When: 4:00am AEDST 12th October, 2015
Where: Lambeau Field, Wisconson
Where to watch: ESPN – NFL Redzone
WEEK five in the NFL sees the 2-2 St. Louis Rams travelling to Lambeau field to face the unbeaten Green Back Packers.
The Rams have made an indifferent start to the season, defeating back-to-back Superbowl competitors the Seattle Seahawks and the previously unbeaten Arizona Cardinals on their home turf.
However, a week two loss to the lowly Redskins has left St. Louis in a precarious position ahead of their Wisconsin road trip, with a win needed against arguably the best team in the NFL.
Back-to-back wins against the Cardinals and the Packers would propel the Rams from a playoff afterthought to a genuine threat.
The Packers have been on a tear in the opening quarter of the season.
Green Bay are undefeated in their opening four games this year, with Aaron Rodgers carrying on his MVP season into the new year with a withering opening month that has his team humming.
When you compound Rodgers’ brilliance with the bulldozer running back that is Eddie Lacy and the resurgence of line backer Clay Matthews, it is easy to see why the Packers are the early favourites with Sportsbet at $4.50 to make it through to the Superbowl this season.
Green Bay Packers vs. St Louis Rams match odds
Green Bay Packers – $1.23 with Crownbet
St. Louis Rams: – $4.30
Keys to the game
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers
The Green Bay Packers quarterback superstar Aaron Rogers has been in stellar form this season for his side and looks the early season candidate for the MVP.
In just four games Rodgers has already thrown 11 touchdown passes, zero interceptions and thrown for close to 1,000 yards.
Last year’s MVP has looked cool and composed at all times this season, with his assertiveness with ball in hand and his ability to throw precise passes one of the highlights of the NFL season thus far.
For the St. Louis Rams, the main objective is to nullify the influence of the Packers’ stud quarterback.
The Rams have one of the best pass rushing defences in the game, and if they are able to get to Rodgers early in the game and even sack the Superbowl winner, it may force Rodgers to deviate from his natural game.
Shutting down Rodgers is priority number one for the Rams this week.
St. Louis Rams: Todd Gurley
It may be premature to place a high level of pressure on a man who will just be playing in his second career start, but if the Rams are going to cause an upset, rookie running back Todd Gurley will have to play a massive part.
Gurley started the first half last week against the Cardinals – his first ever career start – with negative yardage, but lit up the field in the second, with 161 total yards.
The performance alone showed why the Rams invested so heavily in Gurley at draft night.
It is an area that the Packers can be exploited too, with the undefeated Green Bay ranked 21st in the league for run defence, allowing 115 yards per game this season.
If the Rams and in particular Gurley can capitalise on the chink in the Packers’ defensive armour, a major upset could be on the cards.
Who will win and why
Match winner: Green Bay Packers – $1.23
First touchdown scorer: Eddie Lacy – $7.00 with Sportsbet
Week five in the NFL sees the undefeated Packers hosting the 2-2 Rams in a match that could define the visiting St. Louis’ playoff aspirations.
The Packers have started the season on fire and are the form team of the NFL, while the Rams have had a sporadic start to their campaign, but bring in terrific form off the back of a road win against the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
The pressure is on the Rams to not only overcome the Packers away from home, but tighten up their offense that has the potential to be great, but sometimes fails to restrict the scoring of the elite quarterbacks.
Fortunately the Rams have not come up against any superstar QBs thus far, save for Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger who shredded the St. Louis defence with an 83 percent completion rate and 192 yards in a single half of football.
If similar liberties are handed to one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen in Aaron Rodgers, the Rams could be in for a long afternoon at Lambeau.
The Rams need to restrict the red zone opportunities of the Packers and limit the amount of time Rodgers’ has to find targets and make throws .
It is a huge game for Rams’ rookie running back Todd Gurley.
If Gurley can replicate the second half heroics of last week’s shock victory over the Cardinals – where he overturned a negative first half rushing record to end the game with 161 yards – there is no reason why the
Rams cannot repeat the dose at Lambeau Field.
The only question is: which Gurley will show up? The second half stud or the first half dud.
It is a game the Rams desperately need to win, as a victory here could set their season on course towards a playoff berth, with a defeat not ending their season by any stretch, but it will almost certainly put them on the back foot.
It is hard to see the Packers conceding defeat in this one, especially at home.
A lot would have to go wrong for the Packs and everything would have to go right for the Rams.
Expect the Packers imposing run to continue as they move to 5-0 ahead of a crunch game next week against
the Chargers on Thursday night.
Tip: Green Bay Packers to win -10 points $2.43 via Sportsbet
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