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Progress in St. Louis, Packers 19 Rams 7

by Mark Daniels

The Packers squared their Pre-Season record at 1-1 with a 19-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome Saturday night.   The Pack settled for four field goals until they finally cracked the end zone in the 4th quarter when B.J. Coleman found Jake Stoneburner at the right front pylon of the end zone with 8:46 to play.   St. Louis avoided the shutout when Austin Davis hit Nick Johnson with a 26 yard TD strike in the final minute.

The Packers made a few positive strides from the shutout loss to the Cardinals.  Aaron Rodgers and Jermichael Finley hooked up twice on the opening series for gains of 11 and 25 yards but a holding call on the tight end wiped out a first down inside the Rams 10 and the starting offense had to settle for Mason Crosby's 34 yard field goal.   On the next posession, Rodgers and Jarrett Boykin connected for a 26 yard gain but they came away empty when Giorigio Tavecchio missed a 49 yarder.

The Rams hit a big play on the next snap as Sam Bradford found Chris Givens for 57 yards behind rookie Micah Hyde down to the Packers four yard line.  But Bradford coughed up a snap on 4th and goal at the one and Green Bay recovered.

Eddie Lacy made his August debut and showed some power with gains of 7 and 11 on the ground and he also caught a swing pass with a nifty spin move for another 11 yard gain.   On third and five at the St. Louis 21, David Bakhtiari was beaten inside by Robert Quinn to sack Rodgers for a loss of 9 but Crosby got points out of the drive with a 48 yard field goal and a 6-0 lead.  That was it for Rodgers who finished 10 of 12 for 134 yards and a passer rating of 113.2.

Late in the half, Graham Harrell moved the Pack 18 yards in five plays which allowed Tavecchio to make amends with a 38 yard field goal and a 9-0 lead at intermission.

Johnny Jolly stole the show in the third quarter.  On the opening series, he deflected a Kellen Clemens pass and Jarrett Bush intercepted the ball at the Rams 29.  After picking up one first down, Vince Young failed to move the Pack and Crosby tacked on three more points with a 30 yard boot.  The Packer defense got a quick stop but the bouncing Rams punt deflected off of Brandon Smith at the Packer 10 yard line.   Clemens tried to force a ball into tight coverage at the goal line with Robert Francois and Loyce Means converging.  The ball caromed up and it was Jolly, dropping in coverage, who made the interception in the end zone and he twisted his way out of there with a 9 yard return.

Jolly and Andy Mulumba bring down a Rams ball carrier.

B.J. Coleman quarterbacked the final period and overcame a holding call on Lane Taylor and got a pass interference call on a 4th and 6 pass to Alex Gillett to keep the drive alive.  On 2nd and goal from the 9, Coleman escaped pressure to his right and Stoneburner coming back for the ball in the end zone.  The Ohio State rookie did a nice job keeping linebacker Ray Ray Armstrong pinned behind him for the first touchdown of the pre-season.

After the game, here's what head coach Mike McCarthy had to say about the performance of his starters and the four quarterbacks.

Audio: Mike McCarthy

Here are some numbers.  The Packers outgained the Rams 357-327 but they held St. Louis to just 52 yards rushing on 22 attempts, a 2.4 yard average.   The defense also got off the field, the Rams were just 1 of 14 on third down.   Lacy finished with 40 yards on 8 carries and was easily the most impressive back.  James Starks played only briefly in the 4th quarter and had a fumble and didn't return.   Harrell completed 5 of 10 passes for 44 yards, better than week one.  Young was 5 of 9 for 26 yards and Coleman finished 8 of 13 for 86 yards and the TD.   Myles White was the leading receiver with 5 catches for 48 yards.  Finley finished his first couple of series with 4 catches for 78 yards.

Here's the list of players who did not go: Kevin Dorsey, Charles Johnson, Randall Cobb, DuJuan Harris, Sean Richardson, Casey Hayward, Tramon Williams, J.C. Tretter, Bryan Bulaga, Derek Sherrod, Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor, Jordy Nelson, Datone Jones and Jerel Worthy.

Next up for the Pack, the annual Midwest Shrine Game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field next Friday night.