St. Louis Rams – Blog

Rodgers Too Much for Rams

Posted by nickwagoner on October 21, 2012 – 9:10 PM

- The Rams dropped a 30-20 decision to Green Bay on Sunday, their first loss at the Edward Jones Dome this season. The loss dropped them to 3-4 on the year as they prepare to head to London tomorrow night.

- Really, there isn’t a whole lot of in depth breakdown that needs to be done on this one, the reality is that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is probably the best player in the league right now and he showed why again Sunday. CB Cortland Finnegan said the Packers had a good plan that allowed them to just take what the Rams were giving them and they worked it to perfection, especially in a third quarter in which the Rams barely had the ball.

- Rodgers’ final touchdown pass, a 39-yard dagger to WR Randall Cobb is one of the best throws you’ll ever see. He broke outside of the pocket to the left, straightened up and fired a bullet to Cobb across his body for a perfect score. When Rodgers is going this well, I’m not sure how you stop him, even with a defense as strong as the Rams have been this season.

- On the injury front, coach Jeff Fisher said the only injury of consequence was to DE Eugene Sims. It’s a knee injury but its severity is not yet known. We’ll know more tomorrow but that one didn’t seem to be too good.

- On the game, the Rams defense did well to hold Green Bay to field goals three times but they also missed some golden chances to keep the Packers off the board all together.

- Fisher lamented his defense’s inability to come away with a turnover again. After a flurry of takeaways early in the season, those seem to be in short supply lately. Against an offense like Green Bay, you have to have those.

- Likewise, the defense just couldn’t get the job done on third down as Green Bay converted time and time again. The Packers finished 9-of-15 on the money down, that’s 60 percent and simply not good enough. MLB James Laurinaitis said he’d need to see the film to know for sure but his initial instinct was that the tackling wasn’t good enough in general but especially on third down.

- CB Janoris Jenkins is riding the wave of being a rookie in this league right now. Rodgers targeted Jenkins time and again, especially when paired with WR Jordy Nelson and the results weren’t good for the Rams. Jenkins will be just fine but there are always growing pains for every rookie.

- Nice game for rookie DT Michael Brockers today. He got his first career sack and was tough at the line of scrimmage. He had four tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss in unofficial pressbox statistics.

- After a quick start for the pass rush, including DE Robert Quinn’s seventh sack of the season, the Packers adjusted and gave both tackles help in protection. The results were good as the Rams picked up just two more but never really consistently were able to get Rodgers down. That’s just another aspect to Rodgers’ immense ability.

- On the other side of the ball, the Rams were again having troubles putting the ball in the end zone. When you play an offense like Green Bay’s, you have to put up points which is why Fisher opted to go for it on fourth and 2 instead of kicking a field goal in the first half. Fisher would like to see WR Brandon Gibson make that catch to keep the drive going.

- Pretty solid performance by the offensive line all things considered. Yes, Green Bay got there for three sacks but only one of those was for a significant loss and the Packers did get heat on Bradford a number of other times, forcing early throws. With new starters Shelley Smith (guard) and Joe Barksdale (tackle), the Rams had two new starters and held their own as much as possible. They were particularly effective run blocking, where the Rams rushed 22 times for 108 yards, an average of 4.9 yards per attempt.

- Bradford finished with 255 yards on 21-of-34 passing with one touchdown and one interception for 82.4 yards.

- Gibson had another solid day, catching five passes for 60 yards.

- Rookie WR Chris Givens had a nice 56-yard catch and run. It was his fourth consecutive game with a 50-plus yard catch. He finished with three for 73.

- Although the final score was cosmetic, it was interesting to watch Fisher give his team a chance to put together another drive and he took advantage of the chance to get his rookies some valuable reps, including RB Daryl Richardson, RB Isaiah Pead and WR Brian Quick. Quick had two catches for 31 yards before coming up gimpy on an attempted catch in the end zone.

- WR Austin Pettis caught his first career touchdown on that final drive.

- Good to see rookie K Greg Zuerlein bounce back from a rough week last week. He hit from 50 and 43 yards.

- Hurry back, Danny Amendola.

- The Rams now head to London where next week it doesn’t get any easier as the Patriots await. The team takes off Monday evening and will spend the week overseas.

- That’s all for now. Plenty more coverage to come this evening on stlouisrams.com.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »

Rams vs. Packers: Running Blog

Posted by nickwagoner on October 21, 2012 – 3:45 PM

Fourth Quarter

- The Packers continued to convert on third down as a third and 4 became a 9-yard completion to Nelson paired with a penalty on Finnegan for first down at the Rams 6.

- They settled for Crosby’s 23-yard field goal to make it 20-6 with 11:52 to play.

- On first down from the 20, Bradford threw a quick screen to Givens, it was deflected but Givens hauled it in and raced 56 yards to Green Bay’s 24.

- Three runs, including a 2-yarder by Jackson on third down moved the chains for a first down at Green Bay’s 13.

- Bradford found Smith for a gain of 6 to the Packers 6.

- On the next play, Jackson ran right behind Harvey Dahl for a 6-yard touchdown, his first of the year. Rams have life, trim Packers lead to 20-13 with 8:50 to play.

- Green Bay takes over at the 20. Big opportunity for Rams defense here.

- The Rams continued to struggle to get off the field on third down as the Packers converted a third and 7 when Dunbar missed Cobb for what would have been a tackle short of the first down.

- On third and 9 at the Rams’ 39, the Rams had another chance to get off the field and couldn’t do it. Rodgers rolled to his left on a free play from an offsides penalty and fired a strike to Cobb for 39 yards and a touchdown.

- Green Bay leads 27-13 with 3:06 to play.

- The Rams went three and out and Green Bay takes over at the Rams’ 28.

- Green Bay gets a 48-yard FG from Crosby to make it 30-13.

- Bradford hits Pettis for a 3-yard touchdown. That and the extra point makes it 30-20 with 15 seconds to go. 

- That’ll do it for this one.

- The Rams fall 30-20 and drop to 3-4 on the season.

Third Quarter

- The Packers started from their 20 and wasted no time covering the field with the help of three third down conversions.

- Rodgers hit Nelson for a gain of 18 and Jones for gaines of 13 and 17 before finding WR Randall Cobb for a 5-yard touchdown to make it 17-6 Green Bay with 8:04 to go in the third quarter.

Second Quarter

- Richardson ripped off a gain of 11 on first down and followed with a gain of 1.

- On second-and-9, Bradford fired a strike to Gibson for a gain of 15 to Green Bay’s 22.

- A short pass to Givens lost 2 yards to make it second-and-12. The Rams used their first timeout after that play.

- A 1-yard run by Pead and a costly 5-yard false start on Barksdale set up third and 16.

- Bradford hit Pettis for a gain of 14 on a nice effort by Pettis.

- On fourth and 2, Fisher opted to go for it instead of taking the field goal and it backfired as Gibson couldn’t corral a short slant pass.

- Green Bay took over at its 15.

- They promptly moved into Rams territory but the defense came up with a key stop on third and 1 as Rodgers finally misfired for the first time.

- The Rams get it back at their 10.

- Jackson ripped off runs of 4 and 19 for a first down.

- Bradford hit Gibson for 11 and converted a third down by hitting Steve Smith for 6 yards to move the chains again.

- Two more runs for Jackson gained 14 to give the Rams second and 7 at Green Bay’s 41 with 2 minutes to go in the half.

- Bradford followed with a 14-yard strike to Gibson to the 27.

- Two plays gained 2 yards to set up a pivotal third-and-8 with 51 seconds to go in the half.

- On third down, Bradford couldn’t handle the shotgun snap, scrambled for no gain and the Rams again settled for a field goal from Zuerlein.

- The rookie converted from 43 yards out to make it 10-6 Green Bay with 40 seconds to go in the half.

- Green Bay got it back at its 15 with all timeouts available and quickly moved into Rams territory with completions of 13, 14 and 19.

- That set up a 58-yard field goal try for Crosby with 3 seconds to go in the half.

- He missed it. At the half, the Packers lead 10-6.

- The Rams would have had a three and out but an unnecessary roughness penalty kept the drive alive.

- Didn’t matter much though as the Rams couldn’t pick up a first down.

- Green Bay gets it at its 32.

- The Rams got a much needed defensive stop and got it back at their 9.

- Tough field position again for the Rams.

- On first down, Bradford had pressure from all sides and was intercepted by Hayward.

- The Packers take over at the Rams’ 42.

- Green Bay has third and 2 at the Rams’ 34 at the end of the third with a 17-6 lead.

First Quarter

- Green Bay wins the toss and defers. The Rams get it first.

- The Rams came out running picking up a first down as RB Steven Jackson gained 5 and Chris Givens added 14 on second down to the Rams’ 39.

- Jackson gained 6 to the 45 and 1 more on another carry.

- On third and 3, Bradford misfired for TE Lance Kendricks but didn’t see Givens come clean on the right side from a drag route.

- The Rams punted it away and Green Bay takes over at its 10 after a strong punt from Johnny Hekker.

- The defense got a quick three and out as DE Robert Quinn got his seventh sack of the season on second down after Kendall Langford dropped RB Alex Green for a loss of 1 on first. A third down completion from Rodgers to WR Jordy Nelson went for 8 yards and forced a punt.

- The Rams take over at their 45.

- After two plays gained nothing, Bradford did a nice job of feeling pressure and stepped up in the pocket to deliver a strike to WR Brandon Gibson for 15 yards and a first down to Green Bay’s 40.

- A third down pass to Richardson gained 5 but the Rams settled for a 50-yard field goal from K Greg Zuerlein.

- With 7:38 to go in the first quarter, the Rams lead 3-0.

- Green Bay starts its second drive from the 20.

- The Packers wasted no time getting back on the board as Rodgers and Nelson went to work. The duo connected three times for 70 yards, including a 52-yarder on third and 3 and a 3-yard hookup for a score.

- Green Bay leads 7-3 with 5:23 to go in the quarter.

- Disaster for the Rams as Green Bay goes with the surprise onsides kick and recovers at the Rams 49.

- Dangerous territory here, defense needs a stop.

- A 19-yard run by WR Randall Cobb put the Packers in position to score but the drive was stifled as Brockers got his first career sack on third and 7.

- Mason Crosby knocked home a 47-yard field goal to give Green Bay a 10-3 lead with 2:18 to go in the first.

- The Rams start again from the 20.

- Three rushes from Richardson gained 12 yards and a first down to the Rams 32.

- On first down, the Rams went for some trickery as a flea flicker resulted in Bradford hitting Givens for 19 yards to Green Bay’s 49 at the end of the first quarter.

Pregame Notes

- Greetings from the Edward Jones Dome where the Rams and Packers are warming up for today’s noon kickoff.

- Big game for the Rams today as they look to pick up their fourth consecutive win at the Edward Jones Dome and look to move back above .500 for the second time this season.

- Let’s get right to business on the inactive list and lineup changes.

- T Wayne Hunter (back) is inactive. Joe Barksdale will start in his place. Huge challenge for him in his Rams debut as he’ll be seeing a lot of Clay Matthews on the left side.

- Shelley Smith replaces Quinn Ojinnaka at LG. Ojinnaka has been struggling. There is no injury issue here, just giving an opportunity to Smith. A bit scary to have 40 percent turnover on the O-line with the Packers in town.

- The rest of the Rams inactives list, in addition to Hunter: T Rodger Saffold (knee), WR Danny Amendola (shoulder), LB Mario Haggan (thigh), QB Austin Davis, DT Matt Conrath and RB Terrance Ganaway.

- As expected and like last week, Chris Givens starts at WR in place of Amendola.

- While the Rams are missing some key pieces with injury and will have a new look OL, the Packers are missing some key pieces on their defense.

- Green Bay will be without four starters on defense, including DT B.J. Raji, LB Nick Perry, LB D.J. Smith and CB Sam Shields.

- The Packers will also be without WR Greg Jennings again this week. James Jones starts for him.

- Green Bay moves Ryan Pickett inside to NT with rookie Jerel Worthy moving to LDE. Erik Walden starts for Perry and Casey Hayward starts for Shields.

- The Rams are wearing all whites today. Perhaps losing in the all blue last week has changed things up.

- The Packers will go with green jerseys and gold pants.

- Stay tuned for updates throughout the game.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »