It was the matchup of the week for NFL fans everywhere, as the three-win Los Angeles Rams joined the two-win Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field for their Week 9 matchup. Jordan Love and Brett Rypien were matched up at quarterback, as Matthew Stafford missed the game with a thumb injury.
It was far from pretty, as has been the case for pretty much every game this year for Green Bay, but the Packers were able to pull away from the struggling Rams. A combined 10-point first half saw Green Bay get out to a 7-3 lead, and a scoreless second half from Los Angeles helped keep the game in favor of the home team.
Even with being sacked four times, Jordan Love had one of his better games on the year. 228 passing yards, a touchdown to rookie Luke Musgrave, and only six incompletions was one of Love’s best overall games as a starter.
24 touches for Aaron Jones finally saw him return to his full workload, even though AJ Dillon and Emanuel Wilson combined for 14 touches. Looking shifty and close to 100 percent healthy, having Jones on the field absolutely made it easier for Love and the offense to control the game.
While Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs only combined for four receptions, that void was filled by two rookies, Dontayvion Wicks and Luke Musgrave.
Musgrave led the team in receiving yards (51) and caught Love’s lone passing touchdown, and Wicks led the team in receptions with four. Eight different receivers caught at least one pass from Love on Sunday, with Wicks, Musgrave, Doubs, Jones, and Jayden Reed all catching three-plus balls.
With injuries all across the board, the play of Jonathan Owens, Carrington Valentine, and Anthony Johnson Jr. helped set the tone for Sunday’s win.
Owens, stepping in with both Rudy Ford and Darnell Savage out, recorded the team’s lone sack and led the way with eight tackles. Valentine, pressed into action after the trade of Rasul Douglas and the newest injury to Eric Stokes, knocked away three passes while in coverage of Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. And Johnson, a rookie safety seeing his first extended playing time on defense, knocked away two passes and picked off Rypien for the lone turnover for the Rams.
Kenny Clark left Sunday’s game early with a shoulder injury, which was a big factor in their lacking pass rush. While Matt LaFleur didn’t have a lot to say about Clark moving forward, it doesn’t sound like there is a lot of concern for him for the rest of the year.
As a whole, the defense held the Rams to 130 passing yards and 68 rushing yards, one of the best all-around defensive performances of the season for them. While only sacking Rypien one time, the defense was able to force him into a sub-50 percent completion percentage.
It was not a strong performance from the offense, but it was one of the better showings of the season. A road matchup with the Steelers awaits Green Bay for Week 10.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23