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Week 2 Preseason – Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams
August 18, 2012
ST. LOUIS – On August 17, the Packers and Rams had their second preseason game of the year. Last Thursday the Rams lost to the Cleveland Browns 19-27. Last Friday the Packers were shut out by the Arizona Cardinals 0-17.
Pre-game notes: The game was televised locally in the St. Louis area on Channels 2 and 11. Parts of the game were shown live on NFL Network and will be shown in full at a later date. The national radio station for the game was Sirius XM Radio and locally in the St. Louis area on 101.1 FM.
Packers starting WRs Randall Cobb (knee) and Jordy Nelson (biceps) will not play tonight. Packers first-round pick, DE Datone Jones, also won’t play due to his ankle injury suffered in last week’s game. Rams backup RB Zac Stacy will not play tonight, either, due to his injury. Rams RB Isaiah Pead will get the start at RB over Daryl Richardson for tonight’s game.
Packers DT Ryan Pickett used to play for the Rams. Packers backup QB Vince Young used to play under Rams head coach Jeff Fisher when both were with the Tennessee Titans. Packers DT Johnny Jolly has had off-the-field issues, and before last week’s game, had not played since 2010. Rams OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar will be the backup for tonight’s game because of his recent suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy; LB Will Witherspoon will get the start.
1 st quarter:
On 4th-and-4 at the STL 16, Mason Crosby, K for the Packers, successfully kicked a 34-yard field goal. Packers 3 Rams 0
On 4th-and-5 at the GB 38, Rams starting QB Sam Bradford threw a pass to WR Tavon Austin who was tackled at the GB 35.
On 4th-and-3 at the STL 31, Packers K Giorgio Tavecchio unsuccessfully kicked a 49-yard field goal wide left.
On 4th-and-goal at the GB 1, Bradford fumbled the snap and the ball was recovered at the GB 2.
2 nd quarter:
On 4th-and-14 at the STL 30, Crosby successfully kicked a 48-yard field goal. Packers 6 Rams 0
On 4th-and-3 at the STL 20, Johnny Hekker, P for the Rams, punted the ball 55 yards and it was returned to the GB 35.
On 4th-and-6 at the STL 41, Packers P Tim Masthay punted the ball 41 yards into the end zone for a touchback.
On 4th-and-8 at the GB 32, Rams K Greg Zuerlein unsuccessfully kicked a 50-yard field goal wide right.
On 4th-and-16 at the GB 48, Masthay punted the ball 46 yards and it was returned to the STL 6.
On 4th-and-12 at the STL 4, Hekker punted the ball 52 yards and it was returned to the STL 43.
On 4th-and-2 at the STL 20, Tavecchio successfully kicked a 38-yard field goal. Packers 9 Rams 0
3 rd quarter:
On 3rd-and-3 at the STL 27, Rams backup QB Kellen Clemens threw a short pass intended for WR Justin Veltung, but was intercepted and it was returned to the STL 29.
On 4th-and-6 at the STL 12, Crosby successfully kicked a 30-yard field goal. Packers 12 Rams 0
On 4th-and-2 at the STL 42, Hekker punted the ball 47 yards but the ball hit a Packer, and the Rams recovered it at the GB 10.
On 3rd-and-5 at the GB 5, Clemens threw a short pass intended for TE Mike McNeill, but was intercepted and it was returned to the GB 8.
On 4th-and-3 at the GB 15, Masthay punted the ball 48 yards and it was returned to the GB 43.
On 4th-and-12 at the GB 45, Hekker punted the ball 44 yards and it was downed at the GB 1.
On 4th-and-2 at the GB 30, Masthay punted the ball 56 yards and it was returned to the STL 23.
4 th quarter:
On 4th-and-1 at the STL 32, Rams backup K/P Brett Baer punted the ball 43 yards and it was returned to the GB 25.
On 2nd-and-goal at the STL 9, Packers QB B. J. Coleman threw a short pass to LB Andy Mulumba which resulted in a touchdown and extra point by Crosby. Packers 19 Rams 0
On 4th-and-7 at the STL 39, Baer punted the ball 42 yards and it was returned to the GB 29.
On 4th-and-6 at the GB 33, Masthay punted the ball 36 yards and it was returned to the STL 36.
On 4th-and-14 at the GB 38, Rams QB Austin Davis threw an incomplete pass to WR Andrew Helmick.
On 4th-and-11 at the GB 37, Masthay punted the ball 42 yards and it was fair caught at the STL 21.
On 2nd-and-15 at the GB 26, Davis threw a deep pass to WR Nick Johnson which resulted in a touchdown and extra point by Baer. Packers 19 Rams 7
On the ensuing kickoff, Baer attempted an onside kick, but the Packers recovered it at the STL 44.
On 2nd-and-11 at the STL 45, Coleman knelt to the STL 46. End game
Post-game notes: The Packers lost zero players to injury, while the Rams only lost one: Rams backup LB Daren Bates was injured in the fourth quarter, though the injury did not look serious. The Rams came within one minute of being shutout in a preseason game for the first time since 1978. Rodgers has been unable to put his offense in the end zone so far. Richardson didn’t even get on the stat sheet.
Packers star QB Aaron Rodgers was excellent going 10 of 12 for 134 yards. Packers TE Jermichael Finley had four catches for 76 yards. Packers rookie RB Eddie Lacy looked great running the ball and making defenders miss in space. Crosby was perfect on all three field goals, though one was tipped by a Ram, so he was fortunate. Jolly tipped a pass at the line, which led to an interception, and picked off a pass after it was tipped. CB Micah Hyde led the Packers with five solo tackles and a sack.
Bradford connected with Givens on a nice 57-yard bomb but threw high to a wide open Tavon Austin, which would have been Austin’s first catch and touchdown, and fumbled the snap on fourth-and-goal. Clemens’s chances of getting the backup job look worse after going 2-for-11 for 27 yards and another two interceptions, though most of the blame fell on the poor offensive line play. Pead only had 18 yards on 11 carries. Johnson had three catches for 58 yards and a touchdown.
In a loss by two scores, the Rams lost to Pickett’s new team, 7-19. The big stat of the game was the field goals; the Rams had one field goal try, which missed, and the Packers made four out of five. Each team was tackled for a loss either five or six times for 14 yards total. Each team was also poor on penalties; the Packers had eight for 53 yards and the Rams had nine for 52 yards. The Packers controlled the ball more than two minutes longer.
The Packers had a bad 29% third down efficiency rating, whereas the Rams had a terrible 7% rating. The Packers did not go for it on fourth down, though the Rams did converting on zero of three attempts. The Packers were one for three in the red zone, and the Rams were zero for two. The Packers were one for one on goal to go and the Rams were zero for two.
The season is looking worse than last season for the Rams, due to the fact that the 1st-team offense put up zero points and the 1st-team defense gave up many yards on every drive. I would be surprised if the Rams finish with a winning record for the first time since 2003.
By Trevor Roe