The undefeated Green Bay Packers were 15-point favorites over the winless St. Louis Rams on Sunday. With Aaron Rodgers throwing three touchdown passes in the first half, the Packers had the spread covered by halftime and cruised to a 24-3 victory at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay has won 12 consecutive games, including last year's playoff run, and hasn't trailed in the fourth quarter in any of those games. With Detroit's loss to San Francisco, the Packers are the NFL's final undefeated team – the first time the Packers have accomplished that feat since the first of Vince Lombardi's three consecutive titles in 1965. The Rams, meanwhile, have led for 6 minutes, 28 seconds all season.
The Rams were coming off of their bye and star running back Steven Jackson was at full strength for the first time since injuring his quad early in the Week 1 game against Philadelphia. None of it mattered, though, once the Packers juggernaut got rolling during a three-series segment.
Ahead 3-0 on Mason Crosby's franchise-record-tying 17th consecutive successful field goal, Rodgers rolled to his left after a play-fake and whizzed a pass to James Jones for a 35-yard touchdown. The Packers made it 17-0 on their next snap on offense. A double move by Jordy Nelson suckered longtime Packers cornerback Al Harris. Rodgers lobbed the ball to Nelson at the 32, Harris and safety Darian Stewart collided and Nelson went the rest of the way for a 93-yard touchdown. The touchdown strike was the fourth-longest in franchise history.
The Packers turned to their no-huddle offense for an 11-play, 67-yard touchdown drive to make it 24-0. Rodgers converted a third-and-8 with a 9-yard scramble to the Rams' 7. One play later, Rodgers danced out of the pocket and appeared poised to run again. When safety Craig Dahl started to converged on Rodgers, Rodgers stopped on a dime and fired to Donald Driver for the touchdown.
The Packers, averaging a league-high 34.6 points entering the game, scored at least 24 points in the first half for the third time in six games. Their offense bogged down in the second half, however, as Nelson and Greg Jennings dropped third-down passes. Jennings' drop resulted in an interception by Dahl.
"Man, we haven't accomplished …" coach McCarthy said, leaving his thought incomplete. "We're 6-0. We've put good numbers up, we're scoring more points than our opponent, but we need to work to get better. I thought the run-blocking unit didn't finish as well as it could have. I thought the run production wasn't where it needed to be. We still possess big-play ability – we showed that today. You have to be running on all cylinders and we're not there yet. Fortunately, we're 6-0. We'll continue to work to get there – offense, defense and special teams. Yes, we've put up some big numbers but we're not playing to the level that we feel we can play at yet."
Showing the pure folly of how the NFL measures offenses and defenses – based on yards, rather than points – the Rams outgained the Packers 424-399 and had 22 first downs to the Packers' 20. But the Rams went 0-for-3 in the red zone as Sam Bradford's 321-yard performance was rendered meaningless. Their last trek inside the 20 was definitive of the game. The Rams had a first-and-10 from the Packers' 19 but wound up facing third-and-14. Brandon Gibson caught an 8-yard pass and Lance Kendricks dropped a fourth-down throw that probably would have been short of the first down, anyway.
Both quarterbacks topped 300 passing yards, with Bradford beating Rodgers' total by 11 yards. The bruising Jackson hurt the Packers with 96 yards and a 5.3-yard average – tying the Packers' offensive total.
The Packers sustained only one injury of note, to cornerback Sam Shields, who was decked while running in the end zone following a key interception. Shields sustained a head injury and was going through concussion testing.
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.