Run the ball and stop the run.
NFL coaches will always point to the previous statement as a key to a victory in the NFL.
The Green Bay Packers enter the playoffs with the 8th best rushing attack in the NFL. The Rams check in at number-10.
“The Rams are a good running team. Not the best in the league, but they’re very good,” voice of the Packers, Wayne Larrivee tells Wisconsin’s Afternoon News. “Their rookie, Cam Akers was just, I thought, outstanding last week in Seattle.”
Playing in a time-share for the bulk of the season, Akers exploded for a combined 176 yards and a touchdown in a 30-20 win over the Seahawks in the wild card round.
Also impressive that day was the Rams defense.
“Defense travels in all weather,” Larrivee continues. “This is by far the best. Statistically, and as you look at them and watch them play the game they’re really good at all three levels…it’s a great match-up of a great offense against a great defense.”
The Rams finished the regular season with the top-ranked scoring defense allowing 18.5 points per game. However, on the road, the Rams allowed 23.5 points per game posting a record of 4-4.
By comparison, the Packers defense allowed 23.1 points per game during the regular season. At home, they were even better allowing 19.5.
Is it fair to say the Packers are playing their best defense of the season heading into the post-season?
“I would day so, yeah'” Larrivee continues. “They’ve done a great job this year of keeping everything in front. They’re pressuring the Quartertback better and they’re forcing more turnovers of late. Pressure and turnovers have been the two areas where this defense isn’t quite as good as it was a year ago, but the defense is better in other areas this year than it was last year.”
Saturday’s game will be billed as strength-against-strength: The Packers high-powered offense versus the Rams top-ranked defense. That may be true, but the Packers 9th rankled total defense indicates better balance than the Rams 23rd ranked scoring offense.
Advantage: Green Bay