Another week and another win for the Green Bay Packers. The winless St. Louis Rams made their way into Lambeau Field to play the undefeated Green Bay Packers in Week 6. Playing in a dominant fashion, Aaron Rodgers and his high-octane offense put up gaudy numbers in the first half en route to their 24-3 win against the St. Louis Rams.
The Packers started off only scoring three points in the first quarter, but then blew the door wide open with their 21-point second quarter performance. As much as the Rams tried to put up a fight, it looked like they were outclassed in almost all significant offensive and defensive categories. Although the Green Bay offense slowed down in the second half, their defense maintained focus and kept the Rams from scoring any more points.
Here are some winners and losers from the Week 6 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Rams.
Aaron Rodgers continues to prove why he should be involved in talks of some of the great quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. He came out starting slightly sluggish in the first quarter but picked up his pace significantly thereafter. Rodgers did most of his damage in the second quarter, leading his team to 21 points in that quarter alone.
It was mentioned during the broadcast that the perfect quarterback passer rating is 158.3. In the first half, Rodgers had a rating of 154.9, going 11-of-15 while throwing for 234 yards and three touchdown passes.
Some key attributes that people do not mention too much is his ability to run out of the pocket to either buy time and throw or run for the first down.
His production slowed down in the second half, and both teams scored zero points. This was in part because Green Bay's receivers made key drops on third down conversions and both defenses picking up their level of intensity.
Unfortunately, Rodgers threw one interception in the second half but by default. His original throw went right through the hands of receiver Greg Jennings and landed in the lap of a Rams defender.
Overall, Rodgers had a good game, throwing for over 300 yards with three touchdowns, and the Green Bay Packers are officially 6-0 overall.
The receivers of Green Bay did a great job at finding openings and making plays after the catch. Aaron Rodgers was able to find seven different receivers against the Rams, along with a huge 93-yard touchdown throw to Jordy Nelson.
He connected with Greg Jennings a team leading six times. Nelson, Jones and Driver all caught touchdown passes. The receiver and quarterback connection was in tune to the point where the Packers were averaging over 10 yards a throw.
Although there were more rushing attempts than passing attempts in this game, it was clear that the passing attack was the key to Green Bay's win.
Clay Matthews is one of those players that all offensive coordinators have to account for. He is a threat not only for his physical strength, but probably more for his speed and tenacity.
His pad level when rushing the quarterback is so low that it is nearly impossible for offensive lineman to consistently keep him at bay.
Although his game against the Rams did not showcase exceptional statistics, his affect was clearly seen if anyone watched the game. Unfortunately, there is no stat for how many plays are negatively affected for the Rams due to the presence of Matthews. There were multiple situations when Mathews created a pocket collapse too quick for Bradford to respond with a good throw.
He did have one sack and one tackle for loss. His play might not have shined through on the books, but his play was a key factor in keeping the Rams to three points through four full quarters.
Don Capers was able to keep this Rams offense to only three points. Unfortunately, that defense also was able to give up 424 yards of offense to the lowly St. Louis Rams. However, regardless of what teams are playing, keeping an NFL team to three points is an accomplishment.
His defense was constantly bringing pressure to Sam Bradford while keeping them out of the end zone, and although the Rams had 424 yards of total offense, his defense made plays when they needed to.
In the third quarter, Sam Shields' interception of Bradford in the red zone took out all the wind in St. Louis' sails.
Luckily, the Rams could not convert at a high level in the red zone, which panned out perfectly for the Green Bay Packers and the defense of Capers.
After an appalling second quarter performance, the Rams defense picked it up significantly in the second half.
The defense that allowed 21 points to be scored in the second quarter came roaring back to keep the high octane offense of the Green Bay Packers to a whopping zero.
Running was an issue for the Packers only running for 96 yards throughout the entire game. The Rams defense did a good job at keeping the runners in check and preventing third down conversions during the second half. The Packers went 4-for-13 during third down for the entire game, and many of those missteps occurred in the second half.
If this defense could have played this way for the entire game, there might have been a chance for the Rams to rally up a scoring drive and bring home their first win of the season.
A bright spot in this loss against the Packers is the play of Steven Jackson. While being hounded all day by this pesky Packers defense, Jackson was able to rack up over 100 yards of total offense.
He rushed for 96 yards while averaging 5.3 yards an attempt. Jackson also caught the ball for 29 yards, averaging 7.3 yards a catch. Although the Rams had a hard time scoring in the red zone, during key drives down the field, Jackson was there to either keep the drive going on third down, or even getting good yards on second down to make it easier on the offense during third and short situations.
The Rams should have found more ways to utilize Jackson during the game.
Looking at the final score of this game, people might think the Rams played terrible on offense. To some extent, they were awful.
It was not about how many yards they could not rack up, but more so the opportunities they could not take advantage of. The Bradford led offense rallied 424 total yards, which is a solid number. However, key mistakes kept them from reaching the end zone and putting up points in general.
On a successful third quarter drive while poised for a touchdown, Bradford mistakenly threw an interception in the end zone to Sam Shields of the Green Bay Packers.
Also, mental mistakes and penalties in the red zone really hurt the young Rams squad. There were multiple times when false starts forced the Rams from third and five to third and long or fourth and short to having to throw a deep pass just to keep the drive going.
Hopefully, the Rams will fix these red zone problems with the maturity of this young team.
Who knows where this defense came from? Maybe it was a mental lapse or just an overpowering by the Packers offense. Whatever the reason, allowing 21 points in a single quarter is embarrassing at any level of football.
Most of Aaron Rodgers' passing yards came from this quarter alone, including a 93-yard touchdown through to Jordy Nelson and a 35-yard pass to James Jones.
If the Ram's defense was able to maintain the level of efficiency that they displayed in the first, third or fourth quarter, the complexities of the game would have been completely different. If the Rams kept the Packers to even just one touchdown, then they are down 10-0 going into half and right back into the game.
That second quarter burst from the Packers basically decided the game. Even with the run attack of the Packers not working well, Rodgers was still able to tear up that secondary with a plethora of quick slants, fades, quick outs and the deep ball.
St. Louis needs to figure out what happened and fix it quick before their game against the Dallas Cowboys next week.
The Green Bay Packers only had 96 yards of offense from their running backs. Luckily, they have the best quarterback in the NFL to keep them in check and scoring points.
It was clear throughout the entire game that the run was not something that was going to be effective against the Rams. In the first, third and fourth quarter combined, the Packers only scored three points off a field goal from Mason Crosby.
Most of the total points that were scored were from the receivers and Rodgers tearing up the Rams secondary.
This lack of ability to run was highlighted by their inability to score in the second half. Having that balance and effectiveness on both sides of the offense is key to putting up numbers. The Packers scored zero points in the entire second half, and that was mainly because of the increased number of defensive backs that were placed. The lack of run efficiency allowed the Rams to do this without sacrificing much against the run.
If the Packers want to become Super Bowl contenders, the run needs to become more effective, which will allow for a greater passing threat from Rodgers and the rest of the offense.
For a team that is 6-0, there is not much to say in terms of what needs work. The only thing that really seems significant is the ability to balance out the offense.
Everyone knows that Rodgers can be a quarterback guru and throw for over 300 yards a game. However, what is equally as important is keeping that run game on par with the passing game to keep the defenses to overloading in one area.
Also, keeping that defense from allowing too many yards is crucial. Luckily, against the Rams, red zone production was poor; therefore, allowing over 400 yards was not a big problem. However, when playing against more well-equipped offensive teams, those yards will not fare well against the Packers.
Bringing in a big-time receiver could help cure many of the offensive woes that the team is facing. Having a deep field threat and a No. 1 target for Bradford would open up not only the passing game, but also the running game for Steven Jackson.
Bradford is doing a good job at getting the receivers the ball; however, the yards after catch is lacking. Adding another high profile receiver will help that offense reach its potential.