What We Saw: Rams at Packers

Aaron Rodgers and Baker Mayfield squared off in the frozen tundra

Rams @ Packers

Final Score: Packers 24, Rams 12

Writers: Ben Brown and Erik Smith


It felt like the Packers had control of this game pretty much throughout. AJ Dillon got knocked out of the game with what is believed to be a concussion, though more word will need to come out on this. He did score a couple of touchdowns before leaving, though. Aaron Jones came up big from a fantasy perspective, scoring a TD and flirting with 100 yards in the game. Speaking of fantasy, Green Bay did the “get the ball to the goal line then kneel it to end the game” thing that drives fantasy managers up a wall. We missed out on a potential Christian Watson TD after a miscommunication with Rodgers, and another potential rushing TD from Jones as he was tackled on the one. So it goes.


Los Angeles Rams




Baker Mayfield: 12/21, 111 Yards, TD, INT | 1 Carry, -1 Yard


The Rams’ offensive line continues to take down the rest of the offense as their own ship sinks. Green Bay was able to pressure Baker Mayfield for most of the night. When Baker had time to throw he usually delivered an accurate ball, but there were a few occasions where he underthrew open receivers. Case in point, with around 10 minutes left in the game, Tutu Atwell had beaten the defender deep down the left sideline. He was wide open. Baker stepped up and unleashed a deep ball his way, but it was at least ten yards short. Atwell had to stop to make a play on the ball – the defender ran him over, and the benefitted from a defensive pass interference call, but if Baker were able to hit him in stride it would have been an easy touchdown. Instead, after the penalty, Los Angeles was unable to convert a 3rd and 16 following a sack.

And that’s what Baker is at this point. A QB who, with time in the pocket, can deliver an accurate short to medium ball.



As soon as he needs to move around, anything can happen. Even if there’s no pressure, accuracy is an issue if his feet are active. On the same drive as described above, Baker took the shotgun snap, turned to the right, pump faked, then turned back around to the left where a screen was developing. He threw the ball before getting completely set and airmailed it over his running back’s head. It was just yet another poorly executed play by the former top overall pick.

Baker nearly lost a fumble after it was knocked away by a defender, but his own lineman was able to recover. He threw an interception, though it wasn’t 100% on him as a defender clipped his arm on the follow-through. Regardless – this is a bad situation for fantasy and Baker should be nowhere near your lineups this time of year.



Running Back


Cam Akers: 12 Carries, 65 Yards | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 35 Yards

Kyren Williams: 2 Carries, 7 Yards

Malcolm Brown: 1 Target


I thought Cam Akers looked really good in this game. He kicked it off with a 15 yard run on the first play of the game, a nice gain where he showed good burst. Unfortunately, he was stuffed in the backfield on the next play and his starting center went down with an injury. Oh, and then there was a false start that pushed them back even further. This group truly can’t catch a break.

It didn’t feel like the Rams were eager to force feed Akers despite him being their best offensive player on the night. I felt that they should have used him more.

He was a force on their only touchdown scoring drive of the game, near the end of the third quarter. He had an 18 yard catch and run that then had another 15 yards tacked on thanks to a Green Bay penalty. He followed that play up with 29 yards on the next three plays, including an eight yarder and a 19 yarder to get them down to the 10 yard line.

Maybe there’s still something there for Akers. With nothing else positive going on in this offense, this is his time to prove himself. The matchup against denver next week isn’t ideal, but a juicy matchup with the Chargers in Week 17 should have you salivating.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Brandon Powell: 1 Carry, 3 Yards | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 4 Yards

Tutu Atwell: 1 Carry, -4 Yards | 4 Targets, 1 Reception, 10 Yards

Van Jefferson: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 32 Yards

Tyler Higbee: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 27 Yards, TD

Ben Skowronek: 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 3 Yards


Tyler Higbee caught his first touchdown of the year. It wasn’t much of an accomplishment, however, as it was completely uncontested. Green Bay was in zone coverage, playing deep in the end zone for some odd reason. Higbee ran straight to the end zone, turned around, and Baker placed the ball on him without issue. Nobody touched him. It was an interesting defensive choice, but the game was essentially over at this point.



Tutu Atwell continues to be the most intriguing WR left standing in this offense. The Rams try to get the ball in his hands in unique ways to utilize his speed and agility. However, he’s still not a gamebreaker and without solid blocking he’s nothing more than an interesting dynasty asset. Two of Atwell’s most notable plays were negative: Atwell took a jet sweep and got blown up in the backfield thanks to a missed block by Van Jefferson. He also was on the receiving and of an end zone target, but the defender was all over him and it looked like the ball was tipped by a defender anyway.

There is really nobody else notable in this receiving corps right now.


Green Bay Packers




Aaron Rodgers: 22/30, 229 Yards, TD, INT | 3 Carries, -3 Yards


Aaron Rodgers played an overall good game, especially for a 39-year-old quarterback on a 15-degree night. He did have a big first-half mistake throwing deep to Allen Lazard for an easy Rams’ interception, as he and Lazard were not on the same page on an open route. And it was a bit concerning to see the Packers play so close to the vest leading into the half, when any bit of downfield passing would have given them a chance for a field goal or more. But Rodgers efficiently kept the chains moving in coordination with the running game, and on the drives where they did open things up, he showcased good arm talent on intermediate routes.

His connection to his young receivers, Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson, was mostly good, and Rodgers seemed to be in overall good spirits even in the cold. He did take some sacks and lacks the mobility that he used to have, but the offense looked very much like we hoped it would coming into the season – just efficient enough to knock off an inferior opponent like what’s left of this Rams team. He put together a final clock-killing drive where he was allowed to throw the ball in running situations and was generally playing better overall as the game progressed, despite a lack of explosive downfield passing.



Running Back


Aaron Jones: 17 Carries, 90 Yards | 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 36 Yards, TD | 1 Fumble (Lost)

AJ Dillon: 11 Carries, 36 Yards, 2 TD | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 35 Yards

Patrick Taylor: 4 Carries, 15 Yards


Aaron Jones felt as if he was being outplayed by A.J. Dillon early on, and ceded two touchdowns to his teammate in the process. But Jones began to find lanes and break off solid gains and tacked on a touchdown of his own with a red zone reception. Jones did surrender a tough fumble where he was stripped, though forward progress could have easily been called before the ball come out.



He chipped in some runs in the clock-killing drive as he flashed his speed through open holes, though the Packers mixed in more passes than Jones managers might have liked. Jones was tackled on the final offensive play just short of the end zone, narrowly missing a second touchdown.



A.J. Dillon looked like the back better built for this game for stretches, running hard both on rushes and receptions. Dillon ran through the line like a truck and was an unpleasant tackle in the cold weather. Unfortunately, he left the game at the end of the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. Dillon still ripped off two short touchdowns, however, and looked very much like the rusher that we hoped he would look like in this Packers’ offense.



Patrick Taylor was the next man up after the Dillon injury, and did fill in for Jones during some fourth-quarter drives. He did not stand out on any of his rushing attempts, however.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Romeo Doubs: 5 Targets, 5 Receptions, 55 Yards

Christian Watson: 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 46 Yards

Randall Cobb: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 32 Yards

Marcedes Lewis: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 14 Yards

Allen Lazard: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 7 Yards

Robert Tonyan: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 4 Yards


Romeo Doubs was frequently targeted early on and caught all three of those targets for successful intermediate plays in the passing game. One came on a slant-flat route combination where he won over the middle for a conversion. Doubs disappeared for a large stretch of the second half, with much of the production going to the running backs. He finally pooped back into action in the middle of the fourth quarter for his fourth reception, where he was nearly uncovered over the middle for a 23-yard gain.

Christian Watson did not have a catch in the first half but came alive on two of the Packers’ better drives of the second half. Watson caught 10 and 15-yard passes on that first touchdown drive, playing a nice intermediary role as Doubs took a back seat. He ran in motion and caught a short pass on the run for a third-down conversion as the Packers were icing the game. He was targeted on a similar play later that drive in the red zone, and was tackled falling forward to the three. Shortly thereafter, Rodgers audibled to a pass and Watson missed the signal. Watson went to run block, Rodgers fired incomplete, and Rodgers had some grumbling towards the rookie. We did not see Watson’s deep game, which is understandable on a cold night. Watson also was not given rushing attempts as he has in the past.

Randall Cobb filled in a similar intermediary role over the middle of the field as Doubs and Watson did for stretches. He had an incomplete pass intended for him where he was bent over backwards and fumbled, though it was called incomplete. It could have just as easily been a reception blown dead with forwards progess, but the incompletion stood. Cobb is mainly a possession receiver at this point of his career.

Allen Lazard did not see much action after the overthrow/miscommunication that led to the Rodgers interception, and was clearly behind the other wide receivers in priority. Neither tight end was involved in the passing game – in fact, Marcedes Lewis’ lone reception came on a play where he likely wasn’t even supposed to run a route.


Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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