Doug Pensinger

Packers vs. Rams final score: Nobody can stop Aaron Rodgers forever

The St. Louis Rams fall to 3-4 as Aaron Rodgers goes 30-for-37 with three touchdowns.

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Packers vs. Rams: St. Louis defense exposed

The Green Bay Packers found the secret to exposing the Rams defense on Sunday using halftime adjustments.


Richardson siphons carries from Steven Jackson

Steven Jackson continues to lose carries to Daryl Richardson. Sorry, fantasy football owners.


Richardson siphons carries from Steven Jackson

Aaron Rodgers isn't perfect, but Sunday afternoon he played about as close to it as quarterbacks can get. Despite a first half in which the St. Louis Rams' primary gameplan was to keep the Green Bay Packers quarterback off the field, Rodgers finished 30-for-37 with 342 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers' 30-20 win at the Edward Jones Dome. If you like QB rating, for some reason, that's 132.2, where the score tops out at 158.3.

The Rams' pass defense is much improved over 2011's model, and nobody's going to accuse Cortland Finnegan of being an easy mark for the average opposing quarterback. We've gotten used, as Rams fans, to the team shutting down quarterbacks and then letting the running backs roam free.

Rodgers is so good, and the Packers so dependent on him, that the equation flipped. The Rams kept the Packers' ground game from even starting—starter Alex Green finished with 20 carries for 35 yards. But there wasn't anything they could do about Aaron Rodgers, and by the time he had control of the game's momentum things were just about over.


Rams fall to Packers, 30-20

The St. Louis Rams lost to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, 30-20.


Packers top Rams 30-20 behind near-perfect Rodgers

The St. Louis Rams could only hold back Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers so long. In the first half of their Week 7 matchup—the last one before the Rams head to London to take on the New England PatriotsSam Bradford and company couldn't score but they could hang on to the ball, giving Aaron Rodgers just 15 pass attempts and leaving the score a manageable 10-6 at halftime.

Then the Packers got the ball in the third quarter, and it was over. Rodgers was stupendous, finishing 30-for-37 with 342 yards and three touchdown, and the Packers won by a final score of 30-20 after a solid garbage-time march downfield for Sam Bradford. Steven Jackson led the way for the Rams, carrying the ball 12 times for 57 yards and his first touchdown of the season, while Bradford finished 21-for-34 with 255 yards, a touchdown (to Austin Pettis, the first of his career), and an interception.

The Rams go on to London, as they do the Cleveland Spiders forced-into-neutral-sites orphaned-team routine for the first time. The Packers, in Week 8, will head home to face the 1-4 Jacksonville Jaguars.


Chris Givens erupts for 50 more in the 4th quarter

Chris Givens is officially in competition with Brandon Gibson as the fantasy football replacement for the St. Louis Rams' erstwhile sleeper, Danny Amendola, but he's done it much differently from both of them. If Danny Amendola is the ultimate possession receiver, and Brandon Gibson just does whatever the Rams need from him, Chris Givens is a lottery ticket, a speed merchant who's paid off in four consecutive games for plays of more than 50 yards. He did it again vs. the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, catching a dump-off from Sam Bradford and weaving like a punt returner through the Packers' defense for 56 yards.

That left him, of course, with three carries for 73 yards, which is the issue with the rookie Givens in fantasy and reality: He's, well, a lottery ticket. The high-risk plays he's called in for often don't pay off, and while he's getting more short-yardage reps with Amendola out he's still a guy who caught one pass in Week 4 and Week 5 and three each in Week 6 and Week 7.

If the Rams can integrate Chris Givens into the offense a little more thoroughly he could be an outstanding option in real and pretend football. Now, though, he's already become the big-play threat the Rams haven't had since they finally gave up on Danario Alexander ever being healthy.


Steven Jackson is still very good, at least

Steven Jackson and the St. Louis Rams' running backs got more than three-quarters of the way into Week 7 of the 2012 season without a touchdown, but now No. 39 is tied with Sam Bradford for the team lead in rushing touchdowns, after his first TD of the season, a vintage, explosive six-yard run up the middle, brought the Rams to within 20-13 of the Green Bay Packers early in the 4th quarter.

Alas, it didn't last: Aaron Rodgers threw a perfect touchdown pass on 3rd-and-long to make it 27-13. But for a moment, at least, when the Rams needed it, Steven Jackson looked as good as ever. Here's an animated GIF, in case you forgot what that looked like:

Jackson continues to have his carries split by Daryl Richardson, but he's taking full advantage of the ones he gets, which could lead to a more conventional split if he continues to look this strong at midseason. For more Rams vs. Packers news, analysis, and paeans to the Steven Jackson that was, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis.


Rodgers adds another touchdown, Packers lead by 11

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers extended their lead in the third quarter with a five-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb, pushing it to 17-6. The score was the end result of a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took nearly seven minutes of clock. Rodgers has been sharp all day, methodically moving the Green Bay offense down the field on several possessions. But the Packers broke into the end zone only once, on their opening possession. Coincidentally, it was their opening possession of the second half that did the damage in the third and pushed the lead to double digits.

The Rams were unable to get anything going in their two possessions of the quarter. Their first drive was aided by an unnecessary roughness penalty, but they still went nowhere, forcing a Johnny Hekker punt. Their second possession lasted just one play, with Sam Bradford getting picked off on a deep pass intended for Chris Givens.

Rodgers and the Packers offense will start the fourth quarter with a crucial third down inside Rams territory.


Rams strategy: Keep Aaron Rodgers off the field

Aaron Rodgers was a model of effectiveness in the 1st half of the Green Bay Packers' game vs. the St. Louis Rams. But the Rams have kept him off the field.


Rams trail Packers after one half at the Dome

St. Louis and Green Bay are knotted in a defensive struggle so far, with the Rams unable to find the end zone in the first half. But despite some early fireworks from Aaron Rodgers, the Rams trail by just four points, 10-6.

The Rams opening second-quarter possession took nearly seven minutes of clock, but Sam Bradford and the offense came away with no points. After moving the ball 67 yards on 10 plays, Jeff Fisher opted to go for it on fourth-and-two from the Packers 14-yard line. But Bradford's pass to Brandon Gibson fell incomplete and the Packers took over deep in their own territory.

Green Bay mounted their own clock-eating drive, but they were also forced to punt at midfield with two minutes to play. Bradford and the offense found a little rhythm as the half closed, marching into Packers territory to set up another Greg Zuerlein field goal attempt. Zuerlein, who nailed a 50-yarder in the first quarter, added his second of the day from 43-yards with less than a minute to play in the half.

Despite the inability to find the end zone, the Rams offense has not been a lost cause in the first half. Both Bradford and running back Steven Jackson have had success, with the St. Louis quarterback hitting 10 of 15 attempts and Jackson averaging 6.4 yards per carry.


Steven Jackson strong as Rams trail Packers

Nobody's worried about Steven Jackson, at least. The St. Louis Rams struggled to move things on offense, failing to find the end zone in the first half of their game vs. the Green Bay Packers in a way that was worryingly reminiscent of last week's loss to the Dolphins, but going into halftime nobody, not even his fantasy football owners, is worried about Steven Jackson, the Rams' aging and slow-starting star running back. He's got eight carries for 51 yards at the half, as the Rams trail by a score of 10-6.

Worth being slightly nervous about, of course, is that Daryl Richardson is still splitting carries with Jackson. But Richardson, who was great against the Dolphins, wasn't as strong against the Packers, carrying the ball six times for 27 yards. That's fine, but so long as Jackson is playing this well he doesn't have much to worry about.

At halftime the Rams again lead the Packers in total offense and time of possession, but they trail 10-6. Sam Bradford is 10-for-15 for 97 yards—Brandon Gibson is again the primary beneficiary of Danny Amendola's absence—and Greg Zuerlein has two field goals, of 43 and 50 yards, after suffering the first misses of his career last week.


Rodgers hot early, Packers lead after 1st quarter

The Green Bay Packers took an early 7-point lead on Sunday in St. Louis, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers hitting a couple big passes and finishing the quarter a perfect 5-5.

Greg Zuerlein, the Rams' fantastic rookie kicker, broke the early scoreless tie by drilling a 50-yard field goal halfway through the quarter. Zuerlein has garnered recognition throughout the league for his big first half of the season, and this attempt blistered past the left upright for the easy 3 points.

The Packers answered the Zuerlein field goal quickly, as the reigning MVP Rodgers worked with Jordy Nelson on the outside. The Packers quarterback went down the right side to Nelson for a 52-yard pickup, moving Green Bay deep into St. Louis territory. Two plays later, Rodgers capped the drive with a quick 3-yard touchdown pass to Nelson, hitting the back shoulder on a fade as the Packers' wideout stopped quickly and let Bradley Fletcher run by.

On the ensuing kickoff, Mike McCarthy opted for a little trickery, having Mason Crosby pop an onside kick up in the air. The Rams were caught off guard and the Packers came out with the ball in the scrum. Crosby added a field goal shortly thereafter to make it 10-3 Packers.


Greg Jennings will sit vs. Rams

Greg Jennings is out for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, along with B.J. Raji. The Rams will be without offensive linemen Rodger Saffold and Wayne Hunter.


Jackson, Richardson to likely split carries

Rams running back Steven Jackson could face a diminished workload against the Packers for the second week in a row after splitting carries with backup Daryl Richardson last week against the Dolphins.

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