Rodgers settles for FGs, Packers beat Rams 19-7R.B. FALLSTROM (AP Sports Writer) Sunday, Aug 18, 2013
ST. LOUIS (AP)—A game without a touchdown pass just feels wrong to Aaron Rodgers. Never mind that it’s the preseason.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback threw 39 TD passes last year and his streak of 35 consecutive games with a TD pass from 2008-12 is the second-longest in NFL history.
So, yeah, Rodgers feels a bit unfulfilled and frustrated going two games this August without reaching the end zone.
And yet, all three of his drives were productive in a 19-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Saturday night. All four thus far, counting the Packers’ 17-0 loss to Arizona in the preseason opener.
”I would say it’s preseason first, but we’re working on things and we like to finish off those drives,” Rodgers said after going 10 for 12 for 134 yards. ”The Rams have a very good defense, we saw that last year, it was a tough game and we made some plays late to pull it out.
”But you’ve got to finish off those drives with TDs.”
Rodgers expects to play at least a half in Week 3 at home Friday against the Seahawks. Getting to the end zone, ”that’s kind of the first priority,” he said.
Here are five things we learned from the Packers’ victory over the Rams:
1. SKILL TO SPARE: Both of Green Bay’s starting wide receivers are injured, with Jordy Nelson expected back for the opener from knee surgery and Randall Cobb, who had a team-leading 80 receptions last season, dogged by a biceps injury.
So Rodgers leaned on tight end Jermichael Finley and got contributions from youngsters Jarrett Boykin and Brandon Bostick, too.
”That’s the nature of competition,” Rodgers said. ”We’ve got a lot of guys hurt, banged up, and guys are playing for roster spots.”
2. THIRD AND L-O-O-N-G: Adding playmakers like Tavon Austin and Jared Cook hasn’t translated into instant success for the Rams’ offense.
Both got involved for the first time, with Cook’s 37-yard catch and run the highlight. But the Rams were 1 for 14 on third-down conversions and 0 for 3 on fourth down.
”I think we killed ourselves with penalties,” quarterback Sam Bradford said. ”It seemed like third-and-forever a lot of the night.”
3. LACY’S PUSH: DuJuan Harris is the Packers’ incumbent at running back but hasn’t played in the preseason because of a knee injury. Second-round pick Eddie Lacy has capitalized on the opening, gaining 40 yards on eight carries and adding an 11-yard reception in the first half.
”Now we’ve got a back who has very good patience in Eddie,” Rodgers said before hastening to add there are several other good backs in camp. ”It’s a fun competition and we’ll see what happens moving forward, but Eddie had a good night.”
4. KICKING IT: Mason Crosby set an NFL record with 762 points in his first six seasons, but converted a career-low 63.6 percent of his field goal attempts last year.
Coach Mike McCarthy said Crosby must beat out Giorgio Tavecchio to keep his job. Crosby was 3 for 3 in Week 2 including a 48-yarder, while Tavecchio was wide left with plenty of distance on a 49-yarder and made a 38-yarder.
”The opportunity did not present itself last week and frankly I think that it was important to get them the opportunity,” McCarthy said. ”We will continue to let those guys battle it out.”
5. JOB ONE: Bradford got over-anxious on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and fumbled away the snap. That misplay marred an otherwise nice day, with Bradford going 8 for 12 for 156 yards and leading the Rams to zero points.
”That’s on me. I just missed it,” Bradford said. ”I’ve got to make sure I have the ball before I get out of there. It’s unacceptable. You can’t have that happen. That’s what cost us this game.”
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