While many might not think the Packers have played teams outside of their division very much, the exact opposite is true regarding Green Bay's series against the Rams. In fact, the Packers have played the Rams more than they have played the Buccaneers, who were division rivals in the NFC Central for a long time.
As mentioned in comments earlier this week, this was due to the fact that the Packers and Rams were formerly in the same conference and as such played each other twice a year, every year. Currently, the Rams lead the head-to-head series in the regular season by the mark of 45-44-2, and the playoff series is tied 1-1.
The Rams, then based in Cleveland, entered the NFL in 1937. Those early years, in which the Packers contended for NFL Championships year in and year out, meant that Green Bay won the vast majority of games against the Rams. In fact, the Packers won 12 of the first 14 games between the teams, losing one and tying one in 1940.
By 1945, however, the series changed as the Rams powered to a 9-1 record and won their first NFL Championship. The Rams swept the 1945 series and won both 1946 games as well as the series shifted from a purely Midwestern one to a cross-country series following the Rams' relocation to Los Angeles for the 1946 season. Although the Packers won three straight games after this, the Green Bay wins were merely an aberration at this point. By late 1948, the Rams were on their way to being one of the NFL powerhouses of the 1950s while the Packers were sliding into the NFL's basement.
As a consequence of this, the Rams proceeded to win 11 straight games over the next few years. Although the teams would split their series in 1954 through 1956, the Rams reasserted themselves as the Packers slid and got worse in 1957 and posted their worst season ever in 1958. The arrival of Vince Lombardi in 1959 promised changes, but even his first game against the Rams was a 45-6 blowout loss in Milwaukee. The Packers, however, avenged this game by winning 38-20 in Los Angeles, posting their first road win over the Rams since 1947.
Although the Rams won the game in Milwaukee again the following year, this time the game was an aberration the other way as the Packers became one of the elite teams in the NFL while the Rams slid into obscurity in the early 1960s. The Packers finally got the upper hand in the series again, winning seven in a row and ten of thirteen games up to the 1966 season.
That season, however, featured the arrival of George Allen in Los Angeles as coach of the Rams. Although the Packers swept that 1966 season series, the arrival of Allen was similar to the arrival of Lombardi as coach of the Packers in that it represented a changing of the guard in this series. Indeed, the Packers' win in Los Angeles in 1966 was their last road win over the Rams until 1996 (which took place in St. Louis after the Rams' move), and their last win in Los Angeles until 1990 when they defeated the Raiders.
The Rams won the 1967 game following a blocked punt as the Packers began to slide under Lombardi. That December, however, the slide was put on hold as the Packers defeated a very game Los Angeles Rams team in Milwaukee, by the score of 28-7. This game featured a long touchdown run by Travis Williams to help put the Packers into the NFL Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys.
The following year, however, the Packers' slide continued while the Rams continued their rise. The series results displayed this most prominently, as the Rams won 13 of the next 17 games in the series. Although the teams were no longer playing twice a year, they nonetheless met nearly every season despite the disparity in the teams' fortunes during this time.
In 1974, the Packers finally broke their losing streak against the Rams by defeating them 17-6 in Milwaukee. Later that season, the Packers completed one of the worst trades in their history by trading five top-round draft picks in the next two years to the Rams in exchange for quarterback John Hadl. The draft picks helped cement the Rams as one of the elite teams in the league while the Packers went from merely bad to truly awful following the trade and the loss of all the draft picks. Moreover, Hadl didn't work out for the Packers. After a career year in 1973 while quarterbacking the Rams, Hadl played terribly after the trade, throwing nine touchdowns to 29 interceptions over the next season and a half (22 games in total) in Green Bay.
In 1980, the Rams scored 37 points in the second quarter while defeating the Packers 51-21 in Anaheim (the Rams moved to Anaheim due to the NFL's blackout policy--because the Los Angeles Coliseum seated nearly 100,000 fans, blackouts were common in Los Angeles despite the Rams' success during this time. The move to Anaheim Stadium, which seated just over 60,000 fans, was made in an attempt to end the blackouts, but the arrival of the Raiders in 1982 only exacerbated the situation by splitting the Rams' once-loyal fanbase in Los Angeles).
Despite the move to Anaheim, the Rams remained among the NFL's better teams, but now were second fiddle in the NFC West due to the emergence of the San Francisco 49ers during this time. In 1982, the Rams took a halftime lead of 23-0 in County Stadium in Milwaukee. Fortunately for the Packers, however, the second half was a much different story. By the time the game ended, the Packers had won, 35-23. The Packers would win two more games in Milwaukee in 1983 and 1984, but this win streak was offset by Rams wins in 1985, 1988, and 1989.
In 1990, however, the Rams were finally fading after more than 20 years of winning. The Packers shocked nearly everyone by defeating the Rams quite easily in Lambeau Field that year (the Rams had made the NFC Championship the year before), and although the Rams won the 1991 game, they would win just two more games that year. The arrival of Brett Favre in 1992 kept the fortunes changing. The Packers would win again in 1993 and 1994 in Milwaukee and Green Bay, respectively.
For the 1995 season, the Rams relocated to St. Louis but retained a large fanbase in Los Angeles. That year, the Rams went into Green Bay and won 17-14, in the first game as the St. Louis Rams. A year later, the Packers, following two tough losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys, went into St. Louis hoping to change their fortunes. The Rams led early, but a big interception return by Doug Evans completely changed the momentum of the game, which the Packers went on to win 24-9. The Packers would win again in Lambeau Field in 1997, after which the series finally went on hold.
The gap in the series lasted until the playoffs in 2001. The Packers went into St. Louis, and on paper, the teams appeared evenly matched. Brett Favre, however, had one of his worst games as a Packer, throwing six interceptions (three of which were returned for touchdowns) as the Rams blew out the Packers 45-17. Two years later, the teams met again in St. Louis. This game was closer, but the Rams pulled away late to win 34-24.
In 2004, the Packers finally hosted the Rams in Green Bay. Helped along by a career day by Najeh Davenport, and two fumble returns for touchdowns, the Packers beat the Rams, also by the 45-17 score. Two years later, the Rams came back to Green Bay. Although the Packers led early, the Rams took the lead but were unable to put the game away. The Packers drove deep into Ram territory, but a Favre fumble sealed the win for St. Louis.
In 2007, the Packers clinched a first-round bye by defeating the Rams 33-14 in St. Louis. In this game, Favre set the NFL record for most passing yards by a quarterback. Two years later, Favre's former understudy Aaron Rodgers also defeated the Rams in St. Louis, this time by the score of 36-17. Both games featured crowds with large numbers of Packers fans in attendance. The 2011 game at Lambeau Field featured a first-half scoring frenzy, after which both teams failed to score in the second half. The Packers would win, 24-3, and improved to 6-0. Most recently, in 2012, the Packers, fresh off a huge win in Houston, went into St. Louis and defeated the Rams 30-20, proving the win over the previously undefeated Texans wasn't a fluke.
What are your memories of the Packers playing the Rams?