In 28 dropbacks by Rodgers, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo dialed up only five blitzes (17.9 percent). The protection flopped on two five-man pressures, with RB Ryan Grant whiffing on WLB Will Witherspoon and MLB James Laurinaitis getting a clean A-gap run to hurry a third-down throwaway. But the Packers picked up three six-man pressures, and Rodgers exploited single coverage for completions of 46 yards to WR Donald Driver, 12 yards to WR Jordy Nelson and 50 yards to WR Greg Jennings.
The pass blocking looked awful early in the game. QB Aaron Rodgers was hit a lot on the first two drives, it got better on the third FG drive, and thereafter it looked OK. All three six-man pressures described above happened after the 1st quarter. Unfortunately RT Allen Barbre and LT Daryn Colledge both got beat, and Colledge was shoved around often. The good news is that LT Chad Clifton might make it back for next Monday's game.
Raji’s game is power, which comes from his thick lower body, and it was obvious he wasn’t at full strength for his NFL debut. He missed his only tackle attempt and also was unusually slow off the ball — evidence of the work he’s missed since spraining his right ankle in the preseason finale on Sept. 3.
It's hard for me to say whether NT B.J. Raji is still hurting because I haven't seen him play that much. Although if the ankle injury lingers, which it could, then we might not really see him at 100% for a few more weeks.
Even though Rams RB Steven Jackson ended up with 117 rushing yards, there were positive signs for the Packers’ run defense and the five-linebacker "Big Okie" look Dom Capers debuted to combat him...Capers used "Big Okie" on 35 of 71 snaps (49.3 percent) and only used his regular base defense, with S Derrick Martin in place of ILB Brandon Chillar, for five (7 percent). The rest was nickel.
For anyone, what the heck was up with the Packers’ nickle in the Rams game? I swear that I saw a 2-6-3 (2 defensive linemen, 6 linebackers, and 3 defensive backs) at least once. I guess it has really 5 LBs and 4 DBs, because Chillar was playing part of a safety. Once, I saw a linebacker group of Barnett, Hawk, Kampman, Matthews, Chillar, and Havner. Did anyone else see that?
It drove me crazy trying to find out which linebackers were on the field. I tracked the linebacker rotation, and on some plays I kept seeing every middle linebacker on the field. LB A.J. Hawk, LB Brandon Chillar, and LB Nick Barnett had been playing almost equal time in the first two games, but all three were on the field at the same time for most of the first half. The only reason Barnett came out is that he's still restricted to a 40 play/game limit, and LB Desmond Bishop came on in his place. I was wondering why I hadn't seen much from new SS Derrick Martin, and apparently the reason was that he was benched half the time in place of Chillar. I guess there is truly nothing to fear from the Rams deep passing attack. Since most teams, and certainly the Vikings, do actually throw deep to their wide receivers, I doubt Big Okie will be on the field at all next Monday night.