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Packers Hang On in Crazy Game for 5-0

Oct 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) is tackled with the football during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was downright bizarre. Yet, the Packers kept the longest home winning streak in the NFL alive, and their undefeated season rolls on with a 24-10 win over the game St. Louis Rams.

At the start, it looked like it was going to be another blowout at Lambeau Field. The Rams came out blitzing and ended up giving up an easy touchdown to Ty Montgomery on a blown coverage. A couple drives later, Nick Foles attempted to throw the ball while being dragged down by Datone Jones, and Quinten Rollins picked it off and returned it 45 yards to the house to give the Packers a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

Like every other game at Lambeau so far this season, the Packer defense came out flying. They were getting some serious hits on Foles and stuffing Todd Gurley at the line. And then… they weren’t.

The game seemed to turn after Jeff Janis ruined a perfect punt by Tim Masthay – yeah, I just wrote that – that seemed destined to bottle up the Rams inside their own 3-yard line. Janis’ gaffe let the Rams start at their own 20 instead. With Foles already having thrown two picks, the Rams kept the ball on the ground, and the Rams offensive line and Todd Gurley responded. Nine runs and a 32-yard interference call on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix later, it was 14-7 and the Rams would largely dominate both lines of scrimmage from there.

If you’ve been exposed to any media at all, then you have heard probably 20 times by now that Aaron Rodgers’ streak at home with no INTs has ended. In fact, after a deflected ball and diving interception ended the streak, Rodgers piled on by throwing a worse pick on a stop to James Jones that the defender was sitting on. That led to a FG for the Rams and a 14-10 game at half.

Starting with the ball after half, it looked like the 2nd half might be different for the Packers offense when Rodgers hit James Jones on a post that went for a 65-yard touchdown after Jones’ defender fell down. That play, however, would be an aberration.

The Packers offense continued to struggle to move the ball, and the Rams continued to batter away at the Packers defense with Todd Gurley. With B.J. Raji out with an injured groin after halftime, the Packers were being pushed back off the line of scrimmage, and Gurley began to break off longer runs.

Yet, even with the Rams dominating both lines of scrimmage, both teams seemed almost cursed to not put up any more points, leaving the score 21-10 well into the 4th quarter.

The Rams missed two field goals and had a third blocked by Datone Jones. The Packers had a field goal wiped off the board by a penalty on Richard Rodgers.

Despite each offense getting great field position after these events, neither offense could capitalize. The Rams could run, but they couldn’t pass. The Packers couldn’t run, and they couldn’t pass much either. Ultimately, Nick Foles was the difference. Aaron Rodgers was off his game, but Foles doesn’t have a game to begin with.

Foles finished with four interceptions on the game, including a back-breaker in the end zone after Gurley broke off a 55-yard run. Foles’ third down pass went through the hands of Joe Thomas, off the helmet of Rams tight end Lance Kendricks, and then into the diving arms of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

After the Rams mysteriously tried a FG from midfield and missed, the Packers managed to drive 30 yards for a FG that would set the final score at 24-10.

Fittingly, the Rams final good shot at a score just resulted in another red zone interception, the second of the game for Quinten Rollins.

Style points at this point in the season mean exactly nothing. The bottom-line in week 5 is to get the W and stay healthy. The Packers managed half of that goal.

T.J. Lang (knee), B.J. Raji and Nick Perry all left the game for the Packers with injuries. Lang’s loss didn’t help the struggling Packer run game, and the loss of Raji and Perry immediately hurt the Packers at the edge against the run.

People thought the Rams could stay in this game due to their front four. Not really. They managed little pressure all game and finished with two sacks with one of those coming on an ill-advised scramble by Rodgers.

However, what the Rams could do was bring their safeties up to aggressively play the run and short passing game. It worked. Safeties continuously helped out in holding Eddie Lacy to 27 yards on 13 carries, and the tight underneath coverage caused Rodgers to constantly hold onto the ball and look to scramble. Rodgers would end up leading the team with 30 yards on eight runs, which is a negative and not a positive.

With Jordy Nelson out, the Packers can expect to see more defenses aggressively attacking the line of scrimmage as the Rams did. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Clements are going to need to go back to the drawing board and figure something out. At the same time we can only hope that the failure to stop the run was an anomaly fueled by injuries, too much time on the field, and a special running back. Regardless, obviously the Packers have plenty to work on.

In the meantime, the defense helped the Packers gut out another win,  and we’ll keep focused on the bottom line, which abides on the scoreboard. Packers 24, Rams 10. 5-0.

 

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Shawn

Shawn Neuser attended UWGB and lives and works in Green Bay. He enjoys long walks on the beach and being intimate with game film.

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41 Comments

  1. UpNorth October 11, 2015

    This was a rather ugly game to watch, but a win is a win. Our defense was outstanding through the first half and still was good enough to pull out the win in the second, but that was most likely because Foles was dazed and confused due to the beating he got through most of the game. The run defense completely fell apart after Perry and Raji left the game, so hopefully their injuries are not serious. Other then that, another terrific defensive effort.

    As for the offense…..yeah this isn’t really a big secret. Even when we had Nelson, Rodgers has always struggled against two deep safety and press outside coverage. You can only really beat that coverage in two ways, either your receivers have to make great second instinct plays, or you RUN the ball. Right now the offense has to get the running game going again. Lacy simply doesn’t look right. He looks slow and hesitant about hitting proper holes and cutback lanes. Granted, the offensive line was very poor in run blocking most of the game, but it might be wise to rest Lacy through the bye to try and get him fully healthy.

    Until the offense learns how to beat out the cover two look through either of those ways, Rodgers will continue to struggle moving the ball. Even as gifted a passer as he is this offense has to be a dual threat. Last time we got one dimensional our visits to the post season ended pretty quickly, and that again was still with Nelson.

    1. TyKo Steamboat October 11, 2015

      Much like sex, i’ll take a win any way I can get it….

    2. Abe Frohman October 12, 2015

      The other way to beat cover 2 is have the TE run a seam route right up the middle. The problem with that is that Richard Rodgers is not faster than most linebackers. So he’s not open, either.

      1. Ted Hawthorne October 12, 2015

        Your right, but that’s the reason to move Montgomery to TE, believe it or not. THAT
        would be a fearsome formation.

        1. MMTTDCSUCK October 12, 2015

          Great idea! But that idea is too tough for the Buffoon to figure out. Richard Rodgers is as slow as a cement truck. Yesterday his YAC were a joke. Man is that guy slow. He was on a crossing route for a first down, got the ball a yard or so shallow, and still could not get to the first down marker. It was like watching glass flow on a window pane . . .

  2. Big Gay Clay October 11, 2015

    Don’t freak out guys our DEFENSE won us this game. In years past we would have lost this type of game. Our defense is looking legit, a nasty pass rush with a good secondary. I said the Richarson injury would get Rollins more playing time

  3. icebowl October 11, 2015

    Good game summary….
    Disappointing W.
    A lot of weaknesses exposed in a truly sloppy game – by both teams (luckily)…

    1. Packer Bob October 11, 2015

      Oh, boo fucking hoo. Stop with the disappointing W crap. Gaaaawd.

    2. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

      Seriously, GTFO, go be a Lions fan and whine about their “disappointing wins”.

      1. icebowl October 12, 2015

        I’ve been impressed w your commentary in the past PhatG, but….”Go be a lions fan ” – that’s the best you got ?

        To me this excellent game summary speaks to disappointing W…

        I’ll grant you that every team, even #12,is entitled to a bad game, but unless you are writing from Oz, you must admit Fisher exposed some big weaknesses….

        1. MMTTDCSUCK October 12, 2015

          Amen . . .

  4. Big Gay Clay October 11, 2015

    And Seattle lost by the way :)

  5. ferris October 11, 2015

    Thank goodness they will stop talking about the no INT streak now.

  6. PF4L October 11, 2015

    “They managed little pressure all game and finished with two sacks with one of those coming on an ill-advised scramble by Rodgers.”

    I’m not sure what game you were watching but i was seeing the same thing i’ve been seeing, Rodgers needing to get rid of the ball in about 2 seconds. As far as the ill advised scrambling, it’s Rodgers footwork and scrambling that makes up for the sins of the 0-line allowing Rodgers to extend plays waiting for a receiver to get open, without it, Rodgers would be no where near as effective as he is, and he is the best in the league doing it. We had no running game, it was embarrassing. Our backs ran for 47 yards on 19 carries. That didn’t exactly help our 3rd down conversion rate of 30%. We’ll chalk it up to a bad offensive day all around. Even Rodgers is allowed one once in a while.

    Lets give props to the defense. The defense was flying all over the place, it reminded me of the 1st quarter against Seattle. The defense dominated the Rams offense for the majority of the game. I think the defense got tired, as the time of possession was tilted heavily against them. But make no mistake about it, this defense is rolling, they are playing fast and hitting hard. Something we’ve been waiting for, for years.

    So at the end of the day, not really too much to bitch about, the Packers are 5-0 and life is good.

    1. Shawn October 11, 2015

      “The protection today was great,” Rodgers said. “We came in maybe a little bit too concerned about the protection.”
      -post game interviews

      Rodgers often ended up holding the ball and bolting the pocket even before there was pressure — the Packers teach their quarterbacks to start moving if they haven’t thrown within 2.5 seconds of the snap. – PG postgame coverage

      1. PF4L October 11, 2015

        Dude…
        1) Rodgers wouldn’t throw his line under the bus, what do you expect him to say?

        2) There is a reason the Packers practice getting the ball released in 2.5 seconds. In practice they blow a horn in 2.5 seconds. This started back in the Marshall Newhouse nightmare.

        It’s great to listen to quotes and rely on what you read and listen to, but i prefer to trust something else, the ability to view, digest, and do my own thinking.

        1. PF4L October 11, 2015

          lmao…”Rodgers often ended up holding the ball and bolting the pocket even before there was pressure.”

          Maybe the author of that should ask McCarthy if he could speak to Rodgers and straighten him out on a few things…lol. Something tells me……that Aaron Rodgers is qualified to know when to scramble out of the pocket better than whoever spewed that garbage. But maybe the author of that statement plays in the NFL and won a SB MVP, 2 league MVP’s and multiple Pro Bowls, giving him the credentials to “critique” Aaron Rodgers….Or he sits at his desk his whole life staring at his laptop.

          1. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

            Except Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have an aerial view of the defense, he has to read and react and use his instincts in the heat of battle, yeah, there’s a bit of a difference. You almost sound pissed about the outcome of this game, I hope that;s not the case.

          2. PF4L October 11, 2015

            I had to share this…..from the Press Gazette’s Packersnews.com after game chat. This is Packers “insider” Stu Courtney.

            Comment From Ron
            Injuries keep piling up. The loss of Lang for a long period of time could have a significant impact on the running game.
            via·about 6 hours ago
            Stu Courtney
            We saw that today….Lang went out midway through the second quarter and the Packers didn’t do much on the ground after he left

            Hmmm…the game i saw, the Packers weren’t running the ball before Lang went out. But, Stu does this for a living. lol

          3. PF4L October 11, 2015

            I’ll say it again shawn. Something tells me……that Aaron Rodgers is qualified to know when to scramble out of the pocket better than whoever spewed that garbage

        2. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

          He may not “throw them under the bus” but he wouldn’t say they played well if he didn’t think that either; he criticized the receivers and run game in his press conference-“WE need to get open better…” etc., THAT’s how you give an honest answer at a presser without hanging anyone out to dry, you include yourself as well.

          1. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

            We can all “view, digest, and do our own thinking”, in fact Shawn does it more than anyone else on this site.

        3. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

          Rodgers had 4 to 5 seconds in a clean pocket to throw for most of the game, including 11 seconds (8 before he started scrambling) on one. The Rams played coverage and the receivers just could not get open.

          1. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

            Also, when Rodgers scrambles, it doesn’t necessarily mean he;s under pressure, plenty of times he sees lanes and LBs and DBs playing man so he takes off.

          2. PF4L October 11, 2015

            phatgzus..After reading your rants to yourself, i can’t help but ask, does Shawn pay you to speak for him? You seem like the one who is pissed. Stop being so serious, worrying about what i say to someone else…..have a coke and a smile.

            Rodgers had 4-5 seconds in a clean pocket most of the game?

            Hmm…interesting

          3. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

            I’m not the one complaining, Homeslice. Already at the ad hominem attacks, eh? hat was fast.

          4. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

            And, sorry, PF, but last time I checked this was a football forum-as in a place you come to talk football with other people, if you don’t like me commenting, then don’t respond, Govna. Maybe try talking football instead of attacking people.

          5. PF4L October 12, 2015

            I was talking football asshat…Stop your fucking whining already.

  7. billabong October 11, 2015

    How’s ya’ll fav whipping boy CM3 doing this year???

    1. Cheese October 11, 2015

      It was kinda funny on that play where he just walked right past the offensive line.

  8. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

    In a game where nearly everything that could go wrong did so, all I have to say is thank God for Nick Foles (Phil Emer take note, there is your QB of the future). Aaron Rodgers looked almost like a rookie out there at times, especially the pass that led to his 2nd interception (good one, zebs) and the delay of a game after coming off the sidelines. Richard Rodgers had one of his worst series as a Packer, the referees made 2 egregious calls that could’ve changed the outcome of the game, 1/5th of the starters went down with injury, one at a critical time late in the game. The Packers could and would not run the ball, the receivers couldn’t get open, Aaron Rodgers must have thought the Packers were wearing their throwback jerseys from the previous seasons as he was frequently delivering the ball to Rams defenders. To top it off the defense gave up a huge play at the end of the game that gave the to give the Rams a glimmer of life at the peak of their death throes. Yet Nick Foles was there to save the day time and time again with passes to horses of slightly different golds.
    The Packers defense is legit, they contained Gurley until he ripped off a massive gain late on what had to be a very gassed unit, sans BJ Raji and Nick Perry. They made the Rams O-line look like that of the Little Giants-pre-Icebox era-and molded the pristine not-so-frozen tundra into the surface of Mars, using Nick Foles as their instrument of destruction. All this pressure led to four picks by the D, one (almost two) for a TD.
    STs (particularly the punt unit) was also impressive, handing Greg Zurlein the worst game of his career (thanks in part to Datone Jones); however, a slip on the fake did cost them a conversion.

    The offense was the worst I’ve seen it in the regular season perhaps ever during Rodgers’ tenure; he definitely misses Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. Regardless, there’s no need to panic just yet. Yes the last 2 defenses have played the cover 2 that plagued this O in years past, however, so did the Chiefs and Seahawks. This all comes down to Aaron Rodgers-he’s cooled down for a little while. I don’t know what it is about San Fran but they seem to have that effect on him. He WILL bounce back. Say what you will about these defense the past two weeks, but those are two good units, the preseason is officially over. The O-line did pass block quite impressively, but their run-blocking was horrendous.

    Boy are the injuries really mounting, let’s hope none are serious-really feel bad for Perry, if only he could just stay healthy, particularly that shoulder. At least Bulaga stayed healthy. Good to see Lang walk off the field, hopefully just a sprain, but Walker (the Packers must really like this kid, having apparently leap-frogged both Barclay and Tretter)did alright after he settled down.

    The ball rarely bounced our way this week, save for on special teams (well except for the human torpedo that is Jeff Janis-he makes just as many bonehead plays as he does great ones), but thanks to Nick Foles and an opportunistic spartan defense the Pack are 5-0 and just one week away from a much needed bye.

  9. jtmax October 11, 2015

    Problem with offense is crtical drops. Starks. Rodgers. Last week it was ty. When will rodgers realize starks has stone hands. We miss nelson.

  10. TyKo Steamboat October 11, 2015

    Datone Jones I gona ave that #95 in the rafters rite next to Blood McNally….

    1. TyKo Steamboat October 11, 2015

      *is *have

    2. Phatgzus October 11, 2015

      Dude is looking really impressive, sure looks like he’s turning the corner.

  11. jtmax October 11, 2015

    Jones is athketic freak. 6’4″ 290 lbs de with quick twitch. If he stays healthy and get more reps with success then watchout. We will have scary dline. Thomas just surprises the hell out of me. His measurables are mediocre but he just makes plays. He is definitely upgrade over palmer and barrington. Just has nose for the ball.

  12. SC Packfan October 12, 2015

    It’s games like this ending in a win that solidify a team. Injury report I hope is not detrimental.

  13. Abe Frohman October 12, 2015

    I was not surprised that Gurley had a good game. With the Offense not giving much of a breather to the Defense and a few injuries to Raji and Perry, that 55 yard run was just going to happen. You could feel it. So props to the D for gutting out a tough day when the Offense looked weak and anemic. I like that new attitude.

  14. Abe Frohman October 12, 2015

    I thought the 2nd pick on Rodgers moved in the defenders hands when the ball the ground. By rule, that’s an incomplete pass.

    The PI call on HHCD was awfully thin – they allowed a lot more contact on the play that Shields broke up in the end zone.

  15. jtmax October 12, 2015

    Is it a coincident or is there something to the fact that when Bulaga is in there, we have a much harder time running then when we have Barclay. I think Bulaga pass protect really well but lacks aggressiveness and doesn’t really run block.

    Tough for Rodgers to succeed in last 2 games when guys are dropping balls delivered perfectly to them in critical moments. They need to do catching drills with James Jones instructing. They catch difficult balls but can’t catch easy balls. That’s a sign of poor discipline and concentration.

  16. Zwoeger October 12, 2015

    Weird day. 12 men in the hudle, 12 men on the field, Rodgers off day. And Packers cheer girls, sort of.