Sunday, September 27, 2009

Packers - Rams preview

Pack beats Da Bearz at Lambeau. 1-0. Packers lose to the Bengals -- the Bengals! -- at Lambeau. 1-1.


Packers on the road in St. Louis to play the Rams in their season home opener. A not very good team. That would be the Rams, just to clarify. Of course, the same thing was said last week when the Pack was facing the Bengals. Look at how that worked out.

So, we're back to once again being in the position of not knowing which team will actually show up. We have yet to see the team that was unstoppable in the preseason. Instead, we have seen penalties, sacks and knock-downs, dropped passes, and an inconsistent defensive run-stopping ability. Still, the Packers are favored by 6-1/2 points. Last week the Pack was favored by 9. So at least to this point, let's not put much stock in these spreads, shall we?

If the Packers defense does no better stopping the run today than they did against Cedric Benson -- Cedric Benson! -- RB Steven Jackson could rush for 200 yards. Despite their other offensive woes, scoring only one TD in its first two games, the Rams running back situation is not one of them. The Packers "D" has to stop Jackson or it will be another long day. If the Packers can get up early, say by 14 or more points, they can effectively remove Jackson from the Rams' game plan. That would be to the Packers great advantage, obviously.

On defense, the Bengals showed the rest of the league how to mess with the Pack. The Rams don't have much, but if they are able to get pressure early -- particularly from DE Leonard Little -- it could bode ill for the Pack. The Packers have to find a way to protect Aaron Rodgers. That means Mike McCarthy, as he has admitted, also has to make more of commitment to the run to keep the defense from loading up on a pass rush every play.

So the Pack is favored by 6-1/2. While this could be a trap game for the Pack, are they really going to want to go into the Hump Dome next Monday night on a two-game losing streak against teams they should have beaten? Nope. Not goin' to happen.

Let's go with the Pack -- shocking, I know -- 27-13 over the Rams.

Go Pack Go!!!

Raji good to go today
Word is out that NT B. J. Raji is active today, so he'll get his first NFL regular season play. Also active today is rookie free agent G/C Evan Dietrich-Smith, which obviously gives an indication that the Packers have concerns about their offensive line depth. Getting the start at safety today will be Derrick Martin, a late trade pick up with Baltimore. Nick Collins will also play despite his injury from last week.