Having secured the number one seed in their week 17 matchup against the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers will, this weekend, welcome the Los Angles Rams to Lambeau Field as they begin their search for a fifth Lombardi Trophy. Who out of the seven remaining teams between the conferences is most likely to stand in the way of that goal of Green Bay winning Super Bowl LV?
Which Team Is Most Likely to Prevent the Green Bay Packers From Winning Super Bowl LV?
Los Angeeles Rams
On Saturday, the Packers will welcome the Los Angeles Rams to Green Bay in a matchup where the Packers are the favorites for some very obvious reasons. The injury curse.
The potential loss of Aaron Donald would be the biggest problem for the Rams, though, with him being their only truly elite pass-rushing option against a Packers team with the frontrunner for MVP.
Should Donald play, the Rams could easily pose a threat on defense, taking pressure off what will almost certainly be a weakened offense.
If the Saints advance, the Packers will obviously be encouraged by their Week 3 victory over New Orleans. While it is true that the Saints were without their star receiver that day in Michael Thomas, that is evened out by the fact that the Packers were without star receiver Davante Adams that day too.
On the flipside, in Week 5, the Packers had was, without a doubt, their worst overall performance of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the 38-10 defeat, the defense was as porous; Aaron Rodgers threw two picks accounting for 40 percent of all picks he threw on the year, and Aaron Jones could find absolutely no room from the backfield.
However, regardless of who they should face in the Conference Championship, the Packers would open up as favorites for one simple reason. The Buccaneers play in one of the warmest cities in the league. The Saints play in a dome, in what is in itself a warm city. The Packers, who, should they make it, will host this game, are the coldest city in the league with an outdoor stadium. This will allow a Packers team, already used to such extreme weather, to exploit their opponents’ preference for warm weather conditions with rookie power back A.J. Dillon getting a chance to break out.
Unfortunately for the Packers, the weather advantage will no longer exist in the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay. We will see a true battle of talent for which the Packers could go toe to toe with any of the four remaining AFC teams.
Should the Packers matchup against the AFC’s one seed Kansas City Chiefs, we will likely see a high powered shoutout between the two potent offenses. The question is not so much which offense can outscore the other because either could do so with ease. It’s the defense. The Chiefs gave up fewer points per game during the season than the Packers, but only eight fewer through the 16 game season.
The Buffalo Bills could give Green Bay their biggest challenge. Josh Allen broke out as a star for years to come, Stefon Diggs has shown he was worth the first-round price the Bills paid to the Minnesota Vikings last off-season, allowing the Bills to come in second in points per game behind only the Packers themselves. This combined their defense with the opportunity to bring Buffalo its first Lombardi Trophy would give the Packers absolutely no room for error should the two meet in Super Bowl 55.
The Baltimore Ravens would have been a much different story just three weeks ago when the Packers’ defense showed no sign of stopping teams rushing offenses, which is without question the Ravens’ biggest strength. However, since successfully shutting down Derrick Henry in Week 16, Packers fans should have more reason for optimism. While the Ravens also successfully shut down Henry in the Wild Card Round, the running game isn’t as make or break for the Packers’ offense.
The Cleveland Browns have been the Cinderella story of the 2020 season, finally breaking out as a legit contender for the first time since returning to the league. Like the Ravens, this would have been a much different situation before the Packers showed the world they know how to stop the run. Cleveland has possibly the best running back tandem in the league, which would strike fear into any team but should the Packers’ offense be at full strength, the Browns would be a favorable matchup for the Packers.
Overall, while the path towards Lombardi Trophy number five is arduous as all seven teams could stop Green Bay from winning Super Bowl LV, the Packers, as of this moment, remain one of the favorites to get the job done and could beat any remaining team given the luck falls their way.