On a day when Aaron Rodgers committed an uncharacteristic three turnovers, the Green Bay Packers defense intercepted four passes and limited the Rams to just ten points to bring the Packers to 5-0 on the season.
The Green Bay offense struggled for most of the game. For the second straight week, the Packers marched down the field on their opening possession, taking a quick 7-0 lead on a 31-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Ty Montgomery.
But for the rest of the first half, the Green Bay offense struggled. Rodgers was intercepted on a tipped ball on the Packers’ second possession, snapping his streak of 49 touchdowns over three seasons without a pick at Lambeau Field.
The Green Bay defense responded with a Micah Hyde interception on the Rams’ ensuing possession, but failed to capitalize after turning it over on downs after four plays. But while the Packers’ offense was ineffective for much of the game, St. Louis’ offense was even worse. Foles threw an interception to rookie Quinten Rollins just three plays later, and Rollins returned it 45 yards for a Green Bay touchdown.
That was all the scoring the Packers would get in the first half. After the teams exchanged punts following the pick-six, the Rams went 80 yards in nine plays for their only touchdown of the day, a five yard catch by Tavon Austin.
Rodgers threw another interception, this time just six attempts after his first, on Green Bay’s next possession, and the Rams capitalized with a field goal to bring the score to 14-10 at halftime.
On the Packers’ first possession of the third quarter, Rodgers and the Green Bay offense recorded their final touchdown of the day on a 65-yard touchdown pass to James Jones, his fifth of the season.
Then things started to get even uglier for both teams. Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein missed three field goals in the second half, including one that was blocked by Datone Jones. Rodgers’ third turnover came on a strip-sack by Michael Brockers, but the second of Zuerlein’s misses prevented the Rams from scoring. Foles threw two fourth quarter interceptions in the red zone, one to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and another to Quinten Rollins to end the game.
The Packers’ defense struggled against the run, giving up 159 yards to Todd Gurley and 191 rushing yards total. But where Green Bay struggled in stopping the run, they excelled at covering the pass. Prior to a 68-yard completion on the Rams’ final drive, St. Louis’ leading receiver had just 28 yards.
Overall, Foles finished 11/30 for 141 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions for a quarterback rating of 23.8. Green Bay applied heavy pressure for almost the entire game, recording three sacks and many more quarterback hits and hurries.
Rodgers posted a season-low 82.8 quarterback rating after completing 19/30 passes for 241 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Eddie Lacy was limited by the Rams’ front seven as well, gaining just 27 yards on 13 carries. Jones led the receiving corps with 77 yards and a touchdown, Montgomery added 59 yards and a score on four catches, and Richard Rodgers had a team-high six receptions.
While the Packers’ offense struggled immensely, they played well enough to escape with the team’s perfect 5-0 record intact. The Rams had numerous opportunities to make the game closer. Three missed field goals and two red zone interceptions could easily have been 15 (or more) points left on the field for St. Louis. But while the defense gave up large chunks of yards late in the game, they buckled down when it mattered and forced turnovers to prevent a Rams’ comeback.
Rodgers has historically been very good coming off games in which he struggled. The Packers’ offense will look to rebound after two subpar performances, while the defense will look to continue its overall strong play thus far in the season. Green Bay hosts the San Diego Chargers next week before their Week 7 bye.——————
Sean Blashe is a Packers fan who grew up in Bears territory and is currently a journalism and history major at Marquette University. Sean is a writer with PackersTalk.com and you can follow him on twitter at @SeanBlashe .