Oct 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) rushes with the football during the first quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Timely Big Plays
The defense was on point for most of the game, but the offense definitely had one of their rougher efforts in recent memory. In hindsight it could have been foreseen — St. Louis is undoubtedly a talented unit on the defensive side of the ball — but even with that knowledge this can still be seen as somewhat startling outcome.
What saved the day for the offense were a handful of big plays throughout the day.
Oct 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins (24) intercepts a pass during the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
On the first drive, Aaron Rodgers broke away from the pass rush and scrambled for 18 yards. Later on that same drive, he found Ty Montgomery open and hit him for a 31-yard TD pass to begin the scoring. The second drive started with a 19-yard pass to James Starks (unfortunately the ball was turned over on the streak-busting pick not much later). Drive number seven saw Rodgers waste little time in hooking up with James Jones deep for a 64-yard play; they of course challenged the spot and it was overturned to give Jones a 65-yards TD and give Green Bay a 21-10 lead. On the final meaningful drive, Rodgers found the other Rodgers for an 18-yard gain that put Green Bay in field goal range; the drive eventually ended up as a converted field goal attempt and the 24-10 final margin.
It wasn’t only the offense who managed to make big plays though; the defense provided some big ones of their own.
I already went into detail on the four interceptions in the prior slide, but there was also a blocked 50-yard field goal attempt (part of 3 misses on the day by Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein). Beyond that, there were also three sacks (1.5 by Clay Matthews, 1 by Julius Peppers, 0.5 by Nick Perry), three tackles for loss (Matthews, Mike Daniels & Mike Neal), 9 passes defended (3 by Sam Shields, 2 by Micah Hyde & Quinten Rollins, 1 by Joe Thomas and H. Clinton-Dix), 12 quarterback hits (4 by Matthews, 3 by Peppers & Datone Jones, 1 by Perry & Neal) and of course the defensive TD by Rollins.
Had any these plays not occurred when they did, we may be looking at a 4-1 team with some worrisome issues than a gritty 5-0 power that survived a tough test.
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