The Green Bay Packers defeated the St. Louis Rams by the score of 30-20.
A common criticism of quarterback Aaron Rodgers is his tendency to hold onto the ball too long in the pocket. While the knock on Rodgers is at times accurate, the Packers' quarterback also creates and extends plays by holding onto the ball and scrambling when the pocket breaks down.
Ultimately, Rodgers’ football acumen and physical ability far outweigh his minor faults. And Sunday’s critic-silencing effort was another example of why he is the reigning league MVP.
With no semblance of a rushing attack, Rodgers finished the day passing for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns. Earlier this season, Rodgers admitted that he wasn’t getting it done, but it’s safe to say that the past two weeks have marked his return to form.
The Packers defense turned in an impressive overall effort against the Rams on Sunday, but a couple of individual players stood out.
Outside linebacker Erik Walden continues to be stout against the run and the pass. As the performance of the defense ebbs and flows from week to week, Walden’s play remains consistent.
In Sunday’s effort, Walden led the Green and Gold with nine tackles. He also added a sack, a tackle for a loss and two hits on the quarterback.
Perhaps more important than Walden’s individual statistics, however, is his steady presence. Between Walden and rookie Dezman Moses, the Packers have forced opposing teams to pay attention to an outside linebacker not named Clay Matthews, which in turn, creates more favorable matchups for Matthews.
Rookie cornerback Casey Hayward also made his mark on Sunday. The defensive back out of Vanderbilt leapt up for an under thrown Sam Bradford pass in the third quarter to record his fourth interception in three games.
As a collegiate player, Hayward was known as a ballhawk, and seven games into his rookie year, he’s bringing that label with him to the professional level.
Mr. Fourth Quarter
As exciting as utility man Randall Cobb has been for the Packers offense this season, no performance was as exhilarating as Sunday’s fourth quarter feat.
With Steven Jackson and the Rams whittling the Packers lead to seven points midway through the fourth quarter, Cobb came up big on the ensuing drive.
On his way to a spectacular 39-yard touchdown catch, Cobb kept the drive alive with two separate third down receptions.
With each eye-popping performance, Randall Cobb is helping Packers fans get used to a future without Greg Jennings.
Forging An Identity
After a sputtering start to the year, the Packers are beginning to establish themselves. The offense is finding ways to win without Greg Jennings, young playmakers are emerging on both sides of the ball and the team’s strong showing in the face of mounting injuries displays preparedness for the grind of a long season.
The Packers came away from Sunday’s game without any major injuries and with the eventual return of Greg Jennings, B.J. Raji and others, the team should only get stronger as the season progresses.
The Packers finally return home after a three game road trip. Next Sunday at noon, the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Lambeau Field to face the Pack.
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