By Eric Goska
|Fans tailgated near Lambeau Field|
ahead of the Rams-Packers divisional playoff game.
The Packers’ offense took no quarter…off.
Green Bay spread the wealth from start to finish as it dismantled Los Angeles and its top-ranked defense 32-18 Saturday at Lambeau Field. In doing so, the Packers established a first in franchise playoff history.
This divisional playoff matchup was billed as irresistible force (GB’s offense) meets an immovable object (LA's defense). That led to the question: Which would prevail with a ticket to the NFC championship game on the line?
No team allowed fewer yards per game (281.9), fewer passing yards per game (190.7), or fewer points (296) during the regular season than did the Rams. No club boasted a higher-rated passing attack (121.5) or scored more points (509) than did the Packers.
Something had to give.
Green Bay commandeered 484 yards and 28 first downs in prevailing by 14 points. It controlled the ball for 36 minutes and 12 seconds while going 8-for-12 on third down.
But those totals don’t speak to the consistency with which the team operated. By quarter, the Green and Gold amassed 108, 135, 129 and 112 yards.
Never in 58 previous playoff games had the team hit or surpassed 100 yards in all four quarters.
How steady was the Pack? They held the upper hand in time of possessions in each 15-minute period. They produced 7, 9, 6, and 6 first downs.
Green Bay ripped off one play of more than 25 yards in each quarter. Those gains – Equanimeous St. Brown (27-yard reception); Robert Tonyan (33-yard grab); Aaron Jones (60-yard run); Allen Lazard (58-yard catch) – all occurred on scoring drives.
Aaron Rodgers and his mates put up points on each of the team’s first five drives, the best start to any postseason game in team history. Then, following consecutive punts, the offense clicked for a touchdown and closed out the game by holding the ball for the final 4:59.
In being so unerringly relentless, Green Bay prevented the Rams from doing the same. Los Angeles failed to gain more than 75 yards in any quarter.
Thus, the Packers became the first playoff team this century to have four 100s while holding their opponent without one.
Even during the regular season, this idea of have and have not has been exceedingly rare. Green Bay has turned the trick just twice since 1944.
The Packers (122, 115, 112, 106) thrashed San Francisco (5, minus-5, 88, 75) by a score of 41-14 on Oct. 23, 1960. Twenty-five years later, the Green and Gold (105, 131, 120, 156) shut out Tampa Bay (21, 22, 9, 13) in the Snow Bowl.
And that’s it. Just twice in the last 77 years have the Pack held four of a kind while their opponent went bust.
Knowing that, don’t expect a repeat performance as Green Bay hosts the NFC championship game. Asking lightning to strike twice in consecutive weeks is asking too much.
Yards By Quarter Date Opponent Result
493 (13-123-184-166-7) Jan. 10, 2010 Cardinals GB lost, 45-51 (OT)
484 (108-135-129-112) Jan. 16, 2021 Rams GB won, 32-18
479 (92-179-151-57) Jan. 12, 1997 Panthers GB won, 30-13
466 (-5-108-216-147) Jan. 16, 1983 Cowboys GB lost, 26-37
442 (80-188-130-44) Jan. 15, 2011 Falcons GB won, 48-21
425 (64-80-156-125) Jan. 11, 2015 Cowboys GB won, 26-21
414 (151-81-98-84) Jan. 15, 2017 Cowboys GB won, 34-31
408 (142-88-126-52) Jan. 12, 2008 Seahawks GB won, 42-20
406 (7-140-125-134) Jan. 8, 2017 Giants GB won, 38-13
403 (107-108-87-101) Jan. 3, 1999 49ers GB lost, 27-30
401 (81-100-101-119) Dec. 26, 1960 Eagles GB lost, 13-17