Welcome back to the NFL, Green Bay Packers. It is funny how quickly the perception of a team can change after just one week, but nevertheless it appears Packers are back on course. After the first several weeks, fans were left scratching their heads at the Packers. “This isn’t the same Packers team” is a quote I heard thrown around quite a bit. After week 6, however, it was the complete opposite. I don’t blame anyone for reacting either way. The Packers looked downright terrible before last week, even when they did win something was amiss. However, the offense was in complete control against the Texans defense. There was no indecision by Aaron Rodgers, the offensive line held up, and the offense was fluid throughout. The Packers will travel to St. Louis for a meeting with the Rams. I know trap is probably the first word that popped into your head after you examined this one, because I know it was for me.
If the Packers want to prove last week was no fluke, I think they are going to need to bury the Rams. A 3-point win over the Rams is certainly not going to get anybody excited. After beating a worthy opponent like the Texans on the road is no small task, but faltering against the inferior Rams would send fans back to the, “this isn’t the same Packers team” debate. The Packers offense, unbelievably, was ranked out of the top-20 prior to last week. Yes, top-20, that isn’t a typo. After spotting 42 points on the Texans though, they moved up in that respect to the 18th spot. While they are only 18th in total yardage, they still do put up a good amount of points at 25.8 per game. Running back Cedric Benson was out last week, but I think it was somewhat of a benefit to the Packers. I think they went into this season wanting to be a more complete team through the air and on the ground. The Packers are at their best when they let Aaron Rodgers sling the ball around, however. Without Benson, I think the game plan changed up a little bit, and what we saw without Benson is Rodgers at his best. Rodgers finished 338 yards and a whopping 6 touchdowns. It was just the kind of game that Rodgers needed to break the Packers out of their “slump”.
The defense is still a big question mark in week 7, but there is no doubt they held a high-octane offense at bay last week. They did surrender 24 points, but the points weren’t exactly meaningful after the game got out of hand. It’s usually a rarity when you can give credit to the Packers offense and defense, but that is a game that I will tip my hat to both units. They never let Arian Foster get into any kind of rhythm and Matt Schaub looked frustrated throughout the entire game. Foster was limited to just 29 yards, a low on the year. And Schaub passed for 232 yards with no touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
The Packers defense won’t be seeing an offense as potent as the Texans in week 7, as the St. Louis Rams offense ranks at the back of the pack at 28th. They only manage to average 18.7 points a game. There is still many question marks surrounding Sam Bradford as a quarterback and he hasn’t helped his case any this season. The blame can’t fall entirely on Bradford because he has virtually no one to throw the ball to. Receiver Danny Amendola figured to be a big part of the equation, but he nearly died on the field with a very serious injury. The Rams will need to get a productive game out of Steven Jackson if they are going to stay in this one. The ground game hasn’t really picked up the slack for the abysmal passing game though, currently as the 16th best unit in the league.
Packers vs. Rams Spread and Betting Odds:
Green Bay Packers -6 (-115)
@St. Louis Rams -6 (-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Packers vs. Rams Pick:
I had this line pegged at -7.5 when I first took a look at this matchup last week. Needless to say I was a little off from the oddsmakers. I have seen these trappy looking lines before where people are scared away from suspicious odds only to kick themselves later on for not taking the better team. If you were to just squarely base this on records, -5 seems like a reasonable line (both are 3-3). The Rams are also a perfect 3-0 at home. However, I think last week was a turning point for the Packers. Does anyone really think the Rams have the offense to keep up with the Packers? I say this with the belief that Aaron Rodgers is going to continue his ways from last week.
Danny Amendola isn’t exactly a household name, but I think the loss of Amendola is big. He was Sam Bradford’s go to target and security blanket, without Amendola, the Rams offense is anemic. The Packers defense should be able to take care of the 28th best offense in the league. I like the Packers take care of the Rams and take another step forward to reclaiming their spot as one of the NFL’s best squads.
PICK = Packers -6