Oct 14, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates a touchdown pass with wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) against the Houston Texans in the second quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
After a tough loss to the Miami Dolphins (3-3) on the road, the St. Louis Rams (3-3) take on the Green Bay Packers (3-3) at home in an attempt to get their heads back above the .500 mark. The Packers are one of the more interesting stories of the season, especially after their performance knocking off the undefeated Houston Texans last Sunday. At times, the Packers have looked down-right unbeatable, completely in sync on offense and forcing mass amounts of turnovers from typically proficient quarterbacks. Other times, the offense has looked ineffective, and the defense cannot seem to make that critical stop in the game to reel in the win at the end. Just how back-and-forth have the Pack been? Here is a breakdown of their performances so far this season…
|Leading Rusher Att.||9||20||17||18||10||22|
|Total Yards Allowed||377||168||238||474||464||321|
|3rd Down %||6-13 (46.1)||4-14 (28.5)||7-15 (46.6)||4-8 (50.0)||4-13 (30.7)||5-14 (35.7)|
The Green Bay Packers could easily be sitting at 5-1 heading into Week 7, and likely should be at least 4-2 after the “Inaccurate Reception” in Seattle. However, there are some big differences in their wins and losses aside from just the scoreboard at the end of the game…
|Yards||Attempts (Total)||Rush Attempts||Rush Yards||Points||Turnover||Forced Turnovers|
Aside from offensive turnover, the differences in wins and loss are staggering. The items that should jump off the screen, besides the point differential, are the rushing yards and the turnovers. Alex Green has stepped up since replacing the injury Cedric Benson, averaging 64 yards per game and over 4.0 yards per carry in his two starts. Minus the game against Houston, a team that just lost their best overall defensive player in Brian Cushing, the Packers have had success when getting the ground game going, as well as the passing game in their wins. In games where there were 17 rushing attempts or less, the Pack is 0-3, and when rushing 18 or more times, 3-0. That is not simply a coincidence, it is the game of football. You cannot win as a one-dimensional team on offense this season, period.
The turnovers are the other clear factor in the equation. Getting constant pressure from the pass rush, forcing bad throws, and making the most of the opportunities is the only reason they were able to beat the Bears in Week 2. Against the Saints, the offense moved the ball without a problem, amassing 400+ yards and converting on 50% of 3rd downs. However, the defense allowed nearly 500 yards of offense from Drew Brees, failing to get pressure on the quarterback and failing to force a turnover.
The Packers need to be firing on all three fronts: passing, rushing, and defense (no offense to the special teams unit). In all of their wins, they have been relatively balanced on offense and, at least, put consistent pressure on the quarterback. Which Green Bay Packers will the St. Louis Rams see on Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome?