It’s been a while, sorry about that… here we go!
We know 1 of 2 things (or maybe nothing new at all) 1. The Packers defense, especially the rush defense, is vastly improved OR 2. The 9ers suck…ok we knew that last year. It was refreshing to see the Packers shut down a team, on the road. After the TD on the first drive I wasn’t the least bit concerned for the rest of the game. However, since the goal is perfection (which is not attainable, I think a legendary coach mentioned something about that) let’s focus on a few flaws…
¼ through the season we now have a sample of everything. I’ve crunched some #s regarding 3rd down efficiency and the difference of NOT having Jordy Nelson. Let me state that I said I didn’t think the Packers would “miss” Jordy all that much due to Rodgers being able to make up for lost production. The Packers are converting 40.4% of third downs this year which ranks 16th (I believe) as opposed to last season converting 47.4% (3rd overall). I calculated all of Jordy’s 3rd down targets and conversions…when Jordy was targeted on 3rd down, he converted 50%. That’s really good. So one can state that the Packers really miss No. 87, however I argue with Jordy going down the Packers are a more efficient offense. Time of possession is way up, total plays/game is up, both which help the Defense incredibly! I’m not saying Jordy being injured directly makes the defense great, but when you have Aaron Rodgers and a great offensive coaching staff, it makes it much easier to adjust as opposed to, say, the Atlanta Falcons losing Julio Jones (whom I believe is the best WR in the NFL).
Ok – let’s look at the St. Louis Rams. In week 1 they beat, what we thought at the time was a great team, Seattle. They then had a huge let down the next week at a bad Redskins (oh my god! I said their name, the Redskins! :O) team. Everyone is focusing that St. Louis went into Glendale, AZ and beat an undefeated Cardinals team; impressive. Are the Rams set up for another let down? I say no…because the Packers are arguably the best team in the NFL, arguable the best Home Team too.
St. Louis features possibly the best defensive front in all of football, DEs Robert Quinn & Chris Long and DTs Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers. This could pose a huge problem for the Packers’ tackles, even if Bulaga plays. Bakhtiari has regressed each season after having a decent debut season as a rookie. Don Barclay has shown he can’t block anyone, run or pass block that is, since injuring his knee. Bulaga will be tested v. this front. St. Louis is built around great/solid defense and a tough running game, just like Jeff Fisher always tries to build…with all of that I still don’t think if St. Louis plays their A-game they come into Lambeau and get a win. With that, my prediction is below…