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One and Done - FFL: Week 2 | NFL: Divisional

Rodgers, Packers beat Rams 32-18 to reach NFC title game

Sat Jan 16 7:58pm ET
By STEVE MEGARGEE
AP Sports Writer

Green Bay Packers' Allen Lazard (13) celebrates after scoring a 58-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pumps his fist after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers defeated the Rams 32-18 to advance to the NFC championship game. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Los Angeles Rams' Josh Reynolds breaks away from Green Bay Packers' Krys Barnes during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Los Angeles Rams' Van Jefferson (12) celebrates his touchdown catch from quarterback Jared Goff (16) during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Green Bay Packers, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Los Angeles Rams' Van Jefferson (12) celebrates his touchdown catch with Gerald Everett during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Green Bay Packers, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws the ball to fans after scoring on a one-yard touchdown run against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones (33) is tackled by Los Angeles Rams' Jordan Fuller (32) during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers scores on a one-yard touchdown run past Los Angeles Rams' John Johnson during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers scores on a one-yard touchdown run past Los Angeles Rams' John Johnson during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates his one-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


Green Bay Packers' Za'Darius Smith celebrates after sacking Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams, left, celebrates after scoring with Marquez Valdes-Scantling after a touchdown during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams catches a touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Packers' fans hold up signs during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. Spectators were allowed in Lambeau Field for the first time during this season. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers made sure he'd play an NFC championship game at home for the first time in his Hall of Fame-caliber career.

Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a score as the top-seeded Green Bay Packers defeated the Los Angeles Rams 32-18 in an NFC divisional playoff game Saturday.

Green Bay's potent offense overpowered the Rams' vaunted defense for much of the day. The Packers didn't allow any sacks despite playing without injured All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, while Green Bay sacked Jared Goff four times.

The Packers reached the NFC championship game for the fourth time in the last seven seasons as they chase their first Super Bowl berth in a decade. It will be their first at Lambeau Field since hosting for the 2007 season, when they fell to the New York Giants 23-20 in overtime.

Green Bay won the Super Bowl for the 2010 season as the NFC's No. 6 seed, and has lost at Seattle, Atlanta and San Francisco in its last three conference championship game appearances.

Saturday's game showed what a home-field advantage can mean, even with far less than capacity on hand due to the pandemic. The Packers played in front of 8,456 fans - a crowd that included paying spectators for the first time all season - but that small crowd made plenty of noise as the Packers built an early lead with snow flurries falling for much of the first half.

''It's special. There's absolutely nothing like it,'' Rodgers said. ''We have really missed that part of this experience. To run out of the tunnel tonight with fans was unbelievable. It's hard to explain how much the presence means on the field and just having that energy from the crowd.''

That crowd chanted ''M! V! P!'' during the closing minutes to salute All-Pro quarterback Rodgers.

Buoyed by that crowd, the Packers (14-3) often seemed on the verge of putting the game away. But the Rams (11-7) continued to hang around. Green Bay finally sealed the victory with a 58-yard completion from Rodgers to Allen Lazard with 6:52 left.

Rodgers went 23 of 36 for 296 yards, while Aaron Jones ran for 99 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. Goff was 21 of 27 for 174 yards and a touchdown less than three weeks after undergoing thumb surgery, and Cam Akers rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown.

The Packers scored on each of their first five series and led 25-10 early in the third quarter. Even when the Packers began a drive at their 25 with 29 seconds and two timeouts left until halftime, Rodgers threw long completions to Davante Adams and Robert Tonyan to set up Mason Crosby's 39-yard field goal as time expired.

Green Bay also settled for Crosby's 24-yard field goal after having first-and-goal at the 4 on its opening series. The other three drives resulted in a 1-yard touchdown catch by Adams and 1-yard scoring runs by Rodgers and Jones.

Rodgers' touchdown run was the first by a Packers quarterback in a playoff game at Lambeau Field since Bart Starr's winning sneak in the Ice Bowl against Dallas on Dec. 31, 1967.

Jones' touchdown came after he opened the second half with a 60-yard burst up the middle against a defense that hadn't allowed a run from scrimmage of longer than 27 yards all season.

After the Rams finally forced a punt midway through the third quarter, they capitalized with Akers' 7-yard touchdown run on a direct snap. They cut it to 25-18 with a nifty 2-point conversion: Van Jefferson caught a pass from Goff and lateraled to Akers, who strolled into the left corner of the end zone.

The Rams forced another punt and got the ball at their 6, but Kenny Clark's sack stalled the drive.

Green Bay's A.J. Dillon fumbled on the ensuing series, but Rodgers recovered at the Packers 31 and advanced 3 yards. Three plays later, Rodgers hit Lazard, who caught the ball around the Rams 25 and raced into the end zone for the clinching touchdown.

INJURY REPORT

The Rams played without leading receiver Cooper Kupp (knee) and usual starting left guard David Edwards (ankle). Bobby Evans started in place of Edwards at left guard.

Dillon injured hid quadriceps when he fumbled.

UP NEXT

The Rams' season is over.

The Packers host either the New Orleans Saints or Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 24.

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Player Notes
Allen Lazard Jan 16 8:00pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard caught four passes for a team-high 96 yards with one touchdown in the Packers 32-18 triumph over the Rams in the NFC Divisional Round. Lazard was targeted eight times in the game but finally exploded in the fourth quarter, catching a bomb from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and sprinting to the end zone for a 58-yard score. The Rams did all they could to take star receiver Davante Adams out of the offensive game plan but Rodgers hit big with his secondary receivers. Adams will continue to get the headlines but receivers like Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling will carry fantasy sleeper appeal in tournaments for the NFC Championship Game next week.

From RotoBaller

Robert Tonyan Jan 16 8:00pm ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan caught four passes for 60 yards in the team's 32-18 win over the Rams in the NFC Divisional Round. Tonyan has been known this season for his ability to score touchdowns but contributed in other ways to help the Packers take down the Rams. The talented tight end was a safety valve for quarterback Aaron Rodgers in crucial situations and did a nice job picking up some extra yards after the catch. Tonyan led all tight ends this season with 11 touchdowns and should see a healthy amount of targets in the NFC Championship Game next week.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Jan 16 7:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce should be in line for a top performance on Sunday's Divisional Round slate when the Chiefs take on the Cleveland Browns. The Browns allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season and Kelce last caught fewer than seven passes way back in Week 7. He's far-and-away the best tight end play on this slate and DFS players who stack Kelce with quarterback Patrick Mahomes could find themselves having a lot of success on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Rodgers Jan 16 7:50pm ET

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 23-of-36 passes for 296 yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing score in the Packers 32-18 win over the Rams in the NFC Divisional Round. Rodgers got his team off to a hot start early, connecting with star receiver Davante Adams in the first quarter for a one-yard touchdown. The veteran passer slyly maneuvered his way into the end zone for a rushing score and then put the nail in the coffin with a 58-yard strike to Allen Lazard to extend the score to its final 32-18 number. Rodgers has been arguably the best passer in the NFL this season and will be a top choice in tournament play for Championship Weekend.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Jan 16 7:50pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams caught nine passes for 66 yards with one touchdown in the team's 32-18 victory over the Rams in the NFC Divisional Round. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers found Adams in a familiar place, the end zone, in the first quarter for a one-yard touchdown and a 10-3 lead at the time. Adams was targeted 10 times in the game but did his damage in the intermediary passing game. Even in games when opponents focus intently on bottling up Adams, his connection with Rodgers in the red zone is undeniable. Adams will be a top choice among wide receivers next week in the NFC Championship Game.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Jan 16 7:40pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the top fantasy quarterback option on Sunday's Divisional Round slate when he faces off against the Cleveland Browns. Of all the teams left in the playoffs, no one allows more fantasy points per game to quarterbacks than Cleveland. Mahomes should have no trouble exploiting this Browns secondary, and while his high DFS salary might make it tough to build lineups with him, he's still by far the best play on the slate.

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Tyreek Hill Jan 16 7:40pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs Tyreek Hill should be considered one of the top wide receivers on Sunday's Divisional Round slate, with the only issue being the salary cost of stacking him with his quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. The Browns secondary has a lot of holes in it that a quick player like Hill can exploit. Hill caught 15 touchdowns this season and had just two games with under 50 yards. He's arguably the highest-upside wide receiver on Sunday's slate.

From RotoBaller

T.J. Yeldon Jan 16 7:20pm ET

Buffalo Bills running T.J. Yeldon is active and will likely serve as the No. 2 back for the Bills in Saturday's Divisional Round against the Baltimore Ravens with Zack Moss (ankle) out. Devin Singletary will be the lead back and Yeldon's unlikely to see as much work as a healthy Moss would have, so he shouldn't be on your fantasy radar unless you really need a GPP punt play who won't be rostered much.

From RotoBaller

Tre'Quan Smith Jan 16 6:20pm ET

The New Orleans Saints activated wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) from Injured Reserve and placed him on the active roster in time for the Divisional Round game against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Smith has not played since the Week 15 loss to the Chiefs, but he should be active for the third meeting with Tampa Bay this weekend. However, there's a good chance that the Saints limit his snaps in his first game back, but his presence won't be good news for Deonte Harris, who had an expanded role in the wild-card win over the Bears. The 25-year-old Smith should be avoided in most fantasy lineups this weekend after catching just 34 passes on 50 targets for 448 yards and four touchdowns in his 14 games (10 starts). He should be the No. 3 wideout behind Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

From RotoBaller

Ben Roethlisberger Jan 16 6:10pm ET

There is optimism within the Pittsburgh Steelers organization that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return for the 2021 season. Head coach Mike Tomlin welcomed the return of Roethlisberger earlier in the week. The Steelers are expected to promote quarterbacks coach Matt Canada to offensive coordinator after parting ways with Randy Fichtner. Roethlisberger is on the books for $19 million in the final year of his contract, but he has a salary cap hit of $41 million. But after being with the organization for 17 years, there's a good chance that the two sides restructure his deal to alleviate cap concerns in order to retain some free agents. Big Ben threw for over 500 yards and four touchdowns in the wild-card loss to the Browns, but he also threw four interceptions in that game and declined drastically in the last quarter of the season and will be a health concern if he continues to play. Fantasy managers will consider him as a low-upside QB2 if he keeps playing.

From RotoBaller

Jameis Winston Jan 16 6:10pm ET

The New Orleans Saints will likely see star quarterback Drew Brees retire after this season, and they would like to bring Jameis Winston back. The Saints hardly played Winston at all this year, even when Brees missed time with rib and lung injuries, but they liked what they saw from him in practices this year. Winston still has a strong arm and the skills that made him the No. 1 overall pick out of Florida State, but he'll need to prove that he can improve his decision-making process if he's to return in New Orleans and take over when Brees inevitably retires. The 27-year-old signed a one-year deal to learn behind Brees in 2020, but there's a chance that they bring him back if they aren't sold on Taysom Hill being the starter under center in the post-Brees world. If Winston re-signs and becomes the starter in 2021, he'll have QB1 upside and will likely come at the cost of a QB2.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Jan 16 6:00pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens are expected to explore a long-term contract extension for quarterback Lamar Jackson in the offseason. The Ravens are always open to early deals that make sense for both sides. The 2019 NFL MVP has one year left on his current deal and the Ravens will pick up his fifth-year option. Jackson still represents himself in contract negotiations, but perhaps he'll hire some representation to help him with his first big contract after his rookie deal. The 24-year-old wasn't as prolific as a passer or as a rusher in 2020, but his dual-threat ability under center still made him a high-end fantasy QB1. Jackson threw for just 2,757 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions this year, rushing the ball 159 times for 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns. He's had back-to-back seasons with 1,000 rushing yards and will once again be a top-five QB in fantasy drafts this fall.

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Carson Wentz Jan 16 5:40pm ET

There remains uncertainty about the future of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, and whoever the team hires to be the next head coach will have some input on that front, but the Eagles are telling head-coaching candidates that they want to bring Wentz back in 2021. General manager Howie Roseman and owner Jeffrey Lurie gave up a lot to draft Wentz at No. 2 overall in 2016, and they've given him a ton of influence in the draft, free agency and coaching decisions. But injuries have limited him to six playoff snaps in five years. After drafting rookie Jalen Hurts in the second round in 2020, Wentz had the worst season of his career and one of the worst declines for an under-30 starting QB in the last 70 years. The 28-year-old has struggled with accountability, rebuffed advice and clashed with former head coach Doug Pederson. "Every great quarterback wants to be coached and they want to be coached hard and by the best, and it doesn't seem like [Wentz] wants that," one source said. "It's kind of like whoever's coaching him is working for him. But it can't be that way." Injuries to the team's offensive line and receiving corps also didn't work in Wentz's favor in 2020. The front office remains committed to Wentz, at least because of his big contract, but there's no guarantee that he'll win the starting job if he sticks around heading into the 2021 season. Hurts wasn't perfect in his debut late in the year, but he certainly gave Philly's offense a spark that was missing when Wentz was on the field.

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Josh Allen Jan 16 5:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has emerged as a favorite to land the Los Angeles Chargers head-coaching job, according to league sources. He is one of nine candidates to have interviewed for the job. If the Bills lose their Divisional Round game against the Ravens on Saturday night, Daboll can meet with the Chargers whenever he wants and accept the job if it's offered to him. If Buffalo wins, the Chargers must wait. He's an offensive-minded coach and has learned from some of the best coaches in the game while helping quarterback Josh Allen improve. Daboll also went to high school with Chargers general manager Tom Telesco, and the two played on the same high school football team.

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Deshaun Watson Jan 16 3:50pm ET

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson wants out of Houston, according to an explosive Sports Illustrated story from Greg Bishop and Jenny Vrentas that highlights some of the issues Houston has faced over the past year. It sounds like the team's decision to give Jack Easterby an increasingly large voice in the direction of the franchise as well as the team ignoring Watson's preference for the team's GM position has led to issues. There's still a long time to go before we know what's going to happen with this situation.

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Dak Prescott Jan 16 3:30pm ET

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) is reportedly progressing well in rehab, with Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network saying the team thinks Prescott is "going to come back better than ever." While he doesn't have a long term deal with the Cowboys and could be a free agent in 2021, it makes sense for both sides to get a deal done. Prescott is a top-five fantasy quarterback when healthy and has arguably the top three-man receiving corps in the NFL.

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Cooper Kupp Jan 16 3:20pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (knee) is officially inactive for Saturday's playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. A huge loss for a team whose quarterback is already dealing with a thumb injury, we'll likely see Josh Reynolds step into Kupp's role. Reynolds now has some nice appeal as a DFS value play, but this is likely to be a very run-heavy game for the Rams, with Cam Akers being the real winner here.

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Mark Andrews Jan 16 3:00pm ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews will look to make a big impact on Saturday night when the Ravens face the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round. While Andrews has been on a downwards swing over the past few games, he gets a matchup against a Bills Defense that allows the eighth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. If you're playing a Saturday-only DFS slate, Andrews is the top tight end play, while DFS managers playing in the Saturday/Sunday slate could find value by using Andrews over the more obvious choice, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

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Mark Ingram Jan 16 3:00pm ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram II will be a healthy scratch once again on Saturday when the Ravens face the Bills. No surprise here, as the Ravens seem intent on moving on from Ingram when the season ends and don't want a potential injury to complicate that. Barring a J.K. Dobbins injury, we won't see Ingram in a Ravens uniform again.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Jan 16 2:50pm ET

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is averaging 94.3 rushing yards per game over his past six appearances. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills allowed seven rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks this season, tied for the third-most in the NFL. Saturday's Divisional Round contest between the two teams is shaping up to be a strong opportunity for Jackson to post big numbers on the ground. Buffalo has been good at forcing turnovers, so Baltimore's best game plan might be to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible. Consider Jackson a top DFS play.

From RotoBaller