NFL Week 8 Game Preview: Packers (3-2-1) at Rams (7-0)
Green Bay gets their turn to stop the Los Angeles Rams winning streak in the Game of the Week Sunday. In Aaron Rodgers career, the Packers have never been such large underdogs (+9) as they are against the Rams.
And for good reason. The Rams look unstoppable. Todd Gurley is beating his 2017 Offensive Player of the Year statistics and Jared Goff is the 4th-ranked passer in the league.
Wide receivers Robert Wood, Brandin Cooks, and Cooper Kupp average 240 receiving yards per game as a group. Considering how many passes go to Gurley, that’s quite an accomplishment.
Defensively, they still don’t seem to be clicking on all cylinders. New players are acclimating and there’s no urgency to shut anyone out when your offense is scoring points at will.
The defense is the second worst in the league in both yardage and points allowed. So far, it hasn’t mattered. But there is too much talent on the unit for that not to improve before the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers continues to play with a knee brace. He is still a top-ten quarterback, even while he’s often throwing to backup wide receivers.
He’ll need a vintage Rodgers performance to outgun Goff and the Rams.
Injuries and notes
Cooper Kupp (concussion) and cornerback Troy Hill are listed as questionable in the early injury report. Both are expected to play.
Aaron Rodgers is listed as questionable, even though there is little question he will start. He is limited at practice all week.
His job won’t be any easier if wide receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison don’t see improvement in their hamstring injuries. Both are also limited so far in practice.
An offensive explosion and upset victory would help calm rumors of Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy’s job status. It’s never good when your star quarterback is questioning your game plans. It’s worse when you quarrel back with him.
Sean McVay certainly isn’t sitting on his laurels after last season’s surprise showing. The Rams offense looks even better than 2017 and you know he’ll start putting himself into the defense room if Wade Phillips doesn’t start getting results.
McVay could eventually challenge Bill Belichick for the smartest coach in history title- but who would say such a thing in someone’s second season?
How to watch the Rams vs Packers game
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Who will win the Rams v Packers game?
No one would ever bet against a healthy Aaron Rodgers with a stable of healthy receivers. But Rodgers isn’t healthy and he is throwing to untested rookies as much as anyone else these days.
Mike McCarthy springing Aaron Jones loose for a big running game would help, but these Rams look like they are going to roll over the league.
Final score: Rams 42, Packers 36