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The Packers defense gave up 321 yards to Sam Bradford and a Rams passing attack that came into the game ranked in the bottom five in almost every statistical category. So how can they earn an A?
Because only the simplest of fans looks at yards yielded as a barometer for how a pass defense is performing. Last season, the San Diego Chargers were first in offense and defense according to the yardage totals and could not win 10 games or make the playoffs in the league's second-weakest division.
Sure, their special teams were awful. But Green Bay had terrible special teams, too, and ranked several spots below them in both offense and defense, while still making the playoffs in a division that finished two game above .500.
What matters is points. St. Louis made three trips inside the red zone and averaged a point per trip. Even considering they turned down a field goal opportunity because of the late score, that is exceptional defense.
Bradford was 28-for-44 (.636 completion percentage) but finished with just a 76.0 passer rating because he threw a pick without a touchdown. He was sacked three times, and the coverage has something to do with that. This is why his TQBR was just 20.2, behind 22 other quarterbacks this weekend.
The defensive backs got one of those sacks (Charles Woodson) and had a fumble forced (Morgan Burnett), though the Rams recovered it. They had no penalties while registering 25 tackles and 11 assists, with Burnett leading the way with six and three and Charlie Peprah with four and five, respectively. (Tramon Williams had six tackles and an assist, Sam Shields had five tackles, Jarret Bush had two tackles and Woodson had two and two.)
True, some of those came because they allowed 22 passes (for 283 yards, a 13-yard average) to be completed on them. But the Packers will take this performance every week.