Local Sports

Packers Host Rams in Matchup of 2022 Disappointments

When the league's slate of prime-time games came out in the spring, a mid-December matchup between the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and the three-time defending NFC North champion Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field sounded like TV ratings gold.


Surely visions of gorgeous wide-angle shots of the falling snow and big-time playoff implications were dancing in their heads.


But instead of a playoff preview, the ''Monday Night Football'' audience will get two of the NFL's most disappointing teams when the Rams (4-9) visit the Packers (5-8).


Although both teams are still mathematically in playoff contention, the Rams are assured a sub-.500 record, and the Packers could win out and still miss the postseason for the first time under coach Matt LaFleur.


Before newly added quarterback Baker Mayfield rallied the Rams to a 17-16 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders last week - just two days after being claimed on waivers from the Carolina Panthers - the defending champs looked like they were playing out the string.


But their Mayfield-fueled comeback has at least brought some energy to what could have been a lifeless final month of the season.


Packers rookie second-round pick Christian Watson's eight touchdowns over the past four games made him the second rookie wide receiver in NFL history to score eight TDs from scrimmage over four games, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Minnesota's Randy Moss was the first to do it, in 1998.


Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the MVP the past two seasons, enters the Packers' final four games having thrown nine interceptions - the most he's had in a season since he threw 11 during the team's Super Bowl-winning season of 2010. His passer rating of 92.4 would be his lowest in 15 years as a starter.


How much of his statistical downturn can be traced to the broken right thumb he suffered in London against the New York Giants on Oct. 9 is hard to say, but Rodgers said the thumb is close to fully healed and the rib injury he suffered against the Eagles is also much improved.

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