Though the Rams have lost their last 13 games (ugh!) it was still a good looking win. They led the entire game, and although the Rams got within 6 points in the 3rd quarter, they pulled away with 2 TDs in the 4th quarter. Despite the comfortable win they could have played better and there are still some holes on the team.
The defense looked weak at times, and allowed 17 points to a team only had scored 7 in their first two games. But a lot of writers were expecting a slow start for the defense as they get used to all the new schemes from Dom Capers. At least they can fall back on big plays CB Charles Woodson in the meantime. The offensive line might be struggling all season long, as they find it hard to protect QB Aaron Rodgers and open up rushing lanes for RB Ryan Grant, but at least Rodgers is playing well despite the pressure and a few drops from his receivers. The offense showed off it's big play ability again in this game. The special teams struggled, but at least they can hang their hat on a blocked FG.
And they also came out of the game with only a couple injuries, according to Mike McCarthy. I don't think WR James Jones returned, but WR Greg Jennings did return after apparently re-injuring his wrist early in the 3rd quarter.
The Packers almost ended the week tied a top the NFC Central, but QB Brett Favre had a big game winning TD pass to improve the Vikings to 3-0. Although we should all feel better about last week's loss to the Bengals since they just upset the Steelers.
Play-by-play recap from NFL.com:
(11:03) 3-Josh.Brown 48 yard field goal is BLOCKED (97-J.Jolly), Center-45-C.Massey, Holder-5-D.Jones, RECOVERED by GB-27-W.Blackmon at GB 25. 27-W.Blackmon to GB 43 for 18 yards (5-D.Jones).
It was a little discouraging to see the Rams move the ball down the field fairly easily to start the game, but DE Johnny Jolly had a great game, starting with this blocked FG attempt.
(10:20) (Shotgun) 25-R.Grant right end to SL 46 for 10 yards (96-J.Hall). SL-37-J.Butler was injured during the play.
Nine first half carries for RB Ryan Grant, and six of them were for 2 yards or less. This was the only carry over 10 yards. It was a good play; a power running play where RT Allen Barbre pulled right and created a running lane for Grant. But for most of the half, Grant would run one direction, and then look for a cutback lane. I'm not sure if it's by design to get the defense to go one direction and have him cut back the other direction. Or if he doesn't trust his blockers, and is looking for daylight where ever he sees it. Either way, it's not working.
(7:13) 12-A.Rodgers sacked at SL 34 for -7 yards (91-L.Little).
DE Leonard Little just beat Barbre for the sack. It was a weak effort by Barbre, but at least it was only 1 of 2 sacks allowed all game. Unfortunately it's still not a great showing since the Rams only had 1 sack in their previous 2 games. Barbre does seem to be improving, which is more than can be said for the rest of the offensive line (Jason Spitz excluded). Actually I don't know what to make of RG Josh Sitton; it seems like he's getting shoved around sometimes, but otherwise holding up.
(5:52) 39-S.Jackson right tackle to SL 38 for 19 yards (36-N.Collins). PENALTY on SL-73-A.Goldberg, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at SL 19 - No Play.
This was the first play I noticed DL B.J. Raji. He played mostly at left defensive end, but he played so often inside the offensive tackles that he was really playing like a defensive tackle. RB Steven Jackson ran right at Raji, and the blocker had to hold Raji to keep him out of the way. He doesn't receive a stat for it, but Raji moved them back 10 yards on his first play.
(4:09) (Shotgun) 10-M.Bulger sacked at SL 10 for -5 yards (74-A.Kampman). FUMBLES (74-A.Kampman) [74-A.Kampman], RECOVERED by GB-97-J.Jolly at SL 15. 97-J.Jolly to SL 15 for no gain (60-J.Brown).
Nice play all around, although QB Marc Bulger was injured on the play. Unfortunately it led to just another FG.
(2:46) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers sacked at SL 20 for -12 yards (91-L.Little).
In the early going, QB Aaron Rodgers was under a lot of pass pressure. Daryn Colledge was moved to LT for this game due to the injury to LT Chad Clifton, and as blueguitarbob points out, he's playing high and getting overpowered. I lost track of all the times the pocket collapsed when Colledge got shoved into it.
(2:08) 39-S.Jackson left guard to SL 14 for 3 yards (77-C.Jenkins). FUMBLES (77-C.Jenkins), RECOVERED by GB-31-A.Harris at SL 12. 31-A.Harris to SL 12 for no gain (70-A.Barron). SL-10-M.Bulger was injured during the play.
Another great play and the 2nd turnover of the half. Unfortunately the offense stalls (again) and they settle for a FG (again); the 3rd FG of the quarter.
(13:09) 12-K.Boller pass incomplete short right to 11-L.Robinson.
(12:10) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep left to 80-D.Driver to SL 30 for 46 yards (32-B.Fletcher). Penalty on SL-32-B.Fletcher, Defensive Pass Interference, declined.
Just an amazing one-handed catch by WR Donald Driver, his other hand was being held by the defender.
(9:55) 30-J.Kuhn up the middle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.
(9:42) 39-S.Jackson right end to SL 22 for no gain (56-N.Barnett).
LB Nick Barnett is still the best of the inside linebackers. LB A.J. Hawk gets shoved around too much. LB Brandon Chillar always seems a step behind the play (see next play). Although Barnett is still being held to a 40 play limit, according to Mike McCarthy, so LB Desmond Bishop got some playing time in the 2nd half.
(4:51) 12-K.Boller pass deep right to 46-D.Fells for 16 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
(:08) (Shotgun) 12-K.Boller pass deep left to 46-D.Fells for 19 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Chillar covered Fells one-on-one on both TDs. He was there, but as I mentioned above, he's always a step behind the play. It looked like he was expecting to have some help in coverage deep. The Packers defense played a lot of 2-5-4 and it seems to be causing them some trouble in pass coverage. I'm not sure what the advantage to having 5 linebackers in the game is. The pass rush is weak, they only had one sack in the game, whether 5 linebackers are in or not. It doesn't seem to give them any advantage with the run defense either.
(2:33) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep right to 85-G.Jennings to SL 21 for 50 yards (24-R.Bartell).
I'm slightly out-of-order, lumping both Chillar allowed TDs in one post. WR Greg Jennings has been pretty quiet this season, but if all he does is catch one or two 50 yard passes per game, I guess I can live with that.
(2:00) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep left to 80-D.Driver for 21 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Rodgers makes up for a missed TD to Driver in the first quarter with this one. He is having trouble with his accuracy this season. He's been long on some passes, but a lot of it has to do with the lousy pass protection.
(12:09) 12-K.Boller pass short right to 39-S.Jackson to SL 47 for 13 yards (50-A.Hawk, 36-N.Collins).
Pick your Steven Jackson poison on the Rams first drive of the 2nd half. After a Packer 3-and-out, Jackson had 4 carries and a pass reception to move them into Packer territory and set up a FG. It wasn't pretty, but at least it was their last scoring drive of the game.
(8:12) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep right to 87-J.Nelson.
I don't recall if this particular pass that WR Jordy Nelson dropped, but he dropped one that he should have had. WR James Jones was running in a fog and ended up with zero catches. I'm not sure what's going on with him. At least Nelson seemed to come around on the next drive.
(4:17) 25-R.Grant right tackle to SL 44 for 10 yards. PENALTY on GB-63-S.Wells, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at GB 46 - No Play.
Probably a perfect example of why C Scott Wells was benched. He was run over on this play.
(15:00) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep middle to 85-G.Jennings to SL 17 for 53 yards (24-R.Bartell).
The offense did a good job to get out of a hole when the Rams pinned them down at the 2 yard line during the 3rd quarter, but otherwise it was a very quiet half. Two good runs by Grant to end the 3rd quarter, and this big reception gets the offense back on track.
(12:18) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers up the middle for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Rodgers did a lot with his legs on this drive, and this was a nifty open field move to juke the only defender in the area and run right up the middle for the TD.
2-M.Crosby extra point is No Good, Wide Left, Center-61-B.Goode, Holder-10-M.Flynn.
Yes, K Mason Crosby isn't supposed to miss those, but he's battling an abdominal injury that has to be effecting him.
(9:57) 25-R.Grant up the middle to GB 28 for 17 yards. PENALTY on SL-98-C.Ah You, Illegal Use of Hands, 5 yards, enforced at GB 28.
That was a nice zone blocking play. It's good to see Grant get on track, but the running game still looks like it's going to be inconsistent going forward.
(6:19) (Shotgun) 12-K.Boller pass short middle intended for 16-D.Amendola INTERCEPTED by 21-C.Woodson [97-J.Jolly] at SL 26. 21-C.Woodson to SL 26 for no gain (16-D.Amendola).
It's just not a Packer game without an INT by CB Charles Woodson. I can't believe the Rams didn't challenge him deep at all since Woodson had some trouble with going deep during the win over the Bears.
(4:50) 12-A.Rodgers pass short right to 30-J.Kuhn for 10 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Again, the Rams seemed to ignore Kuhn. Time to drop Grant in your fantasy league for Kuhn :)