Last season there would have been no doubt about how a game between the high-flying Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Rams would have ended. This year however, the Rams plenty with a never say die mantra and fought hard against one of the NFL’s top offenses. In end however, the team just didn’t have enough firepower to keep up with the Packers’ despite being within a touchdown midway through the final quarter.
There are no moral victories for a team coached by the gritty Jeff Fisher who prides himself on having a sound defensive club. Two penalties may have been the most pivotal plays in the game as the Rams’ Chris Long was flagged for an offside penalty that led to a 52-yard completion by Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. Of the penalty, Long said: “I hung our coverage out to dry. That was 100 percent on me. All week I knew he was going to take a shot if we got offsides or jumped offsides and then lined up and got back.”
The other critical flag occurred at a potential turning point in the game as well when Kendall Langford jumped offside to give Rodgers a free play that he turned into a 39-yard touchdown strike to Randall Cobb midway through the fourth quarter.
While these two flags stick out in the minds of fans, the secondary as a whole was clearly torched by Rodgers and the Packers. A stat line of 30 for 37, 342 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions for Rodgers tells the tale. St. Louis had no answers in coverage for the variety of aerial weapons that the Packers have and it remains impossible to defend a perfect throw.
Of course the Rams will look back and say ‘what if’ to many things from this contest, but the fact is that the Packers were the better team as the 30-20 final score indicated. This game would have been out of hand in a hurry a season ago for this Rams team so at least they avoided humiliation, but this young team is hungry to compete with the big boys. Thankfully for them, they get another shot next week across the pond in London against the Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
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