Angered by the inability to get off the down and then up rollercoaster of a 2012 season to date, wounded by losing four more players to injury yet buoyed by the confidence gained from at last, a complete game in Houston last Sunday night, the Packers embark on the final leg of a three game road trip meeting the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday. These are not the sacrificial Lambs of the past five years, an organization that won but 15 games, including 7 in one season. New coach Jeff Fisher has instantly made them competitive at 3-3, the same record the Packers have heading into the Edward Jones Dome. As for the injuries: two players will spend the rest of the year on injured reserve, moved to the list after getting hurt in Houston. Running back Brandon Saine and starting linebacker D.J. Smith both suffered knee injuries. Number one pick Nick Perry hurt his knee and Sam Shields got whacked in the shin. Those two haven't practiced all week and are unlikely to play Sunday. Enter Erik Walden at outside backer and probably, rookie Casey Hawyard in the secondary. Brad Jones will take Smith's spot at inside backer. Greg Jennings didn't work either and his groin injury looks like it will take at least another week. B.J. Raji will try to go on a sprained ankle that forced him out of the Texans game.
The Packers offense, coming off the 6 TD performance of Aaron Rodgers will matchup against the league's 7th ranked defense. The Rams may be vulnerable against the run, but Alex Green practiced on a limited basis with a sore shoulder after gaining 65 yards in Houston. The Green Bay run game isn't going to scare them. St. Louis allows just 210 passing yards a game, again ranked in the top 10. They get pressure from Robert Quinn (6 sacks) and Chris Long (4 sacks) and they have ball skills in the back with 8 interceptions, three from Cortland Finnegan, the feisty former Titan who played for Fisher in Tennessee. The Packers may have too many weapons to contain, not to mention the MVP quarterback. St. Louis has done a decent job neutralizing Robert Griffen III, Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill, three rookie QB's. Flip it around the the injury ravaged St. Louis offense will try to find a way to finish drives. They've put up decent yardage in the past month but haven't scored more than 19 points in a game since week 2. Sam Bradford is on his third system in his three years in the league and is without three preferred starters on the offensive line including former Packer Scott Wells, and his top outside threat in Danny Amendola. He caught 32 passes in the first four weeks before injuring a shoulder and might not be ready Sunday. Stephen Jackson is still a workhorse back but after gaining 1145 yards a year ago, is averaging 54 yards a game and 3.6 a carry so far. Daryl Richardson has provided a nice change of pace with fresh legs, piling up 246 yards rushing and a 5.2 yard average. Brandon Gibson has 20 receptions with two scores and former Wisconsin Lance Kendricks is reliable with 14 grabs. The Rams special teams has been given a leg up from rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein who has hit four field goals from between 53 and 60 yards already this season and nearly made a 66 yarder in Miami that could've forced overtime.
On the link below, some comments from Mike McCarthy and the guys as they pack their bags one more time and hopefully take two out of three on the October road trip.