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Defense, Takeaways and Rodgers Keep Rams At Bay 36-28

Royce Newman, Jon Runyan and Yosh Nijman probably wondered which one of them would get the assignment. Runyan drew the first short straw, staring Aaron Donald in the face on the first Packer offensive play from scrimmage. Donald has all the hype a defender can create in the NFL. “Game changer.” “NFL MVP candidate.” “Unblockable.” You name the defensive football compliment and you can bet it has been thrown Donald’s direction. Makes you wonder how much sleep the first year starters got prior to the game? Donald has a way of creating nightmares for highly regarded NFL. pros and has previously carved up rookies and fill in depth chart replacements. On the first play Donald jumped right past Runyan’s outside shoulder but the run went the other direction. Runyan pushed Donald away from the run, making the Pro Bowler chase from behind. Donald and the Rams would chase the Packers the entire game Sunday but never quite catch the Green Bay in a hard fought, turnover prone, Packer victory.

 

Nov 28, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is greeted by teammates after being introduced prior to the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

 

Newman and company should sleep well tonight. Donald’s stat line ended with three solo tackles and three more combination tackles but no sacks, no tackles for loss and only one QB hit. The vaunted Ram pass rush provided lots of pressure, but the Packer’s game plan of quick passes and just enough rushing plays to keep the Rams honest, combined with three drives starting inside the opponent’s 30 yard line, produced enough points to win. Winning the turnover battle allowed the Packers to overcome Special team gaffs that kept the game close.

The Packers scored first after taking advantage of the Rams first turnover caused by Rashan Gary’s strip sack of Matthew Stafford that was recovered by Preston Smith. The third play of the offense’s following drive was the charm as Rodgers, broken toe and all, scampered around the end, faking Jalen Ramsey then out running him to the pylon. The Rams next drive pivoted on a fourth and one at the Rams 29. The Rams aggressively went for it. A bold move that ended up favoring the Packers. Adrian Amos came up with a huge stop, shooting a small gap and cutting down Darrell Henderson for no gain. That set up the Packers who could not fully capitalize on the gift, settling for a 45 yard field goal by Mason Crosby that creeped dangerously close to the goal post.

Just when Packer fans were beginning to get comfortable with a ten point lead the Rams began the game long theme of highlight film long pass plays. Stafford connected on a 79 yard bomb to Van Jefferson. On the play Chandon Sullivan seemed to trip and fall just before the ball arrived, giving Jefferson an easy jog to the end zone. The Packers responded with a 6 play drive that included a big 54 yard pass and catch by Randall Cobb. The drive stalled at the nine when a pass aimed at Cobb hit the turf with no pass interference call to the dismay of Cobb and Rodgers. Crosby kicked the 28 yard field goal through the uprights for a score of 13-7.

The Packer defense forced a three and out, but Randall Cobb muffed the punt and the Rams recovered at the Green Bay 25. The defense stood tall in what may have been the most critical stop of the game, forcing the Rams to kick a field goal after Odell Beckham dropped a third down pass after being hammered by Rasul Douglas and Adrian Amos. The Packer’s defense came dangerously close to giving up six on first down when Van Jefferson caught a nice ball from Stafford at the end zone, taking advantage of Eric Stokes failure to look for the ball. Jefferson made the catch and the officials signaled touchdown but a booth review showed Jefferson’s second foot was just over the end line out of bounds.

The Packers next possession continued the game’s string of big plays. Rodgers dropped a 43 yard sideline bomb to Davante Adams which was close to perfection. This time the offense would not be denied. Rodgers slung a tight seven yard touchdown pass into Randall Cobb to increase the Packers lead to 20-10.

The Rams refused to lay down, coming back in eight plays to drive 75 yards for a touchdown. Stafford hit Cooper Kupp for 22 yards and later for 19 yards before hitting running back Darrell Henderson for the six yard score.

The Packers had opportunities before the first half ended but failed to score on two possessions. They found the third quarter more to their liking, taking the second half kickoff and keeping the ball for 13 plays and seventy five yards culminating on a five yard catch and run by A.J. Dillon. Dillon had to fight for every one of his 69 rushing yards. He also caught five passes for 21 yards and the third period opening drive touchdown.

The third quarter did not start well for Los Angeles. Their first drive produced two incomplete passes and a rush for no gain. The ensuing punt was downed at the 34 of the Packers but the home team failed to put the game out of reach, returning the ball to the Rams with a punt four plays later. The Rams offense would not take the field due to their punt returner retuning the favor by fumbling during the return. The Packer punt return team finally produced a positive game turning play for the home team, and Mason Crosby increased the Packer lead by three after two incompletions that had targeted Allen Lazard. Lazard had six targets with two catches for 16 yards, dropping a potential touchdown that would have been a highlight catch.

 

Nov 28, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Sony Michel (25) is tackled by Green Bay Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas (29) and outside linebacker Rashan Gary (52) during the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

 

The next series for L.A. produced the Packer defensive highlight of the game. Rasul Douglas drove on a sideline pass from Stafford and got there a step before the receiver. Douglas turned the play into a pick six. The Packers would fail on a two point attempt but were comfortably ahead 36-17. Unfortunately, on the next Ram possession, Douglas would get torched for a 54 yard bomb caught by Odell Beckham that was taken to the house. After a successful two point conversion the score was 36-23. The Packers offense would have the ball four more times including the last kneel down but the closest their offense could get to scoring was a missed 42 yard field goal that Crosby bonked off the uprights. The defense was required to put the game away and they stepped up. The only points they allowed was a field goal after Crosby’s shank. Kenny Clark seemed determined to prove he was the best defensive lineman playing on Lambeau Field Sunday. A sack, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits to go with six tackles is a stat line better than Donald. He played inspired football and his team seemed to respond when a big play was needed.

The Packers are now 9-3 and happily have a bye week to heal and recharge for the home stretch. In two weeks it will be the Bears in Lambeau for the NBC evening game.

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Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is a lawyer, victim advocate, writer, and long term Packer fan and Packer history enthusiast.

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26 Comments

  1. PF4L November 29, 2021

    No team in the league has earned a week off more than the Packers.
    That includes everyone….except special teams.
    .
    Excellent job by the coaching staff. Sure, we see the mistakes by some players.
    (Turner looked like a walk on rookie yesterday)
    But…what i see is a team that is giving it all they have and leaving it all on the field.
    Win or lose…that’s very respectable.
    .
    Give Gute credit for signing Douglas. Again, we see mistakes, but we also see a hustling playmaker.
    Keyword….playmaker.
    You need playmakers to win a NFCCG and get to the SB
    Excellent jump on that route.
    .
    Also…give Gute more credit for having the good sense in picking up an experienced slot receiver in Cobb.
    That was one of Gutes better idea’s.
    Cobb had what…4 catches for 95 yards and a TD.
    Cobb has been a big part of 3 wins this season.
    .
    Jimmy Graham…32 games = 5 TD’s
    Randall Cobb……12 games = 5 TD’s
    .
    Lets give credit to Gary, for his strip sack. that’s the kind of playmaking you expect from the 12th pick.
    He did his job.
    .
    Also give credit to Preston Smith for recovering the strip sack, he recovered 2 fumbles on that play, one being his own.
    Not sure what he did the rest of the game.
    .
    Mason Crosby….you’ve been a very good Green Bay Packer.
    But it’s almost that time….cya on the sunny side.

    Reply
    1. Kato November 29, 2021

      Yeah….. I am very sad about Mason Crosby, but it’s probably time. I am concerned he will miss a key kick in the playoffs

      Reply
      1. Ferris November 30, 2021

        ^^^^This.
        We are all concerned. He’ll blame the holder.

        Reply
    2. Mick November 29, 2021

      Another great pick up by Gute was the acquisition of D Campbell this past spring. This guy has changed the whole attitude on defense and it rubs off on the rest of the unit. Even Barnes is showing improvement. Even when R. Gary got hurt 2 weeks ago, he said he wants to be out there, he wants to be great, and for that he gets my respect. I think we’re all anticipating Alexanders’ return, that would really solidify the secondary. A plea to the football gods————no more injuries —please!

      Reply
      1. PF4L November 29, 2021

        I’ve given praise to Gute for Campbell…i don’t want to over do it :)
        .
        Barnes has been pretty damn quiet all season…but he got his name called a couple times yesterday. Including a fumble recovery
        Personally, i think it’s about damn time, compared to all his hype last season.
        .
        Yea Mick, it would be a luxury to get some key guys back. Be nice to get Jaire and Bakhtiari back.
        What concerns me, is Big B hasn’t played for a year, he’s going to need a few games to get his wheels back, hopefully before the playoffs.
        .
        In a flashback to the Fat Mike days…..
        It was reported that Bakhtiari didn’t have a setback….
        Then….days later it was reported he had a scope done.
        Call it minor, call it what you want, that’s a set back.
        .
        Surgeons don’t like it advertised that their surgery didn’t go as clean as it could have.
        .

        Reply
  2. rebelgb November 29, 2021

    I havent had that much fun watching a Packer game in years! Even giving up 28 points it was so much fun to watch that defense just flying around being physical. Aaron is on fire. Dillon is my new favorite Packer.

    Lets get healthier and run out the table…….

    Reply
  3. Tom M November 29, 2021

    Yosh Nijman played remarkably well. Certainly better than my modest expectations. It’s almost unheard of to find a FA, developmental tackle that can play at a high level. Yet Nijman just might be our RT of the future. The resiliency of this team is a testament to the depth of this roster. A roster developed and put together by Brian Gutekunst. This defense is completely different with Rashan Gary on the field. Even with one arm he was constantly harassing Stafford. The TD’s to Jefferson and OBJ accounted for nearly half of his yards. He looked very average the remainder of the game. We’ve now beaten the top two teams in the NFC west. Tampa and/or Dallas await come January. It should be fun.

    Reply
    1. PF4L November 29, 2021

      The Rams are quickly becoming yesterday’s news.

      Reply
  4. Deepsky November 29, 2021

    The Rams are clearly a team the NFL wants to build up for TV ratings. They want nothing more than an LA Super Bowl championship. The Rams have gotten a bunch of players in free agency that no other team could get, most recently Odell Beckham. But now that Stan Kroenke has to pay $790 million to St. Louis and he is threatening to turn to other NFL owners to help him out, I wonder if the NFL will still keep up trying to build up the Rams.

    Reply
    1. Stiggy November 29, 2021

      I mean they have top tier talent and went all in. I can see why the league builds them up.
      *
      What I don’t understand is how they build up the most overrated player of all time….obj. he’s certainly a #2-3 quality wr…but the media treats him like a top 5 wr. If that was the case he would have been offered a huge contract after Cleveland released him. The rams signed him.for a pittance. What would adams get of the packers released him tomorrow? 125 mill over 4 years?

      Reply
      1. Mick November 29, 2021

        I think teams are turned off to OBJ and his antics. He couldn’t mesh with Manning in NY, or Mayfield in Cleveland. He is an “I-I; me-me” combustible player who could go off at anytime when things don’t go HIS way. As for Vonn Miller, he isn’t the same impact player he was before the injuries. Neither player is the same they were 3 or4 years ago. But because they are well known names, and with the addition of Stafford to tinsel town,,,,,, they get the buzz.

        Reply
  5. PF4L November 29, 2021

    Where has the Rodgers hate been?
    .
    C’mon boys….you can think of something can’t you?
    .
    Here….i’ll help ya’ll out.
    .
    Rodgers had a passer rating….(gulp)…under 100!!
    .
    Ok boys…let it fly!!
    *****************
    Don’t forget….he made ya’ll cry for two weeks over his immunization “wording”.
    You bitches couldn’t get enough of that….lol
    .
    Stooges…smh

    Reply
    1. Jason Parker November 29, 2021

      Well, he hasn’t went full retard in front of a camera in over a week.

      Reply
    2. Deepsky November 30, 2021

      Not really a knock, but he sure looks tired. Once he gets back on the same page with MVS and Lazard and he gets better protection from the offensive line when Bakhtiari comes back, the offense should look close to what it did last year.

      Reply
      1. Dean November 30, 2021

        Arod was back in MVP form the last 6 quarters. He has been getting the ball out fast and even with that hitting on key deep shots. The deep balls to Adams & Cobb were perfect in the last game. Arod also hit MVS but the ball was knocked out by a good defensive play. My guess is that MVS and Arod are starting to be on the same page as far as adjustments — like we have seen with Adams & Cobb.
        .
        I think there is a very good chance that Arod and GB stay together for several more years.

        Reply
  6. PF4L November 29, 2021

    What concerns me….
    Defensive scoring….
    .
    The last two games the defense has allowed 59 points or 29.5 PPG vs 18 PPG the last 9 games prior.
    Good news is on the way. The Bears 31st ranked offense scores 16.3 PPG.
    Is a shut out, out of the question?
    **********************
    Offense…
    1) Lazard….what happened to you, you’re playing like your scared…catch the G D ball.
    2) 3rd down conversions….7/19…or 36.8%. I’ve seen better.
    3) 18 run attempts..gaining anywhere from negative yardage- +3 yards (basically stuffed runs)
    You can design plays running into the heart of the Rams front, but your O line better be able to run block and move people.
    * One negative run was negated by a Lucas Patrick hold.
    4) Can the offense keep up their scoring pace?
    2 games….33.5 PPG
    Reminiscent of last season.
    *******************
    Dumbshit pretend Packer fans…
    .
    We’re in a race for the #1 seed in the NFC, including a 1st round bye and home field.
    Well this shit for brains had the bright idea of sitting the Packers star players out and “mailing it in”
    .
    Even with the win we are a half game back of the Cardinals.
    .
    Then….he has the gall to tell us (me)…we aren’t looking at the big picture….lmao
    Did he want the Packers to lose so his vikings could inch closer?
    Well apparently LeFleur wasn’t buying into the Princess ” big picture”…he wanted to win the game so he played everyone he could.
    .
    Game won…
    Your queens lost anyway Ragnar.
    .
    Where did JP find this shit for brains, are they roommates or ?

    Reply
    1. rebelgb November 29, 2021

      Wow Man! Were you drunk or high on this rant? This was a productive thread about a great Packer win and you turned it into a shit show. Come on man.

      Reply
      1. PF4L November 30, 2021

        Lol….Don’t be a drama queen.

        Reply
      2. KazooPackFan November 30, 2021

        word.

        Reply
  7. Stickman November 30, 2021

    I think #2 is in a slump! In baseball even the greatest hitters go into slumps, and there’s and old saying that the only way out of that slump is to hit your way out. One at bat at a time. He’ll find it again, one kick at a time. He’ll be money again.

    Reply
  8. Tom M November 30, 2021

    From Gary’s strip sack and Preston’s fumble recovery and constant pressure. To Adrian Amos and his 4th down stop. From AJ Dillion’s 4th down carry to pick up the first near midfield. To Douglas and his pick six. Along with Yosh Nijman playing like a veteran LT. These and more, are Brian Gutekunst’s guys and we’re not 9-3 without them. We have the 7th ranked defense and a power back in Dillion. A QB’s two best friends. Another game, another injury. But it was Cobb not Rodgers. Kudos to Matt LaFleur for playing Gary, Jones and Rodgers. It paid off. The Rams don’t have the Packers depth and they don’t have a draft pick until the 4th round next year. That’s what happens when your GM is too cavalier with your draft picks. Giving them away for veteran players well past their prime. We’ve got a great GM. And if Rodgers is smart enough to realize it. He’ll find a way to make it work beyond this year.

    Reply
    1. PF4L November 30, 2021

      Tom M November 28, 2021
      You don’t rush Jones or Gary back, or risk Rodgers to further injury just because it’s “game day.” They’re are bigger fish to fry. It surprises no one you don’t see the big picture here.
      *******************************
      Tom M November 30, 2021
      Kudos to Matt LaFleur for playing Gary, Jones and Rodgers. It paid off.
      ****************
      Everyone saw the big picture.
      Everyone but you.

      Reply
  9. Tom M November 30, 2021

    PF4L, if we don’t win the SB this year no one will remember this game. How many regular season games stand out from 2011 when we went 15-1 and Rodgers won the MVP? None of them because we lost in the divisional round of playoffs to the New York Giants. Everyone remembers that game because it prevented us from back to back SB wins. How many regular season games do you remember from last year when we went 13-3 and Rodgers again won the MVP? Not many, and as time passes none of them. Yet we all remember the loss to Tom Brady and the Bucs at home in the NFCC game. Or 2019 when we likewise went 13-3 in the regular season only to get our asses handed to us by the 49ers in the NFCC game. Do I continue? We went 10-6 in 2010. Can’t remember a single regular season game. But everyone remembers going on the road in the playoffs and beating the Eagles, Bears, and Falcons to get to the SB. The big picture is the SB. I know you think it’s all about regular season stats. It isn’t. It’s great we beat the Rams. And we don’t beat them without both Aaron Rodgers and Rashan Gary. Both players who were injured going in. Rodgers at even a bigger risk for further injury because his blindside was protected by a third string, developmental, LT. MLF rolled the dice and it worked. In the coming weeks he’ll have to make decisions on who to rest and who to play in order to be as healthy as possible for our impending playoff run.

    Reply
  10. PF4L December 1, 2021

    You say so much, but say nothing at all.
    .
    Blah blah blah blah fucking blah blah.
    .
    You were WRONG, just admit it…coward

    Reply
  11. Tom M December 2, 2021

    PF4L, if we lose next month in the playoffs. Remind us all it’s just fine and dandy because we beat the Rams in November. I’m sure that’ll take the sting away and make it all better. Aaron Rodgers the “Michael Jordan” of the regular season needs to be “Michael Jordan” come playoff time. Where he has more INT’s (8) than TD’s (7) in NFCC games since the SB run. We’ll need all hands of deck to get to the SB. I’d rather go 10-6 and run the table than 13-3 like the last two years only to be disappointed. Our best chance is to have everyone healthy. Something we haven’t had all season. It’s all about risk/reward at this point. MLF made the right call. If we get to week 17 and we’ve got the top seed locked up, do you sit Rodgers? It’s happened before. The last thing Rodgers wants is to put Jordan Love on the field and give him an audition game. Prepare for a power struggle.

    Reply
  12. PF4L December 2, 2021

    The last thing Rodgers wants is Love on the field” – Gomer
    **********
    An audition game?
    LOL
    .
    Yea. I’m sure Rodgers has trouble sleeping at night
    worrying about Love out playing him.
    You kill me with your whacky sense of humor.
    .
    Power struggle?…..lol
    .
    Atta boy…always leave em laughing.

    Reply

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