GREEN BAY – The Packers snapped their four-game losing streak with a 20-3 win over the Rams on a drizzly Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Here are five takeaways from the victory:
- After more than 40 days without one, a win sure is a nice change of pace.
"It feels good to be able to celebrate in a locker room," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said of his team after it improved to 3-5. "I think that will give us, hopefully, some energy."
His quarterback would concur.
"100 percent," Jordan Love said. "It feels great to get a win."
- The offense still had too many miscues.
The Packers' lead was just 7-3 late in the third quarter due to a litany of mistakes that made a good portion of this game, unfortunately, look like much of the past month.
- Right guard Jon Runyan was flagged for lining up in the neutral zone on a pair of fourth-and-1 sneaks due to his helmet being too far forward. Word was the league is now emphasizing short-yardage alignment, and players will have to adjust.
- A dropped pass by rookie Malik Heath, a sack taken by Love despite good protection, and a false start on rookie receiver Jayden Reed all nearly conspired to take away a chance at a field goal at the end of the first half. The Packers still got a crack at the kick, but rookie Anders Carlson missed from 48 yards out anyway.
- The second half began with rookie receiver Dontayvion Wicks and veteran running back Aaron Jones losing fumbles on the first two drives.
"It wasn't the most perfect game, by any stretch, and there's a lot of things to clean up," LaFleur said. "But I was proud of the guys in terms of their ability to continue to compete at a high level."
There were plenty of positives, with Jones piling up 99 yards from scrimmage (73 rushing, 26 receiving) and a TD, Love completing 20-of-26 for 228 yards (115.5 passer rating), and the ground game churning out 184 rushing yards overall.
- The defense rose up in some key situations.
After the Wicks fumble, the Rams moved inside the Green Bay 30-yard line, but a tackle for loss by LB Isaiah McDuffie followed by an offensive pass interference call, as WR Puka Nacua pushed off against rookie CB Carrington Valentine, pushed them out of field-goal range.
Then after the Jones fumble, the Rams started at the Green Bay 36, but another tackle for loss by McDuffie, with help from safety Jonathan Owens, on third down left them with a 49-yard field-goal try, which was missed.
"We survived some of those bad spots," LaFleur said. "I just thought we challenged … there were a lot of PBUs out there."
LaFleur lauded the play of several players stepping into larger roles, including McDuffie, Valentine and Johnson, whose interception came off a deflection by corner Jaire Alexander on a pass intended for Cooper Kupp.
"Jaire looked like the Jaire that we all expect," LaFleur said. "He was flying around. He was all over the place."
- The overall defensive performance was what it needed to be.
Without starting QB Matthew Stafford (thumb injury), the Rams turned to backup Brett Rypien, and Green Bay's defense did what it should do with that kind of advantage.
Rypien fumbled a snap early, leading to a sack-fumble by Owens, which was recovered by De'Vondre Campbell to give the offense a short field and set up the game's first points.
Rypien also struggled getting the ball to his playmakers, with Kupp and Nacua combining for just five receptions worth 80 yards. For the second straight week, the Packers also shut down the opponent's ground game, as the Rams got just 51 yards on 22 carries from Royce Freeman and Darrell Henderson combined.
"The defense, they balled out today," Love said. "They had a great game, were able to get us the ball back and make up for some of the turnovers we had."
Check out photos from the Week 9 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field on Nov. 5, 2023.
- The offense took care of business down the stretch.
After the Rams missed the 49-yard field goal, the Packers found some rhythm offensively, scoring on three of their next four drives (two FGs, one TD).
Consecutive passes of 18 yards to Wicks and 25 yards to rookie TE Luke Musgrave set up the first field goal. Four straight runs by Jones and AJ Dillon pounded out 23 yards for the second field goal. And a contested catch on a deep ball by receiver Christian Watson gained 37 and preceded a funky misdirection pass to Musgrave over the middle for his first NFL score, from 20 yards out.
"When we needed it, especially down the stretch, late in the game, I thought (Love) made some plays, and hopefully we can build upon that," LaFleur said.
Added Love: "Offensively having the lead, the message was, 'Just go put 'em out. Find a way to go out there and finish the game with the ball, put up some more points, help the defense out and just put the game away.'"