On Monday night, the Green Bay Packers will host the Los Angeles Rams in a must-win game for both teams. The Rams could be eliminated from the playoffs this week, and the Packers will need to win out just to have a chance to make the playoffs. Going into this year, nobody expected either of these teams to be where they are now. This was a game that many people thought would be for the number one seed in the NFC, but instead it’s just to stay alive in the playoff race.
One big thing going into this game is injuries. Both sides have been banged up all season. For the Packers, it looks like David Bakhtiari won’t play after having an appendectomy that made him miss the game against the Chicago Bears. It looks like rookie Zach Tom will get the start again at left tackle. Left guard Elgton Jenkins didn’t practice on Wednesday and could possibly miss the game on Monday as well. The Packers are also getting some help at receiver as Romeo Doubs is coming back from an ankle injury and will be good to go on Monday night. For the Rams, they have a ton of injuries. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson are all most likely out for the season. Baker Mayfield will get the start after an incredible comeback win against the Las Vegas Raiders, including a 98-yard touchdown drive that won the game. On the defensive side, Aaron Donald is doubtful to play, which is huge for the Packers in this game. Donald can disrupt a game single-handedly, and most teams’ offensive game plans revolve around trying to stop him.
A big factor in this game will be the weather. Lambeau Field is called the “Frozen Tundra” for a reason, and on Monday night in Green Bay, it will be around five degrees around game time. “The cold is our friend,” Matt Lafler said. The Packers have always loved this time of year as Aaron Rodgers always seems to embrace the cold. This weather fits the Packers’ playstyle as they would love to get the run game going, especially with Aaron Donald out. This will also be weather that the Rams are not used to. The Rams haven’t played in cold weather like this since 1992. This weather will definitely give the Packers an advantage.
The Packers have to win this game. They have a real shot at making the playoffs if they can win out and get some help. It’s been a disappointing year, but it’s not over. They have three home games in their last four and could really make a run. When the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2011, they were the sixth seed. If the Packers get into the playoffs with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, anything could happen.