GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers improved to 9-3 with a 36-28 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Here are my three quick thoughts on the game:
The Packers have reached their bye week in really good shape in the standings.
After grinding their way through 12 weeks without a break, Green Bay has the second-best record in the NFC. Only Arizona (9-2) is above the Packers, who have the tiebreaker if they end up tied with the Cardinals.
Green Bay got through a difficult five-game stretch with a 3-2 record. Not bad considering one of those losses — at Kansas City — came with Aaron Rodgers sidelined by COVID-19.
The Packers deserve a rest and their post-bye schedule is favorable. A 4-1 stretch run would leave them with a 13-4 mark and that may be good enough to secure a No. 1 seed heading into the postseason.
Green Bay’s offense got on a roll last week at Minnesota and continued that for the first 2½ quarters on Sunday.
Starting with a drive in the second quarter during the loss to the Vikings, check out this impressive stretch for Aaron Rodgers and Co.
Kneel-down leading into halftime
After that last series — a 13-play, 75-yard masterpiece that took 7:42 off the clock and ended with Rodgers finding A.J. Dillon for a 5-yard touchdown pass — the offense sputtered the rest of the way.
It didn’t help that veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb didn’t play in the second half after sustaining a groin injury. Cobb had four catches for 95 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
The Packers’ last five full drives of the game: punt, field goal, punt, punt, missed field goal.
Still, there was more to like than not to like. Rodgers finished 28 of 45 for 307 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Dillon ran hard and also made some plays in the passing game.
Giveth and taketh
It was a mixed bag for the Green Bay secondary.
The bad: Giving up long touchdown passes of 79 yards (Van Jefferson) and 54 yards (Odell Beckham Jr.).
The good: Rasul Douglas picking off a pass from Matthew Stafford and returning it 33 yards, giving the Packers a 36-17 lead with 1:52 remaining in the third quarter.
The Green Bay defense was better than it was last week at Minnesota — it couldn’t get much worse, to be honest — but Packers fans have to be a little uneasy about how many big plays a once-dominant unit has given up over the past two games.