By Conor Perrett
To close out Week 15 of the NFL season, we have a Monday Night Football edition which features two teams that would have been solid preseason bets to meet in the NFC Championship.
A lot can change in the space of a few months though and now both teams are staring down the barrel of a losing season, in which they are playing meaningless games in December.
Green Bay Packers (5-8)
Power Rankings – 20th
DVOA Rankings: Offence – 11th, Defence – 23rd, ST – 30th: Overall – 15th
The Packers will be the first to admit, it has been a bit of a messy past year for their organisation.
With all the drama that has gone on with Aaron Rodgers, the fact is he still remains with the team. After starting the season 3-1, it’s gone downhill since winning just two games in their past nine matchups. Both offence and defence has had their fair share of mistakes that has resulted in Green Bay having a less exciting season than usual.
The Packers have had a bright spot come to light over the recent weeks with the emergence of rookie wide receiver Christian Watson. After catching just 10 passes for only 88 yards in his first six games, he has caught 15 passes for 314 yards and seven touchdowns over the past four games. That stretch of games also includes at least one touchdown catch in every game.
He may face his toughest match-up yet though, when tasked with star cornerback Jalen Ramsey for the Rams.
I also wonder if we will see Jordan Love tonight after his recent cameo.
Los Angeles Rams (4-9)
Power Rankings – 29th
DVOA Rankings: Offence – 26th, Defence – 14th, ST – 24th Overall – 27th
The Rams snapped a six-game losing streak last week with a comeback against the Las Vegas Raiders that will be remembered for a while. The past few weeks of the NFL season has had some classics which can overshadow one another, but Baker Mayfield’s comeback last Thursday Night was one of the more impressive come-from-behind victories.
Mayfield had only been on the roster for two days before he was thrown into action, which saw him overturn a 13-point deficit in the last three minutes of the game. With Matthew Stafford and John Wolford looking done for the season, Mayfield will have more time to show LA why he was a former first overall pick in the Rams last four games.
With a running game which has improved only recently, Sean McVay may be able to work some magic to give the new QB some help. But the team’s best player Aaron Donald, still remains sidelined with an ankle injury, which will continue to have huge repercussions for the defensive side.
This contest is an interesting one with both teams having disappointing seasons compared to what their high expectations would be. To be fair, they are both coming off the wave of a win, as they try to find some success before the season ends.
From a match-ups side of things despite not having the presence of Donald on the field the Ram’s defence has been manageable. They stop the run well and Rodgers will have his work cut out for him.
Right now we still can’t put a finger on how good this Rams’ offence is under Mayfield. It’s great seeing him ignite that comeback victory last week, but the reason they were in that position was because the offence was lacklustre in the previous 57 minutes of the game.
Under the lights in a cold Lambeau Field, it will be tough conditions to play in. Green Bay will feel more at home as the freezing atmosphere dawns on the teams, and I think that will get them in rhythm on offence quicker, as they jump out to a lead the Rams won’t be able to catch.
Rams 13-20 Packers