(WFRV) – The Green Bay Packers are heading to the NFC Championship Game for the second straigh tyear after their win over Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Much was made of the Rams defense, which led the NFL, and the Packers league leading offense. Green Bay would get the best of Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and company, but mostly with the ground game.
With their three headed monster of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and AJ Dillon, the Packers were able to take over the game. In the first half Williams and Dillon each averaged more than 5.5 yards per carry. Then Jones took over in the second half by ripping off a 60 yard run on the first play from scrimmage, and a touchdown a few plays later.
Los Angeles was able to close the gap in the third and fourth quarters. But the Packers defense was able to come up with the stops needed down the stretch, especially with their pass rush. Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary, and the rest of the Packers pass rush was able to get to Jared Goff four times on Saturday.
“They were relentless all game. I know we weren’t always getting pressure on Jared (Goff). I thought LA, give them credit. Got a lot of respect, obviously I know those guys very, very well. They did a good job of having plays that got the ball out of his hands quickly and then their receivers made some plays, their back made a lot of plays. But our guys stayed resilient up front, and kept giving great energy, great effort. And that’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take that consistent effort, play in and play out, from all 11 guys that are on the field. That’s one thing that I think has really shown through really the last half of the season, is just the intensity level. It all starts with the preparation. I feel like it shows up in practice and it’s not a surprise that it translates and it shows up in the game,” said Matt LaFleur.
The dagger came from the Packers offense, and the MVP candidate that is Aaron Rodgers. The leader of the Pack connected with Allen Lazard for a 58 yard touchdown, Rodgers second TD pass of the afternoon, to pretty much put the game out of reach.
“I thought the communication all night was great, especially between Matty (LaFleur) and I. We talked about repeating that call because it didn’t really look like what we were trying to run, because the guy jumped so hard Allen (Lazard) kind of went around him. So we talked about going back to it,” said Aaron Rodgers.
“We’d been running duo, or the inside zone there, effectively most of the night and it was just hard action off of that, so when the play was called I was thinking touchdown for sure. I came up off the fake, I really tried to sell it, but I came up off the fake and saw Allen digging, so I knew kind of both guys had jumped it. Like I said, I did throw it a little more inside than I wanted to and he made a really nice catch, kept his feet, and put that thing away. That was pretty special..”
Now Green Bay waits to see if they will host either New Oreleans or Tampa Bay next Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.
“Yeah, not only against a great opponent, but it definitely felt more like, I don’t want to say a real game, but just the amount of fans in the stands, it definitely added a whole new level of energy out there. It was great to be back out there with all the people in the stands and hopefully we can get more in here next week. But our guys are consistent and you know, we’re going to have to get ready to battle next week, too. We’re going to need a great week of preparation and we’ll be ready to go next week,” said LaFleur.