Packers: Positional grades in divisional round win vs. Rams

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Billed as a heavyweight contest between the top-ranked offense and an unstoppable defense, it proved to be anything but. The Green Bay Packers were simply too strong for the Los Angeles Rams.

A victory that sends the Packers to their first home NFC Championship Game since 2007, and the first with Aaron Rodgers starting at quarterback.

It’s going to take something special to take down this Packers team, now winners of seven straight.

Let’s take a look back at the victory and hand out positional grades.

Quarterbacks: A

Simply phenomenal. Aaron Rodgers put in another MVP display against the best defense he’s faced all year.

Rodgers was calm, in control, and at ease for most of the game as he threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns while also scoring a rushing TD.

If Rodgers plays at this level for two more games, the Packers will bring the Lombardi Trophy home.

Running backs: A

The Rams invited the Packers to run the football and they took full advantage with 188 yards and two scores on the ground. Aaron Jones led the way with 14 carries for 99 yards and a score, including an explosive 60-yard run to open the third quarter.

All three running backs played their part and the Rams had no answer.

Wide receivers: A-

Davante Adams had no trouble getting open the few times he saw Jalen Ramsey. He finished with nine catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Allen Lazard made one of the plays of the afternoon with a 58-yard touchdown to effectively put the game away.

Tight ends: B+

Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis have been key contributors on offense all year long and this game was no different. Tonyan caught four passes for 60 yards, while Lewis’ main job was blocking.

Tonyan didn’t find the end zone on Saturday but he did average 15 yards per reception.

Offensive line: A+

How many offensive lines can lose their All-Pro left tackle and still dominate against the best defense in the league?

Elgton Jenkins is a star. Any time he matched up one-on-one with Aaron Donald, he won. Corey Linsley had another great game.

The Packers didn’t allow a sack while also opening up big running lanes, leading to a big day. This offensive line has been at the heart of this team’s success all year and they allowed the offense to do whatever they wanted against the Rams.

Defensive line: B

Aaron Donald might’ve had a quiet day for the Rams, but the same can’t be said of Kenny Clark for the Packers. Clark had 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hits, and 1.5 tackles for loss.

The Rams were able to get the ground game going at times with rookie Cam Akers averaging five yards per carry, but the defensive line helped make some key stops.

Edge rushers: A

The rise of Rashan Gary continues with the second-year pass rusher making 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hits, and 1.5 tackles for loss. Za’Darius Smith had a sack, quarterback hit, and tackle for loss. Preston Smith didn’t make a sack but he had a QB hit and broke up two passes.

The Packers got pressure on Jared Goff and helped shut down the Rams offense.

Inside linebackers: B

Credit to Krys Barnes for returning to the game with a club on his hand despite injuring his thumb. And even after missing some time, he still led the Packers with 10 tackles. He broke up a pass which could’ve been an interception had he not been wearing the club.

Christian Kirksey only had two tackles but came away with a key third-down stop.

Secondary: A

What more can be said about Jaire Alexander? According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed one catch for minus-three yards.

Is there a better defender in the league at reading and reacting to screen passes then blowing it up before the receiver can make a move? Quarterbacks still haven’t learned to stop throwing screens Alexander’s way.

The Rams were held to 174 yards receiving. No receiver had more than 65 yards.