The Green Bay Packers versus the Los Angeles Rams. This matchup between two Super Bowl favorites will affect NFC playoff seedings. Many thought that the new addition of Matthew Stafford to the Rams would finally lead them to a Super Bowl win, and after an off-season of drama, MVP Aaron Rodgers could finally win the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The green and gold were in control of the game right from the start. Although the Packers should have beaten the Rams by more points, they still handily won 36-28 going into the bye with a 9-3 record. Not too shabby.
Even though the Packers’ defense took a bit of a stumble against the Vikings, they bounced back when it counted and came up with some big plays. Considering we are still missing major players on both sides of the ball with a patchwork offensive line missing three starters, our record is very impressive. But many fans expect as much when you have number 12 on the field.
I don’t know how Rodgers is able to play like he has at the age of 37, doing the most impossible throws. Maybe it’s because he is truly a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Maybe that Ivermectin he took over the summer is giving him a boost of horsepower.
Some of Rodgers’ throws in the game were astounding, and with a fractured toe no less. That throw to wide-receiver Randall Cobb was crazy. Cobb had three defensive players around him, and with pressure in his face Rodgers was able to throw the perfect ball — a tight spiral that just went over the fingertip of a Rams linebacker while Cobb was in stride. This is something no other quarterback can do. Rodgers’ unique ability to throw dimes without having his feet set or without the “perfect” throwing motion is something that few other quarterbacks can do.
His ability to do a quick three-step throw with a flick of the wrist or a deeper drop to throw a bomb down the field is unmatched. He’s a gunslinger without interceptions, which makes him particularly lethal.
I will give a special shout out to AJ Dillion, aka the quadzilla or the quadfather. When he was first drafted, many people were understandably shocked and angry as we had all seen the Packers questionably draft quarterback Jordan Love. But everytime you see him run the ball, you realize how much of a beast this man is and how good of a draft pick this was. He is a great compliment to Aaron Jones, and we have seen he is able to carry the workload by himself.
Although the stat sheet from the game wasn’t mind-blowing, 69 yards on 20 carries and a 3.5 average, Dillion was able to extend drives and make sure the defense was not only focused on the passing game. He enabled the team to not abandon the running game. His yards after contact are amazing — people just seem to bounce off of him. Dillion and Jones provide a good one-two punch that will be vital in the playoffs.
Of course, there are things the team needs to improve on, for example, Mason Crosby’s inconsistent kicking, but the bye week should help the team out and allow them to self-evaluate before a playoff push.
This season feels special — different from the previous two seasons when the team went to the NFC Championship. They aren’t squeaking out wins or starting off red hot in a game, just to barely hold on to the lead by the time the final whistle blows. This year, it feels like our team is more balanced than it has been in a very long time. Maybe I’ll be eating my words if we lose in heart-breaking fashion again in the playoffs, but like I’ve said in my previous Packer columns, I can’t help being optimistic about my Packers.