The Packers put away the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome Saturday afternoon 21-7 as the first string offense looked extremely sharp, the backup pass rush delivered seven sacks including three from Jayrone Elliot in four snaps. The game was marred by a flurry of flags, 22 accepted penalties in all, illegal hands to the face was on top of mind from this officiating crew. Two penalties wiped out touchdown catches from Jordy Nelson and Myles White. Laundry notwithstanding, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said afterward, "We got better as a football team today."
With Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy getting their first work of the Preseason, the offense marched quickly operating out of the no huddle, using 12 plays to cover 86 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers bought time to his right and easily found Randall Cobb for the 3 yard score. Lacy pounded out 25 yards on five carries and caught a couple of checkdown throws for 22 more. Taking over at their own 7, Rodgers again led the team into the red zone. Cobb caught a 22 yard slant and Andrew Quarless broke free for a 35 yard gain. Nelson's 10 yard scoring catch in the front corner of the end zone was wiped out by a David Bahktiari penalty for hands to the face. Mason Crosby knocked through a 31 yard field goal for a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter. Rodgers was done for the night, hitting on 11 of 13 passes.
The Rams answered the field goal drive with their only scoring march, going 76 yards in 8 plays. A 41 yard hook up on the first play came against decent coverage by Sam Shields. He made a costly mistake later, getting flagged for pass interference on a third and 7 incompletion. Bradford found former Badger Lance Kendricks in the end zone from 11 yards out with Micah Hyde right on him.
Backups finished the half but the offenses managed just two first downs on four possessions. Scott Tolzien got the number two call at quarterback but was under seige as the second string line had protection issues.
DuJuan Harris fumbled on the Pack's first series of the third quarter but Ha Ha Clinton-Dix picked up a sack to foil the Rams.
Tolzien finally found a rhythm hitting Davante Adams for 14 yards and a screen to Michael Hill broke loose for 27. His 4 yard TD toss to White was wiped off the board because backup center Corey Linsley was called for, yup, illegal hands to the face. A 4th and goal try from the five went incomplete in the end zone. It wouldn't have mattered as Quarless was called for an obvious pass interference penalty.
After a three and out, Matt Flynn came on with great field position and needed only three plays. On third and one from the 34, Flynn hit rookie Jeff Janis, making his Preseason debut, on a shallow drag route and Janis did the rest. He sprinted across the field, turned up the left sideline and scored easily. The Packers went for two and Adams caught a slant from Flynn to make it 18-7.
A couple of kicks in the 4th quarter, Greg Zuerlein missed badly wide right from 55 while Crosby made one from 49 to close out the scoring.
Elliot then flashed his edge speed with three sacks in four plays, the last a strip sack but the Rams recovered.
The competition is really starting to heat up at receiver, with Janis entering the picture in a big way, and at linebacker. Sam Barrington played well, Nick Perry was stout against the run, Adrian Hubbard came up with a sack.
The only injury of note was tight end Brandon Bostick who left the game in the first half with a lower leg injury.
The Packers have their Preseason home opener next Thursday night against the Oalkand Raiders.
We'll talk over the game in detail Monday night on the 5th Quarter, live from the Stadium View at 1963 Holmgren Way. Highlights and interviews from the game and a visit from our special guest, General Manager Ted Thompson. Should be good. See you at the "View" Monday night at 5:00 PM.