Well the Packers hit the halfway point in the preseason with a 21-7 win over the Rams. The big high-point of this game was the two pitch-perfect series that Aaron Rodgers executed. Admittedly, the second drive ended in a field goal after a Jordy Nelson touchdown was nullified by penalty. But Aaron’s passer rating was 133+ which is outstanding even against the vanilla defenses that the Rams put out on the field.
Here are some takeaways from the game…
The tempo is good
If the Packers can keep the tempo up in regular season games the way they did in this game, they will really have defenses up against a wall. A well coordinated no huddle offense is another weapon in the Packers’ pocket. I loved the offensive tempo in this game and it was good even when Scott Tolzien ran it. The no huddle puts defenses up against it not just in the physical difficulty, but it also makes substitutions difficult or impossible and locks in the personnel grouping so the Packers can take advantage of matchups.
The defense brought pressure
Julius Peppers looked good in this game and Clay Matthews seemed back to form. Of course neither of these guys are flying around like they will when the regular season comes around. But tonight we saw glimpses of what the Peppers/Matthews combination can do.
The run defense was exceptional in this game. Though I am not entirely sold, it is a very good sign that the interior of the defense held up against the run. AJ Hawk and Brad Jones looked good tonight.
The defensive backfield gave up too many catches but Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had a blitz/sack later in the game and to me, the success of this defense is going to come down to pressure anyway.
Jayrone Elliott gets three sacks
Elliott might have gotten himself a roster spot with his 3 sack in 4 play performance. One of the sacks was also a strip/fumble but was recovered by the Rams.
Will this guy make the team? Well that remains to be seen but you can bet he got some attention with a performance like that. It will be very hard from here on out for players on the bubble to get reps but this kid may have bought himself some more chances with his performance against the Rams.
Well, the Packers completed a preseason win against the Rams and did so virtually uninjured which is really job one in the preseason. Here’s to a good game and one more week until the third preseason game against the Raiders in which the first team will be on the field for the most time until we see the Packers play the Seahawks in early September.
All in all it was a good and useful outing for the Pack.