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  • More struggles drop Rams below .500

    By Jeff Gordon
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist

    The Rams made plays on the big “Monday Night Football” stage. In fact, they made dozens of them.

    For stretches, they played impressively against a red-hot, playoff-bound opponent on the road.

    But the Rams, now 5-6, couldn’t muster a winning performance at Green Bay. They committed a turnover here, allowed a big run there and failed to stop quarterback Brett Favre when the Packers got in scoring range.

    So the result is what most experts predicted: A 45-17 Packers victory that kept the Rams from climbing back into the NFC West lead.

    The Rams had no trouble piling up yardage on the Packers. But protecting the ball and finishing drives, that’s where they fell short.

    They handed the Packers the game’s first touchdown on Isaac Bruce’s fumble. Then their first two first-half forays into the red zone netted just three points.

    Green Bay was able to race to a 21-3 lead while hardly breaking a sweat. The Rams tried to battle back in the second half, but quarterback Marc Bulger threw a third-quarter interception into the Packers end zone to kill the rally.

    Then the Rams tried a fake field goal that backfired and, well, things just never got better up at Lambeau Field. The painful loss was capped by still another Bruce fumble that led to still another Packers touchdown in the game’s final minute.



    --Rookie defensive tackle Brian Howard delivered, dumping running back Najeh Davenport for no gain on the first Packers possession, helping the defense score a quick three-and-out stop. That was about the only time the Rams would stop the bulldozing Davenport in this game.

    --Coach Mike Martz had an interesting offensive game plan for this game, featuring both Steven Jackson and Marshall Faulk as runners and receivers. His play-calling also caught the Packers in their base defense early on with some four-receiver sets.

    Too bad the offense didn’t do a better job in the red zone during the first half, when the game was still in question.

    --Hey, a crunching kick coverage tackle – delivered by linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa on return man Antonio Chatman in the second quarter. Ouch!

    --With the Rams desperately needing points late in the first half, Bulger completed four passes to young wide-outs Shaun McDonald (two) and Kevin Curtis (two). These youngsters can play.

    Those completions set up Bulger’s last-minute touchdown pass to Isaac Bruce in the first half, which cut the Packers halftime lead to 21-10. At that point, the Rams had 225 yards offense and the 11-point deficit to show for it.

    --Tight end Brandon Manumaleuna played big with his 26-yard reception over the middle in the third quarter, going up to catch the ball in traffic.

    --Down by 18, the Rams continued to pile up yardage on plays like Bulger’s 56-yard pass to Bruce. Then they caught the Packers short of defensive backs, again, and converted with an eight-yard TD pass to Faulk.


    --On their second possession, the Rams marched smartly into the red zone, using most of their weapons . . . and then abruptly stalled. A holding penalty on center Andy McCollum was hurtful.

    So was the third-down sack Bulger absorbed and the 42-yard field goal Jeff Wilkins pulled wide left. That is NOT winning football.

    --Trailing 7-3, the defense yielded on the ground and through the air as Favre, making his 200th consecutive start, marched the Packers 75 yards for their first offensive touchdown.

    Who could have guessed the Packers would finish with a TD pass to tight end Bubba Franks?

    --A premature snap by McCollum led to a critical Bulger sack and the demise of a Rams possession in the second quarter. Little things turn into big things on the road.

    --Safety Rich Coady had another “Ole” moment in the open field as Davenport rambled for 31 yards on a sweep to the left side. That play was the highlight of a quick 83-yard Packers drive that pushed the lead to 21-3.

    --As the game progressed, Faulk was unable to make any impact on the ground. Was it the blocking or are his legs finally betraying him.

    --Poor Aeneas Williams couldn’t do much with Donald Driver on Favre’s third touchdown pass of the game, a 16-yard completion that pushed the Green Bay lead to 28-10.


    --Bruce was stripped of the ball by Joey Thomas after his first catch, then watched helplessly as Ahman Carroll scooped up the loose ball and raced 40 yards for a Packers touchdown. Just like that, the Rams fell into a 7-0 hole.

    --Another red zone mishap killed the Rams early in third quarter. Carroll blanketed Bruce on a route up the right sideline and picked off a Bulger pass in the end zone to keep the Green Bay lead at 21-10.

    --The Rams tried to trick the Packers with a fake field goal try, but the Packers were having none of it. Wilkins took a pitch from holder Dane Looker and was immediately gang tackled.

    Had Wilkins kicked the 42-yard field goal, the Rams could have cut the lead to 21-13. Instead, the Packers exploited the turn of events to score still another touchdown.

    --Davenport’s late 40-yard touchdown burst on fourth-and-one capped a 178-yard rushing performance that left the Rams defense in shambles. What would have happened had No. 1 back Ahman Green played?

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    Rams are lambs at Lambeau 45-17
    by RamWraith
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    GREEN BAY, Wis. - Gov. Jim Doyle declared Monday "Brett Favre Day" throughout the state of Wisconsin. It was Brett Favre night Monday at Lambeau Field.

    Making his 200th consecutive NFL start, Favre threw three touchdown passes to lead Green Bay to a 45-17 victory over the Rams. The victory put Green Bay (7-4) into a first-place tie with Minnesota in the NFC North. The loss prevented the Rams (5-6) from moving into a first-place tie with Seattle in the NFC West.

    In the strange but true category, the Rams remain the No. 6 seed in the NFC, despite losing for the fourth time in five games. But they continue like a team that has no interest in extending the season beyond their regular-season finale Jan. 2 against the New York Jets.

    The Rams moved the ball up and down the field but committed two costly turnovers, and they scored a touchdown only once in four red-zone possessions against one of the league's worst red-zone defenses.

    Marc Bulger became only the fourth opposing quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards against Green Bay, joining Joe Montana, Randall Cunningham and Trent Green. His 448 yards was a franchise record against Green Bay. Not that it did the Rams much good. They continually self-destructed once they got to the Green Bay 30 or thereabouts.

    Meanwhile, the St. Louis defense looked as if it had no interest whatsoever in tackling 250-pound Packers running back Najeh Davenport. Despite playing at less than full speed because of a hamstring injury, Davenport rushed for 178 yards - the fifth-highest total in Green Bay franchise history.

    What could go wrong did for much of the first half for the Rams. They got into an early hole Monday and spent the rest of the game trying to climb out.

    On the Rams' third offensive play of the game, the normally sure-handed Isaac Bruce was done in by a pair of rookies. After catching a short pass for a first down at the Rams 38, Bruce was stripped of the football by Joey Thomas. Ahmad Carroll scooped up the fumble and raced 40 yards for a touchdown. That gave Green Bay a 7-0 lead just 2 minutes 37 seconds into the game.

    That's how the scoring started and ended for Green Bay - with a Bruce fumble returned for a score. In the final minute of play, Packers safety Darren Sharper jarred the ball loose from Bruce after a reception, with Michael Hawthorne picking the ball up and racing for a final in-your- face touchdown.

    Bruce had fumbled only 11 times in his previous 10 NFL seasons. But Monday's fumbles were his second and third in the last three weeks. Until Monday, Green Bay had only eight takeaways and hadn't come up with one since Halloween.

    By early in the second quarter, the Rams had outgained Green Bay 148 yards to 38 but still trailed 7-3. The Rams were unable to exploit one of the league's...
    -11-30-2004, 06:25 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams Cough up Opportunity
    by RamWraith
    Monday, November 29, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    GREEN BAY, Wis. - The first time the Rams played a game after moving to St. Louis, they did it in Green Bay. They won and the reason for that victory was largely due to the efforts of receiver Isaac Bruce.

    Bruce was everywhere in that game, blocking a punt, catching passes and scoring touchdowns. No doubt, he left terrible memories in the minds of many Packers’ fans. That bitter taste was erased early Monday night at Lambeau Field. Bruce’s fumble on the Rams’ first possession was returned for a touchdown and set in motion a series of errors, mental and physical that led to Green Bay’s 45-17 win.

    The loss dropped the Rams to 5-6, a position they certainly never had in mind, but stunningly would still put them in the playoffs if they were to begin today. They are one game behind Seattle in the NFC West Division after the Seahawks loss at home to Buffalo on Sunday. Green Bay won its sixth in a row and improved to 7-4, tied with Minnesota at the top of the NFC North Division.

    With momentum seemingly on its side early in the game, the Rams defense forced an impressive three-and-out on Green Bay’s first possession. After the punt, St. Louis took over at its 27. A pair of plays netted 5 yards before the untimely turnover.

    Playing against rookie cornerback Ahmad Carroll, Bruce seemed the likely target for quarterback Marc Bulger. Bruce has eaten even the best of cornerbacks in the league alive on numerous occasions, so it seemed like a given he would do it to the inexperienced rookie.

    On third-and-5 from his 32, Bulger dropped back and hit a quick strike to Bruce near the first-down marker. As Bruce battled to get the first down cornerback Joey Thomas hit him from the side, jarring the ball loose. Carroll scooped it up at the 40 and took it in for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead the Packers would not relinquish.

    That was the first score of the night; Bruce’s next fumble would lead to the last. Trailing 38-17, Bulger hit Bruce over the middle for a 12-yard gain. He was hit from behind and it appeared grabbed by the facemask by safety Darren Sharper. The ball came loose again and Michael Hawthorne recovered it and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown and the final margin.

    That play would not be the end of a big night for Carroll. With the Rams threatening to get back in the game, he came up with another turnover. Down 21-10 in at the beginning of the third quarter, the Rams marched to Green Bay’s 30. On first-and-10, Bulger floated a pass down the right sideline intended for Bruce. Carroll, however, did not bite on Bruce’s fake out route and stayed with him stride for stride. Carroll intercepted the ball in the endzone, thwarting the Rams’ comeback attempt.

    Given a reprieve after holding Green Bay to a punt on the ensuing possession, the Rams drove to...
    -11-30-2004, 06:24 AM
  • RamWraith
    Unlevel Playing Field: Field position, fan support help Packers
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Monday, Dec. 17 2007

    For nearly three quarters, the St. Louis game plan worked effectively and the
    Rams stuck with it. They established Steven Jackson and the running game early,
    and took their shots with Marc Bulger in the passing game.

    Through three quarters, the Rams had a 2-to-1 edge in possession time and had
    outgained Brett Favre and the potent Green Bay offense by nearly 100 yards.
    Yet, when the Rams looked up at the scoreboard at the Edward Jones Dome — aka
    Lambeau Field South — they trailed by two touchdowns.

    How did this happen?

    Well, some gridiron historians refer to football as the "100-yard war." On
    Sunday, it became more like a "50-yard skirmish" for the Packers. Thanks in
    large part to lousy special teams play, the average starting point for the
    Packers' drives was their 48-yard line.

    Of Green Bay's 12 offensive series, six started in St. Louis territory. Three
    others started at the Packers' 40, 44 and 48-yard lines.

    "I just know when we're on offense and we hit the 50, it's kind of like you're
    going downhill," Bulger said.

    The Packers were going downhill all afternoon, like a sled on the snow at Art
    Hill. Of the 53 offensive plays by Green Bay, 41 began in St. Louis territory.

    "You're not going to beat a good football team like (Green Bay) doing that,"
    coach Scott Linehan said.

    Given such a lopsided edge in field position, it's almost surprising that the
    final score wasn't more lopsided than Green Bay 33, Rams 14.

    "They have only two losses for a reason," Bulger said. "They're a good team.
    They made us play with that field position."

    And made them pay because of that field position. Green Bay's victory coupled
    with Seattle's loss to Carolina clinched a first-round playoff bye for the
    Packers (12-2).

    On a day when Favre eclipsed Dan Marino's NFL record for career passing yards,
    it seemed as if all of Green Bay was on hand. With Rams fans continuing to bail
    on their 3-11 team, thousands of "lower bowl" tickets belonging to Rams
    season-ticket holders ended up in the hands of Packers fans.

    Green and gold were the colors of the day. Cheeseheads everywhere. Dozens of
    pro-Packers signs throughout the stadium. There was no way to know officially,
    but it looked as if there were more Packers fans than Rams fans in attendance.

    "It was a joke," Jackson said. "It's as simple as that. The whole (lower) level
    was Green Bay Packers. We allowed them to put up signs. It's a joke."

    "That was the worst, as far as the other team's fans,"...
    -12-17-2007, 06:23 AM
  • Rambos
    Rams Come Up Short Against Packers
    by Rambos
    Nick Wagoner

    Their comeback hopes hanging in the balance about halfway through the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against Green Bay, the Rams defense found itself in a spot that had become quite familiar during the first 52 minutes of the game.

    After a quick drive for a touchdown that trimmed the Packers lead to 20-13 with 8:50 to go, the Rams defense desperately needed a stop to get the ball back in the hands of an offense that had just posted one of its quickest scoring drives of the season.

    Five plays into the drive, the Rams had Green Bay right where they wanted: a third and 7 and a prime opportunity to get off the field. But, as happened most of the day, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers calmly converted with an 8-yard pass to receiver Randall Cobb, who shook loose from a Jo-Lonn Dunbar tackle to move the chains.

    The drive culminated in yet another third down conversion, this time on third-and-9 when Rodgers found Cobb for a 39-yard touchdown that killed the Rams’ comeback hopes. A stop, a takeaway, anything would have sufficed but it was a theme that haunted the Rams all day.

    What followed was a 30-20 Green Bay win that handed the Rams their first loss at the Edward Jones Dome this season and lowered their record to 3-4.

    “When you play a team as good as they are offensively, in order to have a chance to win you need to get turnovers,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “You need to get the ball back or you need to get off the field on third down. That’s obviously what we did not do today defensively and that’s really the different in the game.”

    An early-season avalanche of turnovers has gone dry as the Rams defense was unable to come away with a turnover for the second consecutive week. They have just one in the past three weeks.

    Perhaps more maddening, though, was the inability to get off the field on third down when the opportunities presented themselves.

    Rodgers’ ability to scramble and keep plays alive gives Green Bay an inherent advantage in converting on the money downs and it was overwhelmingly apparent on Sunday. The Packers finished nine-of-15, a 60 percent conversion rate, on third down and seemingly found a way to keep the chains moving even in the toughest situations.

    “I think part of it had to do with tackling,” linebacker James Laurinaitis said. “Aaron Rodgers is really good maneuvering within the pocket, I think that’s one of the best things he does. He buys enough time with his feet to make throws down field. We have to watch the film in the morning and fix it fast. We don’t have enough time to sulk on this. We have just got to fix it fast and move on.”

    The Packers were seven-of-10 on third down in the deciding second half after holding a 10-6 lead at halftime.

    In the third quarter, it was apparent the Packers made some halftime adjustments to take what the...
    -10-22-2012, 10:49 AM
  • DJRamFan
    [Packers] Packers timing it just right
    by DJRamFan
    Green Bay has won five straight since it flopped in its last appearance on 'Monday Night Football'

    By Todd McMahon
    There was a time, not long ago, when a general consensus had formed that the Green Bay Packers' time was all but up in the 2004 season.

    They left a national TV audience equal parts flabbergasted and appalled the evening of Oct. 11. The Tennessee Titans stormed Lambeau Field and battered the Packers into submission by way of a 48-27 defeat, the most points ever surrendered by the home team at its sacred stadium.

    Like that, the two-time reigning NFC North champions had sunk to the unfathomable low of being at the bottom of the division with a 1-4 record spun out of a four-game losing streak.

    That was the last time the Packers had a co-starring role on ABC's "Monday Night Football." My, how the times have changed in the seven weeks leading up to their return engagement - and there's more to it than the network's catching flak for one of its desperate housewives baring herself to Philadelphia star receiver Terrell Owens in a recent pregame locker-room spoof.

    At 8 tonight, the coast-to-coast TV audience will be introduced to a Green Bay team that has taken on a new, albeit familiar identity. All the Packers have been doing since bombing in their last "MNF" episode is win.

    They put a five-game winning streak on the line against St. Louis (5-5) at Lambeau Field. At stake for the 6-4 Packers is maintaining a hold on the NFC North lead, a concept that seemed a pipe dream in the wake of the debacle against the Titans.

    "We know how it feels to be 1-4. That feels pretty bad. We've been through that, and we don't want to go back there," said right guard Marco Rivera.

    No turning, or looking, back is precisely the outlook head coach Mike Sherman drilled into his players' heads Wednesday morning. It was his first meeting with the team since addressing it late last Sunday night, following its gritty 16-13 comeback win at Houston in another prime-time game.

    He paralleled what transpired in those four quarters to how the Packers' season has unfolded to date.

    A 13-3 deficit through a dismal three quarters mirrored their 1-4 start in the win-loss ledger. "In that game, things weren't looking very good," Sherman reflected.

    Lo and behold, the Packers caught fire in the final 15 minutes to score 13 unanswered points, pulling out the victory on Ryan Longwell's 46-yard field goal as time expired. A microcosm of how they've rallied in the past month and a half to string together the five wins.

    "The guys hung together throughout the game; they believed in themselves," Sherman continued with the analogy. "You're down 13-3 going into the fourth quarter, and guys battled back. I thought...
    -11-29-2004, 02:21 PM