At the time I am writing this, the Packers are 9 point underdogs heading into their clash with the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday. That number, as I am sure you’ve heard, makes Green Bay the biggest underdog they’ve ever been with Aaron Rodgers under center. Let’s take a brief look at how the experts may have arrived at this bold prediction.
The first point is an obvious one: the Rams are very, very good. They are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. In terms of footballoutsiders.com DVOA metric, prior to week 7, the Rams were rated as the most efficient offense in the NFL, 17th most efficient defense, and 2nd in overall team efficiency. The arrow will continue to point up for this team.
On the other side, Green Bay, prior to their week 7 bye, was rated as the 6th most efficient offense, 22nd in defensive efficiency, and 14th in team efficiency. Los Angeles edges the Packers in special team efficiency, but the teams were rather comparable in efficiency stats prior to week 7. In other words, the Packers have the personnel to hang with the Rams. The only question is, will they?
Head coach Mike McCarthy and his Packer teams have been notoriously good coming out of their byes. On top of that, this team should be arriving in Los Angeles at nearly full strength. The Packers will be welcoming back the likes of receivers Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb along with first round cornerback Jaire Alexander and new arrival Bashaud Breeland.
The Packers’ biggest problems have been with consistency. The team continues to flash and put together hope-inspiring performances just to counter with deflating and disappointing ones. But, to my prior point, a 9 point underdog might be a bit lavish for my taste as Green Bay should be competitive, at a minimum, in this matchup. Here’s how they can do just that.