LA made headlines after claiming Baker Mayfield and then shocked the world with a win over the playoff-fighting Las Vegas Raiders. Meanwhile, Green Bay will be returning from a late season bye week after a victory against their longtime rival Chicago Bears. Neither team has had the season they thought they would as both are close to being mathematically eliminated out of January football yet have both shown they a competitive fight still left in them.
Unsurprisingly, the Packers are 7.5-point favorites, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Can Sean McVay and Baker Mayfield shock the world again?
The Rams look like a whole different team with Mayfield at the helm even with just a small sample size and just day of practice. Against the Raiders he put together an improbable 98-yard drive with just under two minutes to play, no timeouts, and a limited array of weapons at his disposal. He found Van Jefferson in the end zone for a 24-yard completion that proved to be the game winner.
Mayfield’s last minute heroics could not have been possible without the help of an outstanding defensive effort lead by future Hall of Famer Bobby Wagner. Raheem Morris’ bend-not-break defense is hard to watch but with an offense that seems poised for improvement it could be good enough for at lease a couple more wins.
bobby wagner is such a baller... pic.twitter.com/e5o3m8MlJq— roberto clemente (@rclemente2121) December 9, 2022
Matt Lafleur and the Packers have had a similar season as LA. They came in with high expectations and have since faltered. Last season they nearly hosted the NFC Championship game but some unfortunate special team plays lead to an elimination instead. Rodgers was coming off back-to-back MVP seasons and was poised to make another playoff push but have instead struggled to fine the win column. They seem to be finding their groove late as rookie Christian Watson has become a touchdown fiend with eight since Week 10. He scored two against the Chicago Bears, including a 46-yard scamper to the house on an end-around.
Green Bay also has a deadly duo in the backfield with elusive running back Aaron Jones and hard-hitting AJ Dillon that could spell danger for LA after they allowed Josh Jacobs to put up 99 yards on the ground against them. On defense, Jaire Alexander leads the group as an elite pass defender that will be looking to lock up Jefferson for the majority of the game and leaving Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek to carry the load.
Clutch INT by Jaire Alexander with the Bears driving pic.twitter.com/IiNOsaktZT— Lily Zhao (@LilySZhao) December 4, 2022
The Packers lack in their ability to stop the run, however, leaving a great matchup for Kyren William or Cam Akers to take advantage of. They allowed 155 yards on the ground against the Bears and a season-high 363 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles the week prior.
Regardless of what Vegas may think of LA’s odds the point spread is a favorable for anyone looking for a good bet. Mayfield is a wild card at the quarterback position with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. He will be behind a rough offensive line and a receiver group that was lead in yardage by Skowronek last week but will be supported by a defense that played well without Aaron Donald in the lineup (which will likely be the case again on Monday).
Rodgers has been a mixed bag as he deals with multiple injuries this season and has not been the same without Davante Adams in the lineup. McVay has also had trouble finding wins against Matt Lafleur since he left his staff in 2018. Regardless of the obstacles I am putting my money on LA to cover the spread this week.
I see an upset brewing.
My Prediction: Rams 31, Packers 24
Who are you putting your money on this week? Let’s discuss in the comments below!