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Rams Review & Bears Preview/Power Rankings

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPHAT, Dec 19, 2007.


    TOPHAT Cheesehead

    Mar 1, 2007
    Packers Rout Rams: Game Review


    Favre completed 19 passes for 227 yards & two touchdowns to help the Pack rout the Rams 33-14 & to clinch a 1st round playoff bye. Favre overtook Marino to become the NFL career pass yards leader. Outstanding performances by the special teams helped to win the game.

    Scout Inc.: "Sometimes, it’s the little things that are the difference between winning and losing. Something like an offensive line’s ability to pick up the blitz might sound simple, but it isn’t always that way. St. Louis defensive coordinator Haslett brought a large variety of zone blitzes and stunts to try to pressure QB Favre into some bad throws, but Green Bay’s offensive line did a great job of recognizing the games up front and protected Favre well enough for him to pick apart the St. Louis secondary. Meanwhile, the Rams’ O-line failed to recognize the Packers’ blitzes. Green Bay linebacker Barnett did a great job of timing his blitzes and got to Bulger for two of the Packers’ four sacks. The Green Bay O-line’s ability to adjust and pick up the blitzes keyed a big win that clinched a first-round playoff bye....”

    Offensive Coach Philbin: "It really wasn't very good. We had fantastic field position & didn't do a whole lot. They know what they're doing and held us in check."

    CB Woodson: "We made things happen when we needed to. That's what you have to do. No disrespect to the Rams or anybody we played this year, but we were a better team than them, and we're supposed to win this game. And that's the difference: If we would've come down here and lost this game, then it's back to the drawing board. Seattle, for them to drop a game against a team they should beat, maybe the focus isn't there, or you think the game is over before you even play. When you're a good team, you play better when you have to, and we did."


    With the Packers holding a slim lead in the 3rd quarter, Q Favre beat a blitz hitting WR Jennings on a 44 yard touchdown pass extending the lead to a comfortable 27-14.


    1. KR Robinson. 2. LB Barnett. 3. Q Favre. 4. K Crosby. 5. S Bigby. 6. Special Teams.


    1. FB Hall--hip sprain. 2. DT Pickett--tweaked groin. 3. DT Harrell--injured thumb.


    Rushing Offense—D [D-]

    The rushing team struggled against a middle-of-the road Rams defense. The Packers rushed a paltry 54 net yards against the Rams’ box defense. RB Grant had 18 carries for 55 yards averaging only 3.1 ypc. T Tauscher & T Clifton had overall good games. The interior line had bad run executions against a defense using stunts, blitzes, & shifts. As a reviewer said: "As well as the line protected Favre, the blockers were overmatched by St. Louis' tenacious mix of stunts and shifts up front." As another reviewer added: “The Rams slanted and looped, bluffed and blitzed. It messed up the Packers' blocking combinations for the run….[T]he Rams gave tremendous effort….” Yet, it's no excuse. As Coach McCarthy said about its grade: "...[J]ust OK. The run blocking unit as a whole, it was not our best day."

    Passing Offense—B-

    Favre had an understandably mixed day, but he made the big plays. He completed 19 of 30 passes for 227 yards, two touchdowns, & two interceptions. He overtook Marino becoming the NFC pass yards career leader. The pass protection was good against constant blitzing schemes. WR Driver led receivers with 5 catches for 80 yards. WR Jennings had 4 catches for 66 yards & 1 touchdown. TE Lee had one catch for 4 yards & one touchdown. TE Franks is badly missed for blocking roles. WR Jones had 2 for 29 yards, but he dropped a pass. WR Robinson had 2 catches for 16 yards. RB Morency had 2 catches for 17 yards. McCarthy's reaction to Favre's lucky touchdown pass to TE Lee was a classic for the highlights film! Yet, Favre's two interceptions were minus throws & he made a few bad reads.

    Rushing Defense—D [D]

    Against a shabby NFC offensive line, the rush defense had an awful performance. While the defensive line hoped to contain the Rams’ rushing game with box schemes & running blitzes, "as a group, there were too many lapses in gap control." The Rams rushed for 174 yards. Rams RB Jackson had 143 yards on 24 carries averaging 6 ypc & including a 46 yard touchdown. Yet, in the second half, Jackson only got 40 yards on 11 carries. DE/DT Jenkins, DE Kampman, & DT Williams had solid games. DT Pickett had a tough game.

    Passing Defense—B [B-]

    Facing proactive blitzes, Rams Q Bulger completed only 20 of 39 passes for 219 yards, one touchdown, & 2 interceptions. Yet, "Bulger's receivers proved to be his worst enemy. Drops and deflections bailed the Packers out of what could have been a big passing day for the Rams." CB Harris held WR Holt to 3 receptions for 21 yards. LB Barnett had 13 tackles & two sacks. LB Hawk had 7 tackles & 1 sack. DE Kampman had 1 sack. S Bigby had 2 interceptions on deflected passes & blitzed well, but he still is "awful" in coverage. S Collins did okay. Rookie S Rouse looks to be a solid future starter. CB Blackmon looked strong. CB Williams had his ups & downs in coverage.

    Special Teams—A [A+]

    The special teams had a solid dominating game. The Packers averaged their possessions at the 48 yard line, while the Rams averaged their possessions at the 17 yard line. KR Robinson had 3 good returns for 130 yards averaging 43.3 ypr providing advantageous field position. Rookie K Crosby looked solid on kickoffs & hit all field goals from 44, 50, 25, & 46 yards. P Ryan had one punt for 60 yards.

    Coaching—B+ [A]

    While the play-calling, the rushing defense, & the execution phases looked pedestrian, the half-time adjustments shut down the Rams. The three turnovers were unnecessary. Also, a reviewer wisely assessed the improved blitzing schemes:

    "I don’t buy McCArthy' insistance that he has nothing to do with the sudden appearance of the blitz in the Packer’s defensive bag of tricks. I think he saw what we all saw against Dallas- a team that can not get any pressure if it is presented with a big, physical offensive line. So he has Sanders working on different blitz packages over the last month of the season....I saw guys coming off the edge yesterday that I haven’t seen since Fritz Shurmer was in charge of things. And not just linebackers, but safeties and corners as well. And nothing in Sanders’ body of work from last year or this current season speaks to the up-until-now uber-conservative coordinator...deciding it’s time to unleash the hounds."


    The Packers had big plays on the offense, special teams, & defense to pull away in the second half for an easy win. The Packers are 12-2 getting their second goal of a 1st round playoff bye with the first playoff game at home.

    Sportsline.com Overall Grade--B+ "It wasn't pretty, and the offense we normally see didn't come, but it's a good road victory. The defense made some big plays with Atari Bigby's two picks and Brett Favre tossed two touchdown passes."

    CheeseheadTV.com Good, Bad & Ugly: Good--Robinson, Crosby, Jennings; Bad--Grant, Favre & Harris; Ugly--Harrell.


    The amusing St. Louis media elite whined about the overwhelming Packers fans at the Rams game. Rams RB Jackson said: "It was a joke, simple as that. The whole first level was Green Bay Packers. We allowed them to put up signs. It's a joke. We were at Lambeau Field." Rams LB Witherspoon said: "That's a sad story. It was a little surprising to see more people in your house (cheering for the opponent) than your team. It just makes it a road game for us." I enjoyed watching the greatest NFL fans & seeing the "Lambeau South" sign.


    On the road, the Packers play against the miserable Bears. It’s time to avenge another loss & to win hoping for home field advantage in the NFC title game. "The Packers won't rest healthy players as long as they have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. [Coach McCarthy said it best:] 'We need to be 13-2 when we come back from Chicago.'"















    NFL Power Rankings: Packers Ranked 3rd or 4th

    With the easy win against the Rams, the Packers are ranked 3rd or 4th:

    Sports Network: 3. Another week, another record for Favre.


    Covers: 3. The Packers don't need to rough up the Bears to avenge Week 5's loss. But they will anyway.

    Sporting News: 3. I never get tired of watching Brett Favre play.


    Real Football 365: 3. Favre is going to the Pro Bowl. Considering so many pundits, including this one, were calling for his retirement during the two years prior to this one, Favre is an amazing story.


    ESPN: 4. If the Packers win at Chicago on Sunday, they'll finish the regular season with a 7-1 road record, their best mark since 1941. With some help, the Packers might not have to play another game on the road until the Super Bowl in Arizona.


    Sportsline: 4. They're 6-1 on the road now, which is a sign of a good team. If they win two and the Cowboys lose one, the playoffs will go through Green Bay.


    USA Today: 4. Loss to Dallas aside, holding the NFC title game at Lambeau is a distinct possibility once again.


    Fox Sports: 4. The Packers avoided a scare of their own, running off 19 straight points to beat the Rams in St. Louis, 33-14. Brett Favre broke the NFL career passing yardage record, while the Packers secured a first-round bye for the first time since 1997. The defense is shutting everyone down & the special teams are the best in the league.


    Pro Football Weekly: 4. Mason Crosby is turning into a weapon.

    :USA: :USA: :USA:
  2. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

    Mar 24, 2006
    as always, thank you TOPHAT. agree with most of it. for most teams, it is difficult to execute as well against poor teams as they do against good teams. at least we aren't losing. let's keep up the intensity and blow the Bears out of the water. They looked lost in the Vikings game.
  3. wischeez

    wischeez Cheesehead

    Dec 4, 2004
    Thanks TOPHAT. I agree that the Pack will probably bring the "A" game to the Bears house. They won't need to, but will.
  4. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

    Aug 12, 2006
    Thanks Tophat.

    This is the key to the game right here. It had nothing to do with winning the game, but everything to do with the Playoffs. We have problems against big OLs. It's a sad truth. So it's a good thing we experimented with some blitz packages.

    They seemed to work too. Barnett got their QB twice and Bigby almost got him at least once. If I'm not mistaken, I thought I saw a CB blitz at least once in the game. Forgot which CB it was.
  5. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

    Aug 15, 2005
    Yeah I was shocked to not only see a safety blitz, but BACK TO BACK safety blitzes....that will screw with some QBs.
  6. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

    Aug 12, 2006
    Spider Monkey just needs to work on his timing. Once he gets it down, you'll see reminders of the great Leroy Butler.
  7. Green_Bay_Packers

    Green_Bay_Packers Cheesehead

    Mar 30, 2007
    Thanks again Tophat :)

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