Aaron Rodgers will be playing his first ever NFC championship game at home in Green Bay this Sunday. The Packers are making back-to-back appearances in the conference title game in hopes of going to a second Super Bowl with Rodgers at quarterback.
Green Bay’s dominant offense has propelled Rodgers to the top of the MVP conversation and the Packers are +210 to win Super Bowl LV at FanDuel Sportsbook.
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How we got here
Despite being the No. 2 seed in the NFC in 2019, FanDuel installed the Packers at +3100 to win the Super Bowl ahead of this season. However, Green Bay has been dominant for much of the year, en route to the No. 1 seed in the conference and a home game with a Super Bowl berth on the line.
Why the Packers can win it all
Green Bay’s offense is all about precision. The Packers lead the NFL in points per drive with over three every time the offense takes the field. As well, Rodgers and co. have the most time of possession per game.
With successful drives mounting on one side of the ball, Green Bay’s defense has been able to hold up their end of the bargain. The Packers are in the top half of the league in yards per play and have been great getting off the field on third down. Opponents converted just 38.2% of third downs in the regular season and the Los Angeles Rams were only two-for-eight on third downs last Saturday.
Uber efficient and paired with the runaway MVP, Green Bay is in a good position to take home the Lombardi Trophy.
Why the Packers can’t win it all
In week six, Tampa Bay was able to throttle Green Bay, 38-10 at home. The Bucs had great success pressuring Rodgers, sacking him four times in addition to intercepting him twice in what would be the Packers’ worst game of the season.
Now, Green Bay is facing a still stingy Tampa Bay front without its All-Pro tackle David Bakhtiari. Plus, the Bucs designated defensive tackle Vita Vea for return from a broken ankle. Vea missed the first matchup against the Packers and could be pivotal come Sunday. He's one of the top run-stuffing defensive tackles in the NFL and if Green Bay can't get the rushing attack going, it will put a lot of pressure on Rodgers to once again to it all in a big game.
Despite a poor outing from their formidable defense, the Rams were able to stay within striking distance of the Packers for much of their Divisional round matchup behind a solid offensive effort. Cam Akers was successful on the ground, averaging five yards per carry, which opened up the passing game for Jared Goff.
Green Bay is 23rd in opponent rushing success rate and in the bottom third of the league in pressure rate. If there is going to be time for the quarterback to throw and an opportunity to string together successful runs, the opposition will be able to hang around, no matter how good the Green Bay offense is.
Let’s look at Tampa Bay, for example. Tom Brady has been stellar with time in the pocket this season, completing more than 70% with no pressure while averaging more than eight yards per attempt, per Pro Football Focus. When under pressure, Brady’s numbers drop to 42.9% and less than six yards per throw.
Should you bet the Pack to win it all?
The Rams’ defense was not able to keep a lid on the Packers last weekend, but the offense found a surprising amount of success despite being the worst unit left in the postseason.
With three strong offenses left in the playoffs, the Packers’ defense is going to be put to the test to keep Rodgers and the offense in a positive game script. If teams are going to be able to jump out to a lead on Green Bay, I’m curious how they respond. For much of this season, the Packers have been in front and dictating the game, but against Tampa Bay earlier this season, they fell behind and could never get back into it.
The Packers are priced accordingly, but I don’t see any value in betting them to win the Super Bowl at this point.