On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers defeated the St. Louis Rams by a score of 24-10. Unlike the Packers' previous two games, however, each of which were won by two scores but which felt as if the Packers were in command throughout, this game felt a bit different. That was likely due to the Packers' offense stalling and turning the ball over.
However, like those previous two games, the Packers' front seven came in with a mission - to get to the quarterback - and they executed on that plan brilliantly. This time, it had even better results than in the previous two games, despite the fact that the Packers recorded only three sacks instead of the seven and six that they put up against the Chiefs and 49ers respectively.
Here are some numbers that tell the story from the week 5 win.
The Packers coughed up the football three times on Sunday after committing just one turnover in the first four games combined. However, the defense's four interceptions of Nick Foles still managed to swing the turnover battle in the Packers' favor, and without that, it's entirely likely that the Rams would have found a way to win.
After he blocked a field goal attempt by Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein, Datone Jones now is credited with three blocks for his career. That's including the block he got in last year's Divisional Round game against the Cowboys.
The Packers' pass rushers were credited with a ridiculous 17 hits on Rams quarterback Nick Foles by Pro Football Focus, four of which went down as sacks (PFF typically credits a full sack to each player when half-sacks are awarded in the official stat sheet). That's a big reason that the defense had the performance it did in taking the ball away. More on that in a bit...
That's the passer rating allowed by Sam Shields on throws deemed by PFF to be into his coverage on Sunday. That is made up by just one completion for ten yards on ten attempts. After a bit of a rough start in Chicago, Shields has been a lock-down corner ever since.
It's worth even more discussion of the Packers' pass rush. PFF says that Nick Foles was pressured on a whopping 61 percent of his dropbacks yesterday - 20 of 33 dropbacks. The problem for the Rams was that Foles was just about as bad both under pressure and without pressure, throwing two of his picks in each situation.
The Packers had a season-low in rushing yardage, failing to record at least 120 yards in a game for the first time this season. To make matters worse, they still attempted 27 rushes, for an average of just under 3.2 yards per carry, also by far the worst in any game this year. Oh, and Rodgers ran the ball eight times, meaning that the running backs specifically picked up just 47 yards on 19 carries (2.5 YPC). Start there when looking at why the Packers' offense struggled.
As poorly as Aaron Rodgers played, he actually was excellent on passes in the middle of the field. This is his passer rating on throws over the middle, on which he was 8 for 11 for 156 yards and both touchdowns. Compare that to his numbers on passes directed outside the numbers - 29.4 passer rating on 11-for-19, for 85 yards and both interceptions. Certainly, the runs after the catch by Ty Montgomery and James Jones helped on those passes over the middle, but Rodgers did find some areas to exploit there.