Week 5 Takeaways

imagesFor a second straight week, the Packers defense bailed out abnormally pedestrian play on the offensive side of the ball – this time at home against a hot St. Louis Rams team. Mediocre play on special teams and seven penalties committed were other problem areas in the Packers’ 24-10 victory over Jeff Fisher’s Rams.

While the Rams’ strengths on the defensive line were acknowledged heading into the contest, the Packers’ offensive woes this week are seemingly more puzzling than the week prior. Not having thrown an interception at home since 2012, Aaron Rodgers threw two picks on Sunday, in addition to several passes that were batted down and one delay of game penalty. Meanwhile, halfback Eddie Lacy was held to just 27 yards on 13 carries.

One cannot expect Rodgers and the offense to light it up week over week, so a couple of down performances must be expected. Perhaps the most concerning aspect of this dreary offensive production is Rodgers’s continual struggle to find open receivers downfield. Though clearly a product of Jordy Nelson’s absence, the Packers’ other receivers must find a way to get separation from defenders and take pressure off of Rodgers and the offensive line.

There were few bad things to say about the performance of Dom Capers’s defense on Sunday. A 55-yard run by Todd Gurley in the third quarter padded the rookie’s stat line and masked an otherwise outstanding performance by the Packers run defense. Truth be told, Gurley was generally ineffective in giving the Rams offense the spark it needed to keep pace with the Packers. Credit the Packers front seven for shutting down St. Louis’s best weapon early and sustaining that type of play deep into the game.

Arguably more vital to the Packers’ defensive success were the four interceptions made on Nick Foles. With pressure constantly coming from Green Bay’s linebackers, Foles was forced to make a number of throws that he usually does not. Additionally, cornerback Sam Shields continued to play at a high level with little safety help, not allowing a single reception to Kenny Britt on Sunday.

The Packers have a chance to enter the bye week undefeated, getting the Chargers at home on a short week. The coaching staff will be hopeful for the returns of T.J. Lang and Nick Perry – both of whom were injured on Sunday – as well as safety Morgan Burnett and wide receiver Davante Adams. The start of this season has begun to feel like that of the 2011 season – except for the fact that it’s been the Packers defense that has been notching the wins.

Week 5 Takeaways
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2 thoughts on “Week 5 Takeaways

  • October 13, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Well written and all good points Mike.

    For me, the biggest positive from this game is the fact that these are the types of games we’ve typically lost in the past. Getting the W here was huge, and being 3-0 vs the mighty NFC West is impressive, no matter how ugly the offense performed.

    Still a bit mind boggling how we drive down for what seems like an easy TD right away, then consistently struggle to put drives together. Guess it requires a greater mind than mine to understand it.

    If and when the offense starts clicking as they’re capable of, this a championship caliber D to go along with it. Other than a few plays, our entire front 7 played at a very high level. And pressure like they applied for the entire 1st quarter and intermittently afterwards, will rattle every NFL QB. I’m almost ready to forgive Capers and take back all the negative criticism I’ve thrown towards him in the past – almost.

    While ST had some problems, the blocked FG was also a huge play. Great to see Datone bringing it on D and ST. Well done boys! Go Pack go! :)

  • October 13, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I would disagree about Gurley being largely ineffective. I thought he ran well and that it was impressive that he was able to get ANY yards with the Rams passing attack being virtually nonexistent. I think Gurley might be an elite back in this league.


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