Pre season or regular season, each week the feast or famine mantra that has come to embody the ethos of the NFL is reinforced.
For Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, it is seemingly always feast when it comes to playing the St. Louis Rams.
Picking apart the Rams defense to the tune of 134 yards while completing 10 of 12 passes and amassing a quarterback rating of 113.2, the 2011 NFL MVP helped guide the green and gold to a 19-7 road triumph over St. Louis within the Edward Jones Dome Saturday evening in its second preseason outing.
For Rodgers, the pristine showing against St. Louis was par for the course against Jeff Fisher’s club.
Dating back over the past three regular season meetings (each of which resulted in a Packers victory) between the two clubs, the 29-year-old Rodgers has averaged a passer rating of 127.9.
The 6’2”, 223-pound Chico, Calif. native was not the only Packer to make heads turn, however, as rookie running back Eddie Lacy put on a show during the game’s first half.
A second-round selection out of Alabama, the bruising Lacy, who sat out last week’s preseason opener against Arizona due to a hamstring injury, carried the ball eight times for 40 yards, in addition to snaring an 11-yard reception.
“Now we’ve got a back who has very good patience in Eddie,” noted Rodgers, according to The AP. “It’s a fun competition [between Eddie and incumbent DuJuan Harris] and we’ll see what happens moving forward, but Eddie had a good night.”
The same could not be said for the St. Louis offense.
Limited to a 1-for-14 showing on third down and producing 15 first downs, the Rams, who fell to the Browns, 27-19, in their pre season lid lifter on Thursday, Aug. 8., were on the verge of being shut out until St. Louis quarterback Austin Davis connected with Nick Johnson for a 26-yard touchdown with 58 seconds remaining.
“It seemed,” echoed St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford, who net 156 yards through the air while completing eight of his 12 passes, as reported by The AP, “like third-and-forever a lot of the night.”
Such is a testament to a Green Bay defense which looked sub par at best against the Cardinals last week.
Forcing the Rams into three turnovers—two of which stemmed from Johnny Jolly, who intercepted Kellen Clemens on the goaline, while deflecting another Clemens pass, which was subsequently snared by Jarrett Bush, in the third quarter—the Packers, who also accounted for three sacks on the game, kept St. Louis at bay following a 46-yard drive in the Rams’ opening drive.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Packers were carried into the scoring column by a trio of field goals by Mason Crosby (34, 48 and 30 yards) and one from the foot of Giorgio Tavecchio (a 30-yard boot at the 11:23 mark in the third quarter).
Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy, entering his seventh season in Titletown, noted that the competition between the two placekickers is one which will continue to unfold heading into the team’s regular season opener at San Francisco on Sept. 8.
“The opportunity did not present itself last week and frankly I think that it was important to get them the opportunity,” noted McCarthy, according to The AP. “We will continue to let those guys battle it out.”
Green Bay, who found the end zone for the first time this preseason via a nine-yard hookup from quarterback B.J. Coleman (who was 8-of-13 for 86 yards) to tight end Jake Stoneburner with 8:46 remaining, returns to action when they play host to the Seattle Seahawks on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7:00 p.m. CT.