The Green Bay Packers are a winning team again. They improved their record to 4-3 with a solid beginning to end performance, defeating the St. Louis Rams 30-20. Aaron Rodgers had a nearly perfect game, completing 30-37 passes for 342 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
In the process, Aaron Rodgers threw his 150th career touchdown pass and has 27 less career interceptions than any other quarterback did when they hit that 150 touchdown mark.
Both offenses looked shaky on their opening drives, then settled into a decent rhythm. The Rams took a 1st quarter lead on their second drive with a 50-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein, but that lead was quickly erased. On 3rd down and three from the Green Bay 42-yard line, Chris Long jumped offside and gave the Packers a free play. Rodgers took advantage of it, hitting Jordy Nelson for a 52-yard strike. Nelson, who also had a 15-yard catch earlier in the drive, also finished off the possession with a beautiful touchdown catch on a back shoulder throw to put the Packers ahead. They would never relinquish the lead.
The Packers kicked a field goal on their next drive, which was highlighted by a 19-yard run by Randall Cobb. St. Louis marched down the field on the following possession, but came away with no points. While in field goal range, Jeff Fisher opted to go for the first down on 4th and 2, but newly activated cornerback Davon House came up with a big swat, stopping Brandon Gibson from making the catch. The only other score of the half was another Rams field goal, and the Packers went into halftime with a 10-6 lead.
Green Bay took control of the game on their first possession of the 3rd quarter, a brilliant 12 play, 80-yard drive. Nelson had two of his eight catches on the drive, while James Jones caught the ball three times on the possession. Cobb capped it off with his first touchdown catch of the day, putting Green Bay ahead 17-6.
The defenses ruled the next four possessions, as the Rams ran the ball well but failed to get into scoring range. At the end of the 3rd quarter, Casey Hayward, who was making his first NFL start, came up with his fourth interception of the season on a terrible throw by Sam Bradford, who had an average day for the Rams. That eventually led to a Packers field goal, which expanded their lead to 14 points.
Chris Givens, Steven Jackson and the Rams defense gave the Packers a bit of a scare on their next drive. The Packers' defense completely fell apart on a WR screen to Givens, which went for 56 yards and put the Rams into scoring range. Jackson punched in the touchdown with an impressive run, bringing the Rams back within one TD.
Once again, the Rams' optimism did not last long, and the next drive turned into the Cobb show. He picked up two first downs early in the drive, including a shovel pass that went for 10 yards and a massive seven-yard gain picked up with some great fight after contact on 3rd and 7. The drive was capped off with a perfect throw by Rodgers over the middle that beat two defenders before finding the hands of Cobb for a touchdown, restoring Green Bay's two-touchdown lead with just over three minutes remaining in the game.
St. Louis went four-and-out on the ensuing drive, effectively ending the game. On 4th and five, Bradford found Steve Smith, but Morgan Burnett stepped up to make a huge tackle to force a turnover on downs. Mason Crosby's third field goal of the day put the Packers up by three scores. Austin Pettis would go on to add a touchdown in garbage time, making the score a more respectable 30-20.