Uncharted underdog territory

Packers head west to test Rams

As of Wednesday, the Packers were 9.5-point underdogs ahead of Sunday’s game in Los Angeles. That’s the largest underdog role the Packers have played with Aaron Rodgers starting at quarterback. Green Bay takes a on a Rams team that’s 7-0 and ranked number one in total offense.

Running back Todd Gurley leads the league in rushing yards (686) and touchdowns (11), and defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads the league in sacks (8). Packers linebacker Clay Matthews knows they’ll have their hands full.

“On paper, yeah, it looks like a mismatch,” Matthews said Wednesday. “But the great thing is we get to go out there and play the game, and we feel good about our opportunity.”

Rodgers wants the Packers to play better situational football, and that starts with minimizing the yards to gain on third down.

“We’ve got to put ourselves in better positions on first and second down,” Rodgers said. “We’re obviously not where we need to be in the red zone. So we gotta sure some things up. A lot of it is balance. We gotta find a balance. We gotta run the ball better, more often. And convert the third downs and get some more opportunities.”

Rams head coach Sean McVay knows the book on Aaron Rodgers. When he was asked about the challenge of defending #12, he made a laundry list of things the the two-time MVP does well.

“He’s a real problem,” McVay said with a chuckle during his press conference. “It’s gonna be a great challenge, but something I think our guys will be excited about. This is what you love. This is what’s special about the NFL and guys like Aaron Rodgers.”

The Packers and Rams kickoff from L.A. Sunday at 3:25 P.M. on Fox.