Oct 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins (24) returns an interception for a touchdown during the first quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Winning The Turnover Battle
For the first time in a long time at Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers started turning the ball over. On the day, he actually managed to throw two interceptions (one of which was tipped — something that tends to factor into most of the few he does throw) and lose a fumble.
Oct 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers safety Micah Hyde (33) is tackled by St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook (89) after intercepting a pass in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Usually, a three turnover performance is something that can undermine whatever positives being made by a team and be why they lose.
The biggest reason Green Bay could overcome those turnovers is simple: they somehow caused even more than they lost.
To combat those three turnovers, Green Bay’s defense was able to step up and force four interceptions of their own, all of which came at pretty opportune points in the contest.
The first INT immediately followed that first Rodgers interception, happening only three plays into the ensuring drive. Micah Hyde was able to haul in a short over the middle pass intended for Kenny Britt, giving Green Bay the ball back right at midfield after a small return.
The second INT was even better. Following the first INT by Green Bay’s defense, the offense turned the ball over on downs. The defense held up against the Rams’ offense for a few plays (including a penalty against St. Louis) before getting pressure on third down. Oft-criticized backup defensive tackle Datone Jones got a hit on Foles as he was trying to release the ball, causing him to put it right on Quinten Rollins. Rollins returned the ball all the way for a 45-yard pick six.
The third INT came in the fourth quarter, with St. Louis down 21-10 and reeling off of two consecutive missed field goal attempts. St. Louis managed to make a good drive out of it, going 73 yards and inside the Packers’ 10-yard line. From there, Nick Foles targeted Lance Kendricks over the middle in the end zone, but Ha Ha Clinton-Dix grabbed the ball and was downed for an INT-touchback.
The final INT officially sealed the game. St. Louis again drove 73 yards to inside the GB 10, with Foles this time looking for Tavon Austin on a short route to the right side. Unfortunately for him, Quinten Rollins was there ready to snatch the ball away — which he did.
Though their defense has been playing pretty well this season as a whole, turnovers have been hard to come by in most games in 2015 to this point. When they most needed to step up and offset the giveaways by their usually mistake-free quarterback, the Green Bay defense managed to break out in a big way.
Next: Big Plays