The Green Bay Packers went to St Louis to take care of business with the Rams and that they did, coming home with a 30 – 20 victory. It was a dominating win, reminiscent of what the Pack did to the Texans last week with Aaron Rodgers orchestrating another superb game.
The Rams are no longer the doormat squad that they have been for years, but they don’t currently have anywhere near the talent of the Packers. The Rams have a great coach. Jeff Fischer tried to steer the game into a ball-control, grind-it-out running affair to keep the ball away from Rodgers and Company. That worked for the first half as the Packers “only” jumped to a 10 – 6 halftime lead.
But, on the opening drive of the second half, Rodgers began to assert himself. Rodgers led the Pack on an 80-yard, 12-play drive that culminated in his 150th touchdown pass as a Packer. Randall Cobb was the recipient of that pass. Cobb is becoming an emerging star amongst a very talented Packer wide receiver corps. While the Packers’ best wide receiver, Greg Jennings, has once again been sidelined by injury, Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones have become the beneficiaries of Rodgers’ pinpoint passing. The combination was way too much for the Rams to handle.
On the day, Cobb ended up with two touchdown passes. The second-year player from Kentucky just keeps getting better. He reminds me a lot of a young Greg Jennings. With 37-year-old Donald Driver winding down his great career and Jennings’ injury problems and upcoming contract issue, Cobb appears to be the Packers’ “go to” slot receiver for years to come. The Packer receiving corps is a dominating crew when Rodgers has his game on, and he has it going right now. Rodgers has thrown for 9 touchdowns and almost 700 yards in the last two games without an interception. Few quarterbacks have put up dominating numbers like those.
The Packer defense got moved around a little bit by the Rams’ running game and that wasn’t pretty. However, the defense did have a couple of bright spots from guys being thrust into starting positions due to injury. Outside linebacker Erik Walden had a monster game as did rookie Casey Hayward. Hayward, getting his first professional start, intercepted his fourth pass in the last three games. Hayward had a collegiate reputation at Vanderbilt as a ball-hawking specialist and is off to a great start in the pros.
In the things-that-need-to-be-improved category, Mason Crosby has missed three of his last six field goal attempts. That is unacceptable. Also, the Packers’ offensive line is having major problems getting Alex Green some holes to run the ball. The linemen don’t seem to be getting enough push to spring Green loose, but the Packers may choose to give James Starks another shot at running the football next week to see what he can do.
Next week the Packers return to Lambeau for the first time in a month to play the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are a bad team this year and they also suffered some key injuries last week. This game should be a lock for the ascending Packers, but then again these are just the type of games that can be a nightmare. Nonetheless, the Pack should be favored by ten points against the Jags.
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