Game Notes: Jolly Makes Early Impact

ST. LOUIS - The Packers have blocked two field goals since Mike McCarthy became head coach in 2006, and Johnny Jolly has done the honors both times. - More Packers-Rams Game Center


Johnny Jolly blocks a field-goal try by the Rams' Josh Brown in the first quarter on Sunday.

ST. LOUIS - The Packers have blocked two field goals since Mike McCarthy became head coach in 2006, and Johnny Jolly has done the honors both times.

On the opening possession of Sunday's 36-17 victory against the Rams, Jolly blocked Josh Brown's 48-yard field goal try to keep the game scoreless. His deflection went to teammate Will Blackmon, who caught it on the fly and returned it 18 yards to give the offense good field position for an opening field-goal drive of its own.

Last year, Jolly also blocked a 45-yard attempt by Adam Vinatieri in the Packers' 34-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field. That was Green Bay's first blocked field goal since Cullen Jenkins got one in 2005.

Jolly had a solid day from scrimmage on defense as well, beginning with a tackle for a 1-yard loss of running back Steven Jackson on the game's first play.

He then added to his big first quarter with a turnover. With the Rams backed up inside their own 20, Aaron Kampman got to quarterback Marc Bulger and hit his arm as he started to throw. The ball fluttered forward and Jolly dove to recover the fumble, setting up a Green Bay field goal.

Replays showed that the play actually could have been ruled an interception, with the ball going forward and Jolly diving to snag it before it hit the ground. It would have been Jolly's second interception of the season.

"It was a catch," Jolly assured reporters after the game. "It was a catch."

Jolly also was credited with a pass defensed in the third quarter when he tipped a Kyle Boller pass at the line of scrimmage on third down. It was a key play, coming at the Green Bay 39-yard line with the Packers protecting a 23-17 lead. The Rams were forced to punt, and they never got any closer to another score until late in the game with the Packers well ahead.

Twice is nice

Fullback John Kuhn turned in the first two-touchdown game of his pro career. The last time he got in the end zone twice in the same game?

"It was back in college, about five years ago," said Kuhn, an alum of Shippensburg, the same school where former Packers long snapper Rob Davis played. "It feels really good. To get your number called twice, that's a rare opportunity for a fullback in the NFL."

Kuhn's first TD came on a well-executed fullback dive from the 1-yard line in the second quarter. With the Rams clearly thinking the ball was going to the tailback, Ryan Grant, Kuhn took a quick handoff instead and practically walked through a huge hole.

"Yeah, untouched on a run play down at the goal line," he said. "You can't ask for much more than that."

His second TD sealed the game. Charles Woodson's interception in the fourth quarter gave the Packers the ball on the St. Louis 26, and a couple of plays later, Kuhn was wide open in the right flat on a play-action bootleg. He caught Aaron Rodgers' short pass in stride and sprinted through open space to the front pylon for the final points of the game.

It appeared tight end Donald Lee was open in the end zone behind Kuhn as well, but Rodgers made the safe throw and it worked out.

Rare miss

When Mason Crosby missed an extra point in the fourth quarter on Sunday, it was his first PAT miss in his three-year pro career, breaking a string of 100 straight. He missed the kick wide left, though it didn't prove crucial as the Packers led by 12 points at the time and won by 19.

Crosby had actually made 168 PATs in a row dating back to his sophomore year in college at Colorado. His last miss came on Nov. 6, 2004, in a Big 12 Conference game at Kansas.

A few debuts

Active for the first time this season after missing the first two games with an ankle injury, first-round draft pick B.J. Raji made his NFL debut and even though he wasn't credited with any tackles, he made an impact right away.

{sportsad300}On the Rams' second possession, Raji drew a holding penalty on tackle Adam Goldberg, wiping out a 19-yard run by Jackson. Three plays later, Jolly had his fumble recovery to set up a field goal.

Newly acquired safety Matt Giordano also made his Green Bay debut, playing on special teams. He had one tackle on kickoff coverage.

Rookie offensive tackle T.J. Lang took his first snap from scrimmage, replacing Daryn Colledge at left tackle for one play when Colledge's shoe came off and he had to miss a play. The Packers went with two tight ends on Lang's side of the formation and ran the ball that way, gaining 7 yards. Colledge was back in after that.

Fellow rookie offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith was active for the first time in his brief career and played as a blocker on extra points and field goals.

Rookie linebacker Brad Jones made his NFL debut as well, playing on special teams. He had one tackle but was also called for a holding penalty.

Linebacker Desmond Bishop, who had played exclusively on special teams thus far, got into the linebacker rotation on plays from scrimmage and made his presence felt. Working in late in the game for Nick Barnett, who had reached the roughly 40-snap count McCarthy said he's been on these first three weeks, Bishop recorded two tackles, including one for loss on a short pass to fullback Matt Karney. Bishop also had a special teams tackle in the game.

Injury update

The only injuries McCarthy reported after the game were a wrist injury to receiver Greg Jennings and a hand injury to fellow receiver James Jones, but both players returned to the game.

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