Packers: 5 Takeaways From Week 5 Win


It wasn’t pretty, but the Green Bay Packers advanced to a 5-0 record on Sunday after defeating the St. Louis Rams 24-10.

The game was filled with a ton of uncharacteristic sights: Aaron Rodgers turned the ball over three times, including two interceptions that saw his 586-pass attempt streak end. Eddie Lacy ran the ball for a paltry 27 yards, and the injury bug continued to nip at Green Bay; three players went down with injury and all of them were fairly key players (T.J. Lang, B.J. Raji, and Nick Perry).

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It wasn’t all bad, though. The defense once again rose to the challenge and forced four turnovers from Nick Foles to go along with three sacks. Let’s take a look at five takeaways from the win.

1. Rodgers plays surprisingly poorly

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It had to happen eventually, but I don’t think many people expected it to end the way it did. Late in the first quarter, Aaron Rodgers threw a pass that was tipped by Mark Barron and intercepted by James Laurinaitis. This ended an incredible streak that lasted 2½ years and 586 pass attempts, and is probably something we won’t be seeing again for some time.

To go along with that, Rodgers also threw a second pick right before halftime, on a pass that was a bit too short for James Jones but not short enough for Trumaine Johnson, who dove in for the pick. To add insult to injury, Rodgers was also strip sacked by Robert Quinn, upping his turnover count to a shocking three.

Obviously, this isn’t indicative of anything, and it’s safe to say that Rodgers will go back to his extremely talented ways shortly, but it was a bit odd seeing the QB play so off. Perhaps our next reason has something to do with it.

2. Where’s the deep threat? 

It had been talked about for the better part of a week, but many Packer fans saw it in full effect Sunday; the Packers don’t have a respectable deep threat … right now.

While the game did feature some explosive plays in the form of Ty Montgomery‘s early-game touchdown and James Jones’ 65-yard catch and run, it’s hard not to notice that something is missing from the team. After Jordy Nelson went down with a torn ACL, there has been a surprisingly low amount of attempts down the field.

While this is a minor issue (the team is still 5-0, and you don’t need a deep threat to win), it is interesting to see how the team changes once Davante Adams comes back. Rodgers obviously loves to go deep on some players, so I can’t see it being gone forever.

3. Defense wins it once again

Going into the 2015 season, if anyone thought the Packers would be leaning on their defense to win games, I think it’d be safe to say that you were insane. However, that’s exactly what’s happening.

For the second straight week, the Packers’ defense bailed out a not so great showing from the offense. Green Bay’s defense allowed just 10 points, stifling the Rams and forcing them to go 1-for-4 in the red zone in a game that, if the defense was not playing so well, could easily have been lost.

Nick Foles was intercepted four times, including Quinten Rollins‘ first career INT, a 45-yard pick six to kickstart the crowd.

Sacking Nick Foles three times and forcing four turnovers weren’t the only things the defense did, however. For nearly the entire game, Green Bay was constantly in the face of Nick Foles, keeping him rattled long enough to make mistakes in crucial situations. While they did give up some big chunk plays towards the end, they seemed to always have a response for it.

B.J.. Raji and Nick Perry are hurt, but don’t look to be seriously injured, which is good considering how effective Raji has been against the rush this season.

4. Where is the running game?

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  • Normally, Packer fans are used to seeing Eddie Lacy or James Starks carry the ball for somewhere in the neighborhood of 80-100 yards. However, you’d be in for a shock if you watched Sunday’s game. Not only did Lacy not manage to break 30 yards on the ground, he wasn’t even the team’s leading rusher. That distinction went to Aaron Rodgers, who ran for 39 yards. 

    With Lacy not being much of a threat, it was also curious to see James Starks denied any touches either. The Rams do have an incredibly talented defensive front, but I think the injury to T.J. Lang played more in the running game disappearing than anything else. 

    While this is just one game, it’s worth noting that we haven’t seen a lot of Eddie Lacy’s trademark yards after contact and cutback moves. Whether this is due to his ankle injury continuing to nag him or not, it’s clear that the running game is an important facet of Green Bay’s offense, and they need it to work if they’re going to keep winning. 

    5. Injury bug keeps biting.

    Perhaps the most troubling of any takeaways, it’s becoming sort of a recurring theme that injuries are taking a toll on Green Bay. While we noted that T.J. Lang was out, he seems to be okay and even noted that he was all right on Twitter.

    What we don’t know yet, however, is how the injuries to defensive members B.J. Raji and Nick Perry will fare. Both left the game Sunday and did not come back, and both players are crucial to what the defense can do.

    Without Raji inside, Todd Gurley was able to absolutely wreck the middle of the field, rushing for 159 yards and putting a dent into what the Packers considered a much improved defense. 

    While it doesn’t seem that the three injuries are serious, it’s comforting to know that after next week’s showdown with San Diego, the Packers are headed for a much needed bye week. There, hopefully, many of the players can get themselves fixed up and ready to go for the rest of the season.

    Next: Best Of The Packers: Top 10 Defensive Linemen Since 1960

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