OK, so it’s only the second preseason game for the Green Bay Packers and we shouldn’t get too excited. But when Aaron Rodgers and company finally hit the field Saturday afternoon for their game against the St. Louis Rams, they will have their hands full – especially up front.
While the Rams’ offense has been questioned and quarterback Sam Bradford has seemed to have plateaued, the defensive line has been built like a brick outhouse by the Rams brass. No doubt they will come to play on Saturday.
While winning and losing isn’t so crucial at this point in the season, it’s nice to get one in the W column. Standing in the way – at least for the first half of this upcoming game – will be a defense led by an explosive defensive line led by the likes of Chris Long, Michael Brockers, Kendall Langford and Robert Quinn. Then when you add in the fact that the Rams drafted Aaron Donald into the mix, the Rams have one of the best defensive lines in all of football.
Take a swing over to Nathan Kearns’ piece at Ramblinfan.com to get a feel for what the Rams will be bringing on Saturday against the Packers’ offense.
Last year, the Rams overall defense was average. In fact, in total yards, the Rams finished right in the middle among all teams at 15th. They gave up 5,520 for the season, which averaged out to 345 yards per game. They also gave up 22.8 points per game.
However, when you look at the pass rush – something that has plagued the Packers offensive line in recent years – you see that St. Louis does well.
Led by Robert Quinn‘s 19.5 sacks in 2013, the Rams also got 5.5 sacks from Michel Brockers, five sacks from Chris Long, and five from Kendall Langford. That’s 35 of the team’s total of 53 earned last season.
For the Packers and their strong and deep offensive line, it will be a test that should help them prepare for another team they will be playing in just a few weeks – the world champion Seattle Seahawks.
Considering that the Rams defensive line is dominated by first rounders: Chris Long, Robert Quinn and tackles Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald, Packers left guard Josh Sitton said it best, “On paper, they should kill us, you know?”
That’s because only Bryan Bulaga is a first round pick along the Packers’ offensive line. The other four – David Bakhtiari, Sitton, right guard T.J. Lang, and center J.C. Tretter – are all fourth-round picks.
“It will be a good test for us up front to see where we’re at right now,” Lang told packers.com. “Last week we only had eight plays against Tennessee in those kind of conditions, and we’ve really been going against ourselves the last couple weeks.”
But now that the team is headed toward a showdown with a very good Rams defense, it will be interesting to see how this team looks after nearly three weeks of camp. It will be most interesting to watch the war in the trenches and how the Packers come out of it as they prepare for the start of the 2014 season.
Tags: Green Bay Packers