Preview: Green Bay Packers at Rams

In the first two games this season, the Rams have been outscored 37 to 7. Allowing 37 points makes them tied for 13th in fewest points allowed. But no other team is close to their 7 points scored. Washington and Cleveland are tied for 2nd worst; both have only scored 26 points this season. Of course, the Bengals only managed 7 points in their first game before scoring 31 against the Packers last week.

The Rams offense is working with an unknown group of wide receivers. The group only has a combined total of 32 career starts, and 9 of those are by former Packer WR Ruvell Martin, who hasn't yet caught a pass as a Ram. QB Marc Bulger missed most of the preseason with a finger injury, so that in addition to inexperience and a new coaching staff, and it's easy to see why their pass offense has gotten off to a slow start. The Packers pass defense has given up some yards, but they've grabbed 6 INTs in the first two games. However, Bulger has yet to commit a turnover. Meanwhile, RB Steven Jackson has gotten off to a solid start; averaging 5.2 yards per carry. The Packers run defense has been Jekyll and Hyde; shutting down RB Matt Forte in week 1 and then struggling against RB Cedric Benson

The Packers offense was great in the preseason, but it's been a slow start in the regular season. They only have 165 yards rushing, 23rd best this season, but that is somewhat self-inflicted since they've only attempted 40 rushes this season (2nd fewest this season). Only the Rams, with 39 rushing attempts, have attempted fewer. QB Aaron Rodgers has gotten off to a slow start, completing only 56.7% of his passes, but has yet to commit a turnover either. The big problem remains the pass protection which has allowed 10 sacks (and numerous hits) in the first 2 games, after only allowing 2 sacks/game in 2008. However, the Rams have only recorded 1 sack this season. 

The Rams have the added advantage of playing in their home opener and the fans might be excited to watch new head coach in Steve Spagnuolo, who's made a good impression in St. Louis, for the first time in person. But the fans and coaches won't be playing on the field. The Rams have still only managed to score over 20 points twice in their last 18 games. The Rams anemic pass rush will help the offensive line catch it's breath, but it's not time to get carried away as the Rams defense is improving. Packers 21, Rams 9.

Rankings by yards gained/allowed from NFL.com:

Teams Run Offense Pass Offense Run Defense Pass Defense
Packers 23 25 18 15
Rams 20 31 25 25
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