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Packers vs. Rams: The Aftermath

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Packers vs. Rams: The Aftermath

The Green Bay Packers defeated the St. Louis Rams by the score of 30-20.

Precision

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.

Defensive Efforts

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.

Up Next

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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

dilligaff's picture

I disagree with over looking A. Rodgers main flaw, holding into the ball too long. It will be ok against a lesser opponent like the Rams, but remember the playoffs last year against the Giants, if Rodgers holds the ball that long, it will produce a different result

murphy's picture

You consider the Rams' and Texans' defenses, at home, to be lesser opponents?

MannyG's picture

Agree!!

John's picture

OMG Dilli, enjoy the game. What about the week before's level?????

woodson4president's picture

I hope moses gets to tally up a sack next week. He plays hard and deservess one. And...lets go Lions beat Jay Crybaby Cutler.

Jamie's picture

He got a cheap one Sunday...on the Bradford fumbled snap. Not sure if that gets changed after stat analysis, but in any case I'm sure Moses would prefer a real one...and so would we.

Mike's picture

That remains a sack because it was a pass play originally, and after the botched snap Bradford looked to pass the ball again, so I'm almost certain that it will remain a sack. Hopefully BJ and Perry will come back this week so we can get that good, deep rotation of front 7 bodies that keeps the pass rushers fresh.

lmills's picture

Get used to it. That's just what he does. For every sack he gets for hanging on to it too long, he has a great play because he held on to it a little longer then you think he should. It's just part of his game.

And the Rams are a very good defensive team. They're aren't many teams with that good of a front 7.

Evan's picture

I scream at the TV as much as the next guy when he hangs on to the ball too long. But I will say two things.

1. At least he's not forcing the ball. He'd rather take the sack then give up an INT.

2. It's amazing how unfazed I am by 3rd and longs with this offense. I'd love to see some 3rd and 8+ conversion stats. I have to imagine the Packers are among the league leaders.

Pack Fan in ATL's picture

Yea.. I'm more nervous about 3rd and short than 3rd and long with this team...

Mike's picture

Agree all the way.

I feel like I am less irritated overall by Rodgers' tendency to hold the ball because my dad is a Steelers' fan and I'm used to watching Big Ben games with him. Of course, Rodgers ain't built like Ben so it'd be nice to see him be a little quicker on the gun every now and then.

marcopo's picture

It depends. If he's stuck in the pocket, no good comes of it. However, if he's able to extend outside the pocket, good things happen.

toolkien's picture

Do people grasp that Rodgers is almost exactly like Steve Young when it comes to taking sacks? What is/was different about those two guys than your average QB? THEY GET/GOT A TON OF YARDS AND TD'S RUNNING THE BALL. Do people realize that Rodgers has more TD's rushing in 4.4 years than Favre's entire career? When a QB switches from being a deadly passer to a killer runner, he's going to get caught in changeover mode once in a while. And throw in the generally dicey OL Rodgers has had and you'd think people would know enough not to bellyache. But alas...

Put another way, would you rather have your QB take a sack when they just might run for 8+ yards and perhaps a TD, or just chuck it down field for a pick?

In the end, you've got the QB with the highest passer rating ever, and can kill a team with his legs, and yet you get "he holds the ball too long" from the peanut gallery.

Kt's picture

Too many are apparently way to willing to see a Packer future that doesn't include Greg Jennings. The guy is a big time performer and the bigger the game the better he plays. Of all the Packer receivers he remains the one needed the most.

marcopo's picture

I agree with you. The time for speculation on Jennings future is not upon us. Leave it alone!

NoWayJose's picture

Disagree - the time for thinking about Jennings is upon us. This is a rare opportunity for a preview of life without him.

And if things keep going as they have been until Jennings gets back, I think the Packers will have seen enough to be ready to move on, no matter how the season goes after that.

You can't be the Carolina Panthers and overpay for guys you don't really need to keep.

marcopo's picture

How do we know exactly what factors and what players will be when the time for dealing with Jennings arrives. So it's good for idle speculation only.

Mike's picture

Most needed against heavy cover-2 teams - I still don't understand how or why he's so effective against cover-2 (especially Chicago's) schemes, but I don't care as long as he's on our team. I will say that it is good for the team to be succeeding without him for two reasons: 1) the offense is somewhat prepared in case this is his last season. 2) the offense isn't as Greg-based as it was pre-injury (see Chiefs game last season). The offense will likely be built around Greg once he comes back, but it's great for Rodgers to build rapport with the other receivers in the meantime.

Evan's picture

Also, if it was mentioned on this site I missed it, but yesterday Rodgers threw his 150th TD pass and broke Marino's record for fewest INTs at time of 150th TD.

By a huge margin, I might add.

Rodgers: 150 TDs/42 INTs

Marino: 150/69

Bugeater's picture

THAT is a sweet stat!

pooch's picture

Though Neal was hurt??

Evan's picture

He came back in the 2nd half.

Mike's picture

He looked fine when he returned. I think he landed weird when he chased down, and leaped to tackle Jackson on that one 2nd quarter play.

marcopo's picture

WELCOME BACK!
For the first five games, I wasn't looking at the same Aaron Rodgers I knew and loved. Yeah, I knew it was the same guy, but........
I feel a whole lot better about this team then I did last years team. I knew, as did many, that at some point we would need a defense. This year we have one. It'll take more time and bumps in the road, but at least we have the pieces for a real defense. Heyward's body control and positioning are classic. The Pack may have found a star. Several of the others show pretty good promise, like Worthy and McMillian. It's fun to watch them grow. We've already faced the who's who of NFL defenses. Time to fly.

Mike's picture

Now if Packers fans would all spell his name correctly...

marcopo's picture

Why?

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