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Packers vs. Rams: Quick Takes from Green Bay's 21-7 Win

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Packers vs. Rams: Quick Takes from Green Bay's 21-7 Win

The Green Bay Packers started fast and finished strong Saturday afternoon, using 10 first-quarter points and 11 in the second half to beat the St. Louis Rams by the final score of 21-7 at the Edward Jones Dome. 

 

It was over when…

…Rookie Jeff Janis turned a short pass over the middle into a 34-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. You can't teach speed, and Janis showed he has plenty of it. The seventh-round pick turned the corner and then outran the Rams secondary to the end zone. The score and ensuing two-point conversion put the Packers up 18-7. 

 

Game Balls 

  • Aaron Rodgers: He was surgical in his preseason debut, completing 11-of-13 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown over just two series. The offense, which utilized the no-huddle on each drive, scored on both possessions. The pace and rhythm of the whole operation was close to perfect. Rodgers is already in mid-season form.
  • Mike Pennel: The undrafted free agent proved difficult to block for the second straight week. He had a sack in the first half when he cleaned up the quarterback following Mike Neal's pressure, spinning out of double team to get home. Much like last week in Tennessee, No. 64 was in the backfield on a number of snaps, especially against the run. 
  • Tim Masthay: His first three punts averaged 54 yards, and all three ended up inside the 20-yard line. He was a big reason why the Rams' average starting position was at the 16-yard line during the first half. Hey, punters are people too. 

 

Key Stats

The Packers ran 64 plays and totaled 386 yards (6.0 yards per play) and 22 first downs…The Packers defense allowed just 216 yards on 62 plays (3.5 yards per play). The Rams ran 27 times for 79 yards, good for an average of just 2.9…In his first live action since tearing his ACL, Sam Bradford completed 9-of-12 passes for 101 yards and a score. His passer rating was 127.4…The Packers had two touchdowns wiped out by penalties. The errors cost Green Bay at least nine points (but more likely 11, if the extra points were converted). Another penalty took away an interception. Overall, Green Bay committed 12 penalties…Undrafted free agent Jay Elliott had three sacks and a forced fumble on his first series…DuJuan Harris' fumble was the only turnover of the game…The Packers had seven sacks, while the Rams registered just two. However, St. Louis hit Packers quarterbacks six times…Andrew Quarless led all receivers with 58 yards on four catches. Harris led the Packers with 32 rushing yards on seven attempts…Mason Crosby made both of his kicks (long of 49) and his only extra point attempt…Davante Adams caught two passes for 28 yards, converted the two-point conversion and fielded two punts for zero yards (but zero fumbles)…The Packers were 1-for-4 scoring touchdowns in the red zone.

 

Other Notes

--What a first drive. With the 11 players expected to start against Seattle on the field, the Packers first-team offense marched 86 yards over 12 plays, taking up almost five and a half minutes. Eddie Lacy ran five times for 25 yards and caught two passes for 22 more. Rodgers completed 6 of 6 passes for 47 yards and a four-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb. It was a clinic. The next drive went 12 more plays and spanned 80 yards, but stalled after David Bakhtiari's penalty negated a second touchdown in the red zone. Overall, the two drives with Rodgers under center totaled 176 yards and produced 10 points. Can't ask for much more. 

--Julius Peppers was much more active this week than the last. After 10 forgettable snaps in Tennessee, Peppers' first series vs. the Rams consisted of at least one hurry and one tackle for loss. He also beat the right tackle clean to the inside on one quick throw from Bradford. There would have been a sizable collision in the pocket had Bradford held the football for one or two more seconds. On the second defensive series, he beat rookie Greg Robinson with speed off the right edge. His near-sack forced an incompletion. Later on the drive, Peppers rushed from a 3-point stance and got some push, but Bradford made a strong throw for the score. Mike Daniels was also impressive pushing the pocket. 

--The Packers starting offensive line passed its biggest test of the preseason with flying colors. Rodgers routinely had clean, well-formed pockets to throw from, and the running game was mostly productive, especially on the first drive. The Rams were without Michael Brockers, but the likes of Robert Quinn, Chris Long and Aaron Donald were non-factors. Make no mistake about it: this was a statement performance, a confidence-building effort. The Packers won't face a better front before traveling to Seattle for the season opener. 

--Pennel is making the final 53-man roster. How could the Packers justify risking him on waivers? Big guys with his power and movement skills are too rare. Playing the run looks like a strength of his, and he even showed off some pass-rushing skills in the first half. If healthy, he should be on the Week 1 roster. 

--Janis looked comfortable returning punts. Dealt with some traffic, but he remained calm and caught the football. Of course, he wasn't looking up into a monsoon. It was still a promising start. Janis can wrap up the No. 5 receiver role if he shows an ability to return punts, a role still very much up for grabs. His touchdown showed why the Packers might have to keep him regardless. Janis can really run. 

--Scott Tolzien (10 of 15, 107 yards) looked shaky on his first series but settled down in the second half. He was sharp after the break, completing eight straight passes at one point. Flynn (2 of 3, 44 yards) threw a touchdown pass on his first attempt but had limited opportunities. He took two sacks behind a leaky backup line. Not sure either quarterback moved the needle on the backup competition.

-- The slightly more important third preseason game will bring the Oakland Raiders to Lambeau Field for a nationally televised contest next Friday night. The starters will play their most snaps of the exhibition schedule. Charles Woodson, James Jones and C.J. Wilson return to Green Bay. The Packers could look dominant against a Raiders team that has been really poor early on in each of their first two preseason games. 

 

Zach Kruse contributes to Cheesehead TV. He is also the Lead Writer for the NFC North at Bleacher Report. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (38) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mojo's picture

Just one thing to say: Aaron Rodgers is one bad mother .....

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

I liked how some on both sides played. We have talent, who goes and who stays glad I am not MM or TT but I would take their pay.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

I liked how some on both sides played. We have talent, who goes and who stays glad I am not MM or TT but I would take their pay.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

I liked how some on both sides played. We have talent, who goes and who stays glad I am not MM or TT but I would take their pay.

Nick Perry's picture

The offense looked great on those first 2 drives. Rodgers looked sharp and Tretter and the rest of the OL did a great job. The defense looked really good, especially the run defense. Hopefully Pennel keeps this up and makes the 53, I like his hustle.

Stroh's picture

Pennel is in. I wouldn't even worry about it.

Clay Zombo's picture

Jayrone Elliott, Mike Pennell and Jeff Janis made the 53 today, If they cut any of those guys they are stupid.

Julius Peppers needs to rush the QB from a 3 point stance, his get off is so much better there whether its as an Elephant End or in a 4-3 over alignment.

As good as Sherrod looked last week, he was equally as bad this week maybe worse. JC Tretter looked like a bad ass out there though.

Brandon Bostic looks real good when healthy but can't stay that way. Hope his leg injury is minor and they only held him out because its preseason.

Glad they decided to give Davante Adams another shot at PRs but after his first attempt, I think I have seen enough.

Frickin DuJuan Harris...still love the guy but hes pissing me off.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Jayrone Elliott beat up a really bad Tackle who also got smoked by Hubbard the following drive. The Rams think so little of him they moved their starting Guard to Tackle for a preseason game because Jake Long is not ready yet. I'm not saying I think Elliott is not a good find. I just want to see more of him. I want to see him hold an edge in the run game, and run with a TE before I get too giddy.

Nick Perry's picture

Gotta agree there. I've read they like Elliott but I actually felt bad for that LT, he was horrible.

DoURant's picture

Our #1 offense is SCARY great, our OL out played The Rams highly touted DL, they didn't even come close to touching Aaron. Our run defense was awesome, they had to have between 7-10 stops for a loss or no gain, easily. Jeff Janis is a lock to make the 53, if he doesn't he will never make it through waivers, and I will be extremely irate. You can't teach speed, and he showed what speed can do on his TD, the safety had the angle and he just flat outran him to make the corner. He also looked very comfortable at PR fielding all 3 punts smoothly.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I was impressed with Tretter. He's put together too, no big fat belly, just a big cut athletic guy. I'm wondering if they will try pulling him like Mike Pouncey on power running plays.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Sooooo,no one wants to talk about how good Tolzien looked?

COW's picture

Beady eyes.... creepy.

Stroh's picture

You mean the Tolzien that can't get the ball in the end zone? He can have all the great stats he wants, but just like last year, he still can't put points on the scoreboard. Flynn comes in and puts a TD on in his first drive. So this preseason, IIRC Tolzien has led the offense to 0 TD's while Flynn has led it to 2 TD's.

Not so great IMO.

GoldFinger's picture

Tolzein did put them in the end zone. A great pass to Miles White for a score that was taken away by penalty. I understand you are upset about Sherrod's performance but Tolzein at least from other people here seem to believe he has passed Flynn on the depth chart with his superb 2nd half performance.

Stroh's picture

Zero points scored. Your Making excuses for him... Its the QB's job to LEAD (something Tolzien doesn't do as well as Flynn) the team to scores and he didn't put points on the board. Gotta overcome a penalty once in awhile. We'll see what the coaches think. Other people here don't matter, they don't make the decisions.

Apparently I'm not the only one... " A failed fourth-down pass ended Tolzien’s scoreless night, raising questions as to whether he got any closer to Flynn in the competition for the No. 2 job."

GoldFinger's picture

lol.. I love the smell of defeat in the morning. Stroh, we won!! Get over the fact Sherrod made you look bad. I know this is what's bothering you. You put all your cards on the table for Sherrod and he humiliated you let's be honest. Maybe he will bounce back next week. I am rooting for him as well believe me. Maybe this was just a stutter step for him on a fast surface. An aberration.. a game like Bulaga had in Seattle a few years ago. Maybe. In the meantime, you put yourself out there like that and certainly you are bound to get some good natured ribbing like I am doing.

As for Tolzein. Another case where you put your faith in Flynn and you don't like Tolzein. He performs great and you downplay it by saying he never scores when in fact he did with a pass to Miles White. Again, remember, we are all on the same team. Some like certain players over others and disagreements happen but please try to not take all this so personally. You were wrong on Sherrod and probably will be wrong on Flynn. It happens. Not everyone can bat 1000. Think about the big picture Stroh. A ton of positives tonight!!

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Stroh, I think Tolzein is the better of the 2 QB's. That's not my Badger Red talking, that's my opinion. I hope you agree, after seeing the last 2 games. Having said that, I've also said Tolzein at times has had a confidence problem. Hopefully, he has gain some confidence in the last 2 games. I'd be surprised if GB doesn't keep both Tolzein & Flynn. Defense is still a ?. I really liked what I saw offensively. Wish I had more money on them.

From what I saw of A Rod & the 1st string offense, I hate to say it, but I think MM should keep all them guys out as much as possible before the Seattle game. I know the thinking is, they need to have Chemistry, but they looked to me like they were chaumping at the bit. They were firing on all 16 cylinders. I'd like to see that in the Seattle game. Not sure I've seen the 1st unit more Confident.

GoldFinger's picture

Nice to see you return LVT. I remember you from the past. What the hell happened to you? Why did you leave for such a long time? As for Stroh, he's had a bad bad day thanks to Sherrod. lol His ego took a huge hit since he's never ever wrong on anything he says.

So you also agree Tolzein should be our backup. You are in the majority. Stroh though will find some writer to agree with him to convince everyone that you and I are wrong.

Should be a great year LVT. Keep on posting. No need to stay away.

Stroh's picture

Tolzien is proving to be just like last year. He moved the ball alot put up alot of yards, but very little scoring. I don't care about any majority, the majority on some website doesn't make the decisions. Tolzien still can't put the ball in the end zone, just like last year. Flynn comes in last year and leads the team to wins. Tolzien not so much. Tolzien might have better arm talent, but he doesn't lead the team to wins and scores.

BTW it wasn't "some" writer, it was from Packers.com. If you read sites other than just the opinions of "other fans" on a website you might know which is really important. Stats or winning. I think you can guess that one...

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Goldfinger, I've been back & forth to Vegas. Leaving Wed again. I stopped posting because no one seemed to agree with me on things. I do think Tolzein is the better of the 2 QB's, but I've said a number of times, he has a confidence issue. I think he's played well, but he would play much much better if Flynn wasn't there. All the pressure is on Tolzein. He's #2 as far as I'm concerned. As I said, that's not my Badger Red speaking, I think he is a lot better QB. I also believe GB will keep both Flynn & Tolzein. I don't think STROH agrees with me on anything, but I do hate to admit, he is right on the Points issue, but it not because Flynns a better QB, it's been because of some Great play on Tolzeins part, & then some Rotten Luck. Stroh has been right on the points issue, but that will change. Cream rises to the top. The people from California love Tozein. They say he damn near beat out Kapernick for the #2 spot when Smith was there. I'll be posting more when the season starts. I wanted to give A.J. the game ball for the 1st game. He only missed 1 tackle, then again he only had 1 chance. Stroh, I'm watching A.J. I'll be the 1st to credit him, if he ever deserves it. LVT

Stroh's picture

We'll see about Flynn/Tolzien. What about AJ? I haven't even mentioned him. Not sure what your getting at.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Stroh, We will see about Tolzein/Flynn. If Flynn wins the job, then he deserves it. I still believe they will keep both, & Tolzein will be #2. Having said that, I also like Matt Flynn, & will support him as well, if he happens to come out on top.

You've been in love with A.J. Hawk since they wasted that #5 pick on him. I wanted to get rid of him 4 years ago. Last year when I was trying to Trade Hawk, to keep JJ, you were against that as well. GB has been wasting money on Hawk for years. The 1 thing you should know, you don't!! With all the good receivers GB has, JJ would have contributed more to this team than A.J. will. He has No More Excuses this year.

You've been correct on the points issue with Tolzein, but IMO not on your assessment of the 2 QB's. Last year when he threw for 330 yrd's & lost, he took the team all the way down the field with little playing time, & threw & interception on the 1 yrd line. He's thrown some Great passes that have been dropped. Flynn may have 2 TD's, but his play isn't as good. I'm watching the same game you are, I think?

Our offense is Awesome, but our defense is Questionable. Our Corners are Too Small, & our Inside Linebackers, are Average at best. Personally, I think our DL will do ok. LVT

Stroh's picture

I'm hardly in love w/ Hawk, unless saying he is a decent at best NFL player is somehow in love w/ them. I really don't see the connection to James Jones. Hawk plays D and Jones was a WR. And Jones had a ready made WR (Boykin) ready and capable of stepping into his role and performing just as well.

Thanks for making my point about Tolzien. He threw for 330 yds and only put 13 points on the board and one TD pass. He did that even w/ Lacy in the backfield to take the attention of the D. So w/ a D that was playing very heavy run he still couldn't throw a TD pass. In fact in the 2+ games he played he had a 1:5 TD INT ratio, while going against 8 or even 9 in the box. Nothing there to be too optimistic about.

How does a QB even average 300 yds passing over 2 full games and only throw 1 TD and average only 13 pts/game? Same seems to be happening this preseason too. Moves the ball down the field, can't put points on the board.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Stroh, I purposely made your point, because your numbers are correct. I've also said, he threw a poor interception last year on the 1 yrd line, that shouldn't have been called in the 1st place. He probably was nervous & excited as Hell at that point. He was doing Great, & then that happened. It changed everything around for Scott. He had all the pressure on him, while Flynn sat the bench & watched. He's had some Bad Luck, not all of which has been his fault. He's had 1 TD called back, & some Great passes dropped. Things like that make all the difference for a QB. 1 of Flynns TD's was a Gift. I believe Tolzein has played better & has far more upside than Flynn. You're Critisizing a Good QB. You should be Critisizing a Poor Linebacker.

GoldFinger's picture

Sorry to hear that LVT. It sucks when you have something good to say and nobody responds because you are not a part of the good ole boy network. Just know that I have read all your posts and have listened though I wasn't able to respond due to having carpel tunnel for the past 8 weeks. I am better now.

Anyway, regarding Tolzein. Yes, I think he should also be the primary backup. If they keep three great but my fear is if they let Tolzein go, some other team will definitely pick him up. If Flynn is let go, nobody picks him up. It all depends on who that final 53rd guy is vs. Flynn in my opinion. I would hate to see someone like a Jayrone Elliott let go just to keep Flynn holding a clipboard then see Elliot go on to become the next KGB for the Vikings or Bears.

The difference between Tolzein and Flynn is minimal at this time. Both are about equal and both can win you games. Tolzein is younger and has the higher upside long term. I am looking at this more long term than just this season. That's why I support Scott Tolzein for backup quarterback.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Goldfinger, Glad we agree on Tolzein. You may be right with GB keeping only 2 QB's. My thinking was, they have got them for almost nothing. I agree with you, a 3rd QB carrying a clip board would take a spot away. I believe both QB's would be picked up somewhere, Tolzein for sure. Cleveland wanted him last year. I don't follow all the players like the rest of you do. I would think there would be someone expendable, other than a good back-up QB, if not, than we only keep 2 QB's, & hope our offensive line stays healthy. I support Tolzein, because I believe he is the better of the 2 QB's. You're correct, both are good QB's & can win you games. Then again, I thought Tolzein was a Great college QB, & he didn't get drafted. Maybe Stroh will wind up to be right on this one. We'll never hear the end of it, if he is. Right now, GB is still Not Strong up the middle. That IMO is their biggest problem. LVT

GoldFinger's picture

LVT, the only thing I disagree with you on is I don't think anyone picks up Matt Flynn but I do think a team will pick up Tolzein very quickly. Green Bay has not kept three qb's since 2008 and that was the year Rodgers first started and his cast behind him was Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn. Talk about risk taking and Rodgers did get hurt that year but played thru a terrible shoulder injury.

Compare that year to now. You have Rodgers the best qb in all of football and a loaded roster filled with talent including the qb positions. To me I would risk keeping only Rodgers and Tolzein. Even if by miracle someone picks up Flynn and they need another qb, they can always call Graham Harrel or B.J. Coleman back for a few weeks. I know I know. Not the best candidates but they do know the system. Honestly they can just use Randall Cobb as a hybrid qb if Tolzein goes down. Cobb played qb and I guarantee you he would do ok if he was thrown in there. Plenty of options.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Goldfinger, You might be right, but I just feel there's a team out there willing to pay minimum for a decent back-up QB like Flynn or Tolzein.
I don't ever want to see Graham Harrel or B.J. Colman back in a GB uniform. I'd call BF back 1st. The more I think of it, I believe you are right. GB won't keep 3 QB's. They just need to release the right one. LVT

GoldFinger's picture

I just don't see them keeping three. This team is too loaded with talent to waste a spot on a no. 3 qg who has a 10% chance of playing. You are a Vegas guy Tom so you know the odds. MM historically is a gambler and we should all know this by how many times he throws deep on a 3rd and 1.

I do agree there's a team out there looking to pay a miniumum for a decent backup but I think once bitten twice shy when it comes to Flynn. Ironically Seattle's backup is the guy Flynn couldn't beat out in Oakland last year. That tells me we can't be complacent when it comes to our backup qb. We need to be as good as other high powered teams in the backup position. If Tolzein is better and I think he is, we need to go with him. People like safe players. Flynn's safe. I want the best of the best. The hell with safe. MM even said he's not playing cautious. If he talks the talk and walks the walk, Tolzein is his guy for backup. Flynn is cut or no. 3.

Spiderpack's picture

It's the preseason for god's sake. But I agree to some extent with what you are saying. Coaches will have to figure it outl

GoldFinger's picture

"Coaches will have to figure it outl"

Pretty certain they already have. Tolzein was the first guy to come in tonight after Arod.

Stroh's picture

And Flynn did the week before. They're rotating so they can get an evaluation of them w/ all the players to make the evaluation fair. It'll take the full part of training camp before the coaches will make the decision. Your reading WAY to much into it. Tolzien, no TD's... Flynn 2 TD's...

Still 2 preseason games to go... Take out the simple stats, and its not hard to see who's in the lead. Its about leading the team to TD's, not just moving the ball between the 20's.

DoURant's picture

Tolzien has had back to back nice games, think we keep 3 QB's on the 53, alternated games with Flynn and Tolzien on inactive list

COW's picture

It would be a travesty to put Bradford on this roster over Mulumba, Palmer, or Elliott.

Does Myles White have PS eligibility?

Updated 53:

(3) QB Rodgers Flynn Tolzein
(3) RB Lacy Starks Harris
(1) FB Kuhn
(3) OT Bakhtiari Bulaga Sherrod
(3) OG Sitton Lang Taylor
(2) OC Tretter Linsley
(3) TE Rodgers Bostic Taylor
(6) WR Nelson Cobb Boykin Adams Janis White

(2) DT Raji Pennel
(4) DE D.Jones Daniels Boyd Thornton
(4) ILB Hawk B.Jones Lattimore Barrington
(6) OLB Matthews Peppers Perry Neal Mulumba Palmer
(5) CB Shields Williams Hayward House Bush
(4) S Clinton-Dix Burnett Hyde Richardson

(1) LS Goode
(1) P Masthay
(1) K Crosby

(1) Bradford/Quarless /Thomas/Eliott/White/Guion/Rolle

zeke's picture

No LaMichael James? Good luck with that.

Spiderpack's picture

Hey COW!!

What happened to the way you used to challenge everyone's beliefs and everyone's feel-good status? I miss the way you talked shit to everyone. Have you become impotent? This here summary is what you used to say to all of us:

COW: Our leader ARodge was playing patti-cakes with a shitty preseason defensive line and backfield who were all out of shape for the no-huddle and didn't game plan for him in the slightest. Nobody in the Rams secondary knew shit about what to do. Sober up boys, it don't mean nothin.

COW: Jeff Janis is not a "return specialist." He has not been a featured returner in the NFL, or EVER. Janis is not necessarily worth a SHIT against starting NFL Cornerbacks the likes of Richard Sherman or Revis (with his knee fixed). We don't know if Janis can beat a single good physical press player in this league. Everyone stop getting all excited for gods sake!!?!!

Spiderpack: I'm only kidding, its just that I wanted to say this because Cow's udders have become deflated and pumped-out. He's letting us all down.
But Janis is, without a doubt, on this team.

Cow, take some testosterone. Are you jealous? I bet you wished you had said this.

Cow, have you lost your Mojo for God's sake?

JimTaylor31's picture

Hopefully just a bad day for Sherrod. He does have to get used to the speed of the game regardless of the surface. No excuse. If you get your QB injured there is simply no excuse. My guess is he'll bounce back but still a bad sign when you get schooled by a late 7th rookie with marginal skills. I'm getting worried about D. Jones and Perry. If just one of the two blossoms into a legit #1 I'll be happy now. I had hopes for Bradford but I think it's time to move him to ILB and see if he can make the PS. That's best case for him. Give Elliott some snaps against better competition and see what he can do. Overall the roster looks pretty good. Miss Barclay though.

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