Packers: Five players key to victory in divisional round vs. Rams

Green Bay Packers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Rashan Gary
Green Bay Packers, Rashan Gary (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

3. Edge rushers

Los Angeles has a solid left tackle in Andrew Whitworth. Most games they can line him up without much help and let him go.

They will need him to be at his best this Saturday. Green Bay has three players who can attack the edge and get after Jared Goff. He hasn’t been made the starter for this game, but all indications are it will be him.

As I’m writing this, John Wolford, who started but didn’t finish the wild-card game, has yet to practice and it’s hard to believe Sean McVay would play him over Goff with little practice time, if any at all.

That would leave a vulnerable Goff back there and the elements should only make things worse. A quarterback’s grip is important for many reasons. And in the cold, it becomes even more vital. The cold will bring a harder ball that could get slick and if by chance Green Bay’s infamous weather takes a turn as it’s known to, any type of precipitation would only make matters worse.

Getting after the quarterback is always important, but getting after one with a bum thumb, is like blood in the water.

Rashan Gary, Preston and Za’Darius Smith will see a bullseye on Goff’s right hand and could come away with a few strip sacks to help turn the tide.

In addition to doing what they do best, Gary and the Smiths will need to continue their strong play holding the edge in run defense. Cam Akers was the key to the Rams’ success on offense in Seattle and will have to be the same Saturday.

Goff struggled with his injury and if it is Wolford, McVay isn’t going to want to put the game in his hands.

If Green Bay can get up a couple scores early, it could be a sack fest for the Packers’ edge players and the perfect scenario for a win.