The Green Bay Packers are at 5-0, but they aren’t getting a lot of style points this week after beating the St. Louis Rams 24-10 on Sunday.
This was really just a case of one team having more talent than the other. Both teams made their share of mistakes. The Rams just happened to make more.
A lot more. Four picks and 1-for-4 on field goals are the primary indicators. Although the game wasn’t ever really in question, if you’re a gambler, then you were sweating the hell out of that 10-point spread. In the end, if you took the Packers like I told you to, then it did indeed work out.
On with the show.
Different looks, same result
The offense hasn’t been impressive for two weeks in a row now. In San Francisco, the 49ers played two-deep safeties and took advantage of the Packers weak pass protection. This eliminated big plays and had Aaron Rodgers running for his life. Result: a meager 17 points. The Rams used a different formula. Crowd the line of scrimmage, limit the Packers running game and short passes. Result: a meager 17 offensive points. Fortunately for the Packers, they have enough weapons to compensate. In San Francisco, they gave the 49ers Eddie Lacy and he came out with 90 yards. Against St. Louis, Lacy was bottled up and the Packers had to rely on occasional big passing plays. Those were few and far between. In fact, if it weren’t for a guy falling down (the James Jones touchdown) and a blown coverage (the Ty Montgomery touchdown), they could have been nil. Limiting the Packers offense to 17 points is a pretty good day and it’s happened two weeks in a row. It’s pretty clear the loss of Jordy Nelson is being felt. We’re not sure about Davante Adams and we’d really love to have a tight end who’s worth a shit, but these things are what they are. Tom Clements needs to find a way to combat these defensive looks, especially the one the Rams just showed. For the most part, that was extremely effective.
On the other side, big difference
You certainly could say the Packers defense carried the team for the second week in a row and we would say that. Let’s try that again. The Packers defense carried the team for the second week in a row. Sounds weird. Just not quite right coming off the lips. That’s probably because we can’t remember the last time we said something like that. Maybe 2010? It’s happening right now, though. If the offense can get back to putting up 35 a game again and we’d say that’s a big if at this point, then this may be Mike McCarthy’s most well-rounded team.
The importance of Raji
You saw it in the second half. When Raji wasn’t in the game, the Rams were able to run all over the Packers. We’ve pointed out on numerous occasions what a great year Raji is having. How he looks better than he’s looked maybe ever, but at least since 2010. And there you see the difference he makes. You would think the Packers could plug in Letroy Guion or someone else in the middle and not miss much. You can see that’s clearly not the case. If Raji is out for any period of time, the defense is going to have a tough time stopping the run again. You can bet on that. It starts with Raji.
There was the first Rodgers’ clunker
Every year, Aaron Rodgers has a handful of garbage games. Last year, it was at Detroit, at Buffalo and in the NFC Championship game. The Packers lost all three of those games. Here was his first of 2015 — 19-of-30, 241 yards, two touchdowns, two picks. You know, that’s not a horrible line if you’re say, Mark Sanchez, but this is Aaron Rodgers. Higher standard. That second pick he threw was an uncharacteristically poor decision. The good news is, Rodgers wasn’t good and the Packers still won this time around.
And here’s what we’re talking about at tight end
Yes, we beat the shit out of Richard Rodgers — DickRodge — around here. He deserves it, though. DickRodge only blocks some of the time. On Sunday, he was charged with a penalty that took three points off the board. Then there are the receiving stats. This week, DickRodge had six for 45 yards. That’s a pathetic 7.5 yard average per reception. This clown has 19 catches for 155 yards on the season. That’s an average of 8.2 yards per reception. The only guys for who it’s acceptable to average less than 10 yards per reception are running backs. It’s indicative of the fact that a player can’t do anything with the football after catching it. Simply, that they aren’t a playmaker. And so this is why we continually point out the fact that the Packers tight end position is garbage.