After getting no attempts last week, the Green Bay Packers' place-kickers finally got their chances to put on a competition in a real game Saturday night. Mason Crosby hit all three of his attempts (from 34, 48, and 30 yards) and Giorgio Tavecchio made one of two (missed from 49, made from 38). That consisted of all the Packers' scoring at the Edward Jones Dome until the fourth quarter, when B.J. Coleman found Jake Stoneburner at the front pylon of the end zone for a touchdown. The Rams put together a garbage-time touchdown drive with Austin Davis, their third-string quarterback, but they could not recover an onside kick and the Packers ran out the clock.
Aaron Rodgers led the Packers on three drives in the first half, playing a few minutes into the second quarter. The Packers moved the ball well between the 20's, as Rodgers finished 10-of-12 for 135 yards, but they could not find the end zone, as each drive with the first-team offense stalled in scoring position and ended in a field goal attempt. Crosby converted two of those, from 34 and 48 yards, while Tavecchio missed a 49-yard attempt in between.
Eddie Lacy was a highlight on offense, though, as he ran the ball 8 times for 40 yards and caught a swing pass for 11. He sprinkled in a few spin moves as well, and showed good power on his runs between the tackles. Jermichael Finley looked solid as well, catching four passes from Rodgers for 78 yards.
Meanwhile, the first-team defense was back to its bend-but-don't-break self. Micah Hyde gave up a 57-yard completion from Sam Bradford to Chris Givens, but the defense held in the red zone, eventually recovering a Bradford fumble on fourth down.
The second-team offense didn't fare particularly well, as the only scoring drive with Graham Harrell in the game came after the Packers got the ball at the Rams' 38-yard line. Harrell drove them to the 20 before settling for a 38-yard field goal from Tavecchio just before the half.
In the second half, the Packers' defense got its second turnover of the game, courtesy of Johnny Jolly. He did one of the things he was known for in his first stint in Green Bay, getting his hands up and deflecting a pass high in the air that was caught by Jarrett Bush. That led to Crosby's 3rd field goal of the night (which was good from 30 yards despite being deflected at the line of scrimmage) after the offense couldn't move the ball with Vince Young under center.
The return units didn't impress much tonight, and especially not in the 3rd quarter when Johnathan Franklin let a punt bounce instead of attempting a fair catch and reserve CB Brandon Smith didn't clear out. The ball hit Smith in the back, and it was recovered by the Rams at the Packers' 11-yard line.
Smith got bailed out, though, by Johnny Jolly of all people. Jolly was back in coverage on a zone blitz, and intercepted a deflected pass (which Loyce Means tipped) in the end zone to give the ball back to the offense, which promptly went 3-and-out.
B.J. Coleman looked much better in this game than he did against Arizona. With the fourth quarter all to himself, Coleman led the Packers on a 14-play touchdown drive, converting a few third downs (and a fourth down, with the help of a pass interference call). He scrambled to his right and found Stoneburner in the front corner of the end zone. The rookie tight end was able to haul in the pass in quickly closing coverage and reach the ball to the pylon before falling back out of the end zone and out of bounds.
The only offense the Rams could get going in the second half was a drive late in the fourth quarter, as they went into their hurry-up offense. Austin Davis took them down the field for a score with less than a minute to go (which came on a blown coverage by Brandon Smith), but it was too little too late and the Packers held on for a 19-7 victory.
Offense: Eddie Lacy
Lacy did what Packers fans, and likely the coaching staff, hoped for tonight - he ran with power and authority, made a nice catch out of the backfield, and generally looked like a starting-caliber NFL running back.
Defense: Johnny Jolly
Jolly was responsible for two turnovers tonight, deflecting one pass at the line of scrimmage and intercepting a deflected pass himself. He made his strongest statement yet that the Packers need to keep him this season.