Coming off their big win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football in Baker Mayfield’s debut, the Los Angeles Rams now look to build off that momentum when they travel to take on the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football in Week 15.
What Mayfield did to help the Rams get that victory was nearly impossible as he showed up late Tuesday night after being claimed off waivers from the Carolina Panthers. With barely any time to get to know the Rams’ playbook and his new teammates, Mayfield led the team on two touchdown drives, including a 98-yarder in the final two minutes, to erase a 13-point deficit and win 17-16.
Now, the Rams will have a chance to see what Mayfield can do with 10 days of preparation, which should only benefit him and the chemistry he has with his wideouts.
Shorthanded squad once again
Of course, the Rams will again be without some key players in this one as Mayfield will be throwing to a wide receiver group that doesn’t include Cooper Kupp or Allen Robinson.
On the defensive side, the Rams will likely be without Aaron Donald once again as he continues to work his way back from a high ankle sprain. Marquise Copeland is also dealing with an ankle injury and Terrell Lewis was just released, so it should be a rotation on the defensive line against Green Bay with a lot of young players seeing the field.
Looking for elusive win in Green Bay
This marks the third straight year that the Rams are traveling to take on the Packers in Green Bay. Sean McVay has lost to his former protégé Matt LaFleur twice, including once in the playoffs, so there’s no doubt he will be looking for some revenge.
The good news is that Davante Adams no longer plays in Green Bay. He has tormented the Rams in past matchups, but that doesn’t mean that the Packers’ receivers can be taken lightly as rookie Christian Watson has been in a groove with Aaron Rodgers as of late, scoring seven touchdowns in his last four games.
L.A. will also have the weather to deal with as it’s expected to be around 11 degrees at Lambeau Field at kickoff on Monday night. That will mark the coldest game the Rams have played in the last few years and will present an interesting challenge for a West Coast team.
Matchup is not what it was once billed as
The elephant in the room for this game is that it’s obviously not the matchup that it was billed as at the start of the season.
In 2021, the Rams and Packers were two of the best teams in football. The Packers, led by the MVP of the league in Rodgers, were the top seed in the NFC, while the Rams, led by their new quarterback in Stafford, went on to win the Super Bowl.
When ESPN and the NFL picked this game for Monday Night Football in Week 15, I’m sure they imagined two great teams battling it out with playoff-seeding implications on the line late in the season.
Instead, they are getting a matchup between the 4-9 Rams and 5-8 Packers that lacks star power and has basically zero playoff implications on the line.
That’s the NFL for you though! You never know how things are going to change year over year, and both L.A. and Green Bay have learned that the hard way in 2022.
The Rams are coming off a nice win though, so maybe they can build some momentum and Mayfield can continue his high level of play to earn a road win in a tough environment.