Aug 16, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams free safety Rodney McLeod (23) tackles Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) during the first half at Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers Analysis: Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy Impress In Debuts

After sitting out the first week of preseason for the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy looked like they were in mid-season form during Saturday’s 21-7 win at St. Louis.

Rodgers played two drives and led the offense to 10 points. He was 11-of-13 for 128 yards and one TD. Rodgers was sharp and the speed at which the offense played, using the no-huddle, kept the Rams on their heels.

If this is any indication how Rodgers will play this season, the offense will pile up points. It felt like the Rams had no chance of stopping the Packers with Rodgers under center.

Meanwhile, Lacy had seven touches for 47 yards (five rushes for 25 yards) in one drive. The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 looks like he will be ready to top last season’s numbers as the Packers are also planning to use him more in the passing game.

“The offense got off to a great start,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I really liked the production that we were able to get done in the first two series.”

Defensively, Julius Peppers did something he has not done much this training camp — he lined up in a  three-point stance and he recorded one sack in his limited action. Peppers was active and appears he still has something left in his 34-year-old body.

The most noted battle in training camp has been for the No. 2 QB spot between Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien, who replaced Rodgers. Tolzien didn’t do much in the first half, completing 3-of-6 passes for 22 yards, but he was hit multiple times as the backup offensive line did a terrible job of keeping him upright.

“The offense got off to a great start. I really liked the production that we were able to get done in the first two series.” — Mike McCarthy

In the second half, Tolzien was better because the line was better. He completed 7-of-9 passes for 85 yards and he had a TD taken away by a penalty.

Flynn held up well replacing Tolzien, although he didn’t get many chances to throw. On his first series he threw a TD pass to rookie Jeff Janis, who showed why he might be too good to cut.

Janis caught a pass from Flynn on a crossing pattern and outran the defense, despite it having an angle on Janis, for a 34-yard score.

Flynn then hit rookie Davante Adams on a 2-point conversion, nicely fitting the ball between two Rams defenders.

On his second drive Flynn had the Packers in the red zone but penalties forced a 49-yard field goal from Mason Crosby. Overall, Flynn was  2-of-3 for 44 yards and one TD.

The Packers’ backup quarterback position entering this season is in a much better place than it was last season with Seneca Wallace.

In addition to his 2-point catch, Adams had  two catches for 28 yards. The Packers have to feel good about the back end of their receiving corps after Saturday.

Extra Points

  • WR Jordy Nelson played after missing last week’s game with a hamstring injury. He didn’t catch a pass but had a TD catch taken away by penalty.
  • LB Andy Mulumba had two tackles for loss, which is big as he tries to nail down a reserve position.
  • LB Jayrone Elliott hasn’t figured in the battle for a backup spot but maybe he does now. The rookie free agent from Toledo had three sacks in a four-play span in the fourth quarter. If not the final roster, maybe the practice squad.
  • TE Andrew Quarless led the Packers with four catches for 58 yards but did have a pass interference penalty called on him in the end zone. Still, he was solid.
  • C J.C. Tretter has locked down the starting position a second straight solid game. Also, rookie C Corey Linsley helped Tretter out with two penalties, one which erased a TD pass.
  • The Packers had 12 penalties accepted for 95 yards. That will have to be cleaned up before the regular season, but many of those flags were on backup players.
  • The Packers dominated the Rams, outgaining them 386-216. It’s only preseason, but McCarthy has to feel good about what he saw, except for penalties.
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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers

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