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Dropped passes concern Philbin


Dom Capers is delighted to be on a six-quarter, no-touchdowns streak. Meanwhile, Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin left Lambeau Field on Sunday disappointed that his offense failed to score in the second half of a 24-3 win over the St. Louis Rams, and concerned for a recent trend: dropped passes.

"The disturbing thing is we've had 10 drops in two weeks. That's a trend. When you have 10 drops in two weeks, that's a concern," Philbin said on Monday, as the Packers analyzed their most recent performance.

Following Sunday's win, Head Coach Mike McCarthy was quick to point out that his team won by three touchdowns, but Monday's tape review seemed to have tempered some of that enthusiasm. McCarthy spoke pointedly on Monday about the need for improvement. Capers and Philbin echoed the head coach's sentiments.

"I didn't feel very good yesterday when I left the building," Philbin said. "There's always stuff to work on. That keeps guys like me employed."

Beyond the drops, Philbin was disappointed that his offense's first five drives of the second half resulted in four punts and an interception. He was also dissatisfied by a lack of production in the running game.

"We felt we didn't make the plays that presented themselves. We had three drops in the second half. We played awfully well in the first half and didn't finish the game," Philbin said. "They made the plays and we didn't on third down. We have to catch the ball better and we have to make the plays when they're there.

"I thought we could've done a better job in the run game. The run-game productivity overall has to get better."

The Packers offense is ranked fourth overall in total yards; third in passing but a lowly 24th in rushing. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers leads the league in touchdown passes (17) and passer rating (122.5). The next-highest passer, Tom Brady, is nearly 18 ratings points lower (104.8).

Meanwhile, the Packers defense turned in a dominant performance in nearly every way except yards allowed. The Rams dinked and dunked for 424 yards, a figure that shocked Packers defensive players at game's end.

"Your number one objective is to keep them from crossing the goal line. We'd like to keep that going because that gives us the best chance of winning," Capers said.

This Sunday in Minneapolis, the Packers will face a Vikings team that might give rookie quarterback Christian Ponder his first professional start. Ponder replaced veteran Donovan McNabb in the fourth quarter of the Vikings' lopsided defeat in Chicago on Sunday night.

"You prepare for both quarterbacks. Christian played in the fourth quarter and we'll look at preseason tapes. We'll be prepared either way," McCarthy said.

Either way, star running back Adrian Peterson figures to be the featured player in the Vikings offense.

"We'll have a challenge. You have to be very disciplined in your gap control. We're going to have to get 2-3 guys to get him on the ground," Capers said.

The Packers defense is 23rd in the league overall; fifth against the run and 30th against the pass. Additional coverage - Oct. 17

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