The Best and the Wurst: Rams at Packers

The Best and the Wurst is a weekly series wherein I highlight just a few of the things that stuck out to me in last week’s game.  They are not only or merely the best or wurst players overall, but are merely observations from the game.  Sometimes the considerations aren’t even players at all, but play calls, incidents, or various nonsense.

 

 

The Best

Pass Defense:  While the defense continues to struggle against the run (giving up 159 yards on the ground to Todd Gurley), the pass defense has been lights out.  Nick Foles was under attack all afternoon.  The Packers registered only 3 sacks, but the number of QB disruptions was much higher.  There were long stretches of the game where it felt as if Foles couldn’t attempt a pass without getting slammed to the grass by two or three Packers at once.  The Packers are now 2nd in the league in total sacks.

The pressure on opposing QBs is starting to force turnovers, as well.  The Green Bay secondary was able to come away with 4 INTs, including a pick-six from rookie Quinten Rollins.

Clay Matthews & Mike Daniels:  The defensive unit as a whole is playing maybe its best football ever under the tenure of Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers, but Matthews and Daniels have been leading the charge.  The much-discussed switch for Matthews from outside linebacker to inside linebacker on most downs is now proven as a wild success.  It’s amazing how much difference Matthews speed and tenacity has made in the middle.  He’s also just as good at blitzing from the middle as he is from the edge, allowing the Packers to really turn the heat up on passing plays if they so choose.

Mike Daniels contributions aren’t as flashy as Matthews’ (he isn’t piling up the sacks), but he’s been essential nonetheless.  Daniels is disrupting the backfield on passing and rushing plays on a consistent basis.  He lead the team in tackles against the Rams, pairing with BJ Raji and Mike Pennel to form a stout defensive line in the base look.

Sam Shields & Micah Hyde:  Rollins’ two picks were certainly impressive, but this pair is to the secondary what Matthews and Daniels have been for the front 7.  After some poor play in Week 1, Shields has thundered back, establishing himself as the unquestioned top CB on the Green Bay defense.  His speed is just too much for most wide receivers to handle.  Even when he gets beat off the line, Shields’ speed allows him to salvage the play.  He had 3 passes defensed yesterday.

Micah Hyde has proven himself to be an essential part of this team.  His consistency in the punt return game is not to be overlooked.  He’s also been all over the field on defense.  He finished with 6 tackles against the Ram, second only to Daniels.  He also had two passes defensed and an INT.  Hyde stepped right into Burnett’s place and did not miss a beat.

Lambeau:  And let’s not forget the real best 12th man in the league.

CRDYzR_XAAAOjrM

 

the wurst 3

Offensive Ineptitude:  The usually prolific Green Bay offense, far from jumping back after an off-performance last week against the 49ers, looked even more out-of-sorts against the Rams.  There were a lot of things going on.  Aaron Rodgers made some bad decisions.  The running game was completely stifled.  The wide receivers seemed to be having trouble getting open consistently.  Cobb and Rodgers specifically seemed to be on different pages throughout the game.  Richard Rodgers was dropping passes and wiping out field goals with penalties.

Certainly the lack of Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams has hurt the offense.  The loss of Nelson has definitely removed the deep ball and Rodgers’ ability to stretch the field.  Rookie Ty Montgomery has played admirably in Nelson and Adams’ absence, but the return of Adams (whenever that may be) should certainly help.

This is still one of the best offenses in the league.  As long as it can stay healthy, they will return to normal potency.  There have been times over the last several seasons that the offense looked off.  Those were games that were usually lost, but more well-rounded Packers are now finding multiple ways to win games.  Still, the Packers may have to get creative in order to stretch the field.  Rodgers and company are going to have to find ways to beat the Cover 2 that has given him trouble.

Injuries:  Unfortunately, this has been a reoccurring wurst this season.  Green Bay went down 4 “starters” yesterday: TJ Lang, BJ Raji, Nick Perry, and Casey Hayward.  Morgan Burnett and Davante Adams were already missing with injuries.  Eddie Lacy is clearly not running with his normal speed and strength.

The extent of the new injuries is not known, although ESPN’s Rob Demovsky did report that Lang’s injury was not to his ACL, which is, of course, good news.  The silver lining is that the Packers are 5 – 0 in spite of all of the injuries.  If the team can reverse the trend and get healthy, especially as the playoffs come into the picture, we could see a team playing at an even higher level than it already is.

——————

Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.

——————

Share

2 thoughts on “The Best and the Wurst: Rams at Packers

  1. 5 AND 0. OUTSTANDING. Chargers lost a tough one last night. Now they travel to Lambeau. Yes,My daughter and I will be there.Hope to be 6 and 0 and then the bye week. Injuries are mounting but nothing serious. Maybe Adams will play this week or wait until after the bye. Either way I believe Arod will bounce back this week and have a BIG game this Sunday. GO PACK GO SEE YOU AT LAMBEAU.

    1. Have to agree with James. 5-0 IS outstanding. Anyone who thought the loss of Nelson could be easily covered up was kidding themselves. Packers WR have always had some trouble with Physical teams who get their hands on them at the line, Nelson included.

      As much as a pain in the butt a guy like Brandon Marshall can be, he’d be a perfect WR for this team. By that I mean that BIG WR that can get off jams at the line. Don’t get me wrong I love the WR the Packers have. I’d just like a BIG one to go along with the group, especially since they don’t have a great TE.

      The beauty of this offense is they haven’t even come close to hitting their stride. Last week they lined up without their Numbers 1 & 3 WR’s and their #2 & 4 were hampered by injuries, and that’s just ONE position. Rest Adams this week too, let him have these next few weeks and come back against Denver.

      Side Note…. I hope Abby plays a little soon, maybe against Denver. Hey maybe he can take Roby to school again like he did at Wisconsin! Go Pack!

Comments are closed.