The Green Bay Packers played well enough to win, but a couple of mistakes at crucial times was once again the difference between victory and defeat. The Packers had the Rams on the ropes, but the only remaining unbeaten team in the NFL stayed that way, beating the Packers 29-27 in Los Angeles.
The Packers defense held the Rams offense to six points in the first half and while they let up a little in the second half, they deserved a better fate.
The Packers did allow the Rams to take the lead late, on a Greg Zuerlein 34-yard field goal. But Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was going to get the ball back with 2:05 left to play, needing only a field goal to take the lead and win.
Unfortunately for the Packers, Rodgers would never get that chance. That’s because Ty Montgomery, who was ordered to not bring out the ensuing kickoff, did so anyway and fumbled on the play. The Rams recovered and ran out the clock.
The Packers looked like they were about to win on the road for the first time this season. Roughly half of the 75,000 fans on hand were Packers fans. Their presence was very noticeable throughout.
The Rams improved to 8-0 and the Packers are hoping for a playoff rematch.
The Packers defense pressured Jared Goff throughout, sacking him five times and pressuring him several more times. On the back-end, rookie corner Jaire Alexander gave the Packers some tight one-on-one coverage on wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Alexander finished with seven tackles. He also broke up five passes.
But while the defense came up big, the offense was up and down and special teams made more key mistakes that stood out.
The Packers entered as 9 1/2 point underdogs but quickly showed that they could not only play with the Rams, but could have beaten them.
Moving forward, Mike McCarthy needs to reduce his running back rotation. Aaron Jones needs more carries and the most important ones. Jamaal Williams can pick up the rest of the carries and Ty Montgomery needs to head to the bench, with the exception of an occasional third down rep as a receiver out of the backfield.
McCarthy also needs to make better decisions himself. Running straight up the middle from inside their own one at Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald was not a smart play call and it led to a safety.
All-in-all, the Packers need to find a way to build on the good and flush the bad. They had what it took to beat the Rams but didn’t. They have to take that same fire to Foxboro this coming Sunday to try to knock off the Patriots. At 3-3-1, the Packers need wins and there’s no better time than the present.