsylvania; and south-western Florida.