Packers vs. Rams: Rams Secondary Goes Missing as Aaron Rodgers Torches St. Louis
A two-game winning streak has quickly turned into a two-game losing streak for the St. Louis Rams. Now, for the first time all season long, the NFC West has a lone bottom dweller. The Rams' 30-20 loss dropped them a full game behind the Seattle Seahawks for third place in the West.
Today's game reminded us why halftime adjustments are so important. Even though St. Louis was down 10-6 at halftime, one could say they were in control at the end of the first half. Time of possession was in their favor, and defensively they held Green Bay's offense to 10 points.
But things quickly did a 180 at the beginning of the third quarter. Aaron Rodgers led a 12-play, 80-yard drive that spanned 6:56. The balanced drive consisted of five runs and seven throws to four different receivers.
Even though Randall Cobb capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown catch, James Jones kept the ball moving on the drive, catching three passes for 32 yards. With the run game only picking up 2.7 yards per carry, Rodgers rode Jones, Cobb and Jordy Nelson all the way to the finish.
By game's end, Nelson had racked up a team-high 122 yards on eight catches. Cobb had an impressive eight catches for 89 yards as well, and Jones picked up 53 yards on six receptions. In all, No. 12 completed passes to seven different receivers. His final stat-line was an incredible 30-of-37 for 342 yards and three touchdowns.
He has now thrown at least three touchdown passes in four straight games.
All those gaudy numbers led me to this question, what happened to St. Louis' impressive secondary? Apparently, they had never seen a double move before.
Both rookie defensive backs, Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins were burned repeatedly on inside- out moves. On Cobb's first touchdown catch he led Jenkins to the inside of the field and then "boom," he bolted toward the back of the end zone for a five-yard score.
And then on the 39-yard score, Cobb acted as if he we running a slant route to the inside. Yet as soon as Johnson was on his backside hip he quickly jetted up field leaving the rookie in the dust. Once a defender allows the second-year player from Kentucky to get in front of him it's game over.
However, this isn't the first time we've seen poor discipline on the back end of St. Louis' defense. Jenkins has bitten on double-move fakes way too many times this year. The first I saw of his poor habit was three weeks ago against the Cardinals.
There was one particular play in which Larry Fitzgerald's double move put No. 21 flat on his face. Lucky enough for the Rams, quarterback Kevin Kolb overthrew Fitz by a good 10 yards or so.
Jenkins has phenomenal talent and ball skills, but he needs to learn to be more disciplined.
Only time and coaching will help him progress in that area—although, I'm sure they are hoping it comes sooner rather than later. Jeff Fisher's club heads to Wembley Stadium next week as the Rams host the New England Patriots in London, England.
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