The Packers keep piling up the wins, a winning streak that has now reached 12 games, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy presented his theme for this week just moments after the Packers ran their record to 6-0 with a 24-3 win over the St. Louis Rams.
“We’re seven days from being 7-0. That’s our message,” McCarthy told reporters, just minutes after he delivered that same message to his players.
All aboard the Packers’ express, as it rolls on toward a date with one of its NFC North rivals, the Vikings, in Minneapolis next Sunday. It’s expected the Vikings will put up more resistance than the Rams did on Sunday.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers pitched three second-quarter touchdown passes, which runs his total for the season to 17 and keeps him on the heels of Tom Brady’s record-setting pace in 2007. The score at the end of the first half would be the final score of the game, as the Packers spent the second half defending their lead, if not stalling on third down.
“We won by three touchdowns. We can spin this any way we want. The last time I checked, when you win by three touchdowns, that’s a pretty significant win,” McCarthy said.
The Packers moved one game ahead of the Lions for the NFC North lead. Detroit fell to 5-1 with a home loss to San Francisco. McCarthy’s “seven days from 7-0 message” is an obvious attempt to focus his team fully on the next game ahead.
Rodgers completed 17 of 28 passes for 310 yards, three touchdowns and a 119.6 passer rating. His passer rating would’ve been higher had it not been for a late-game interception that was the result of a pass glancing off Greg Jennings’ fingers.
The stats would suggest the game was closer than its final score, but that’s not the case. The Rams legitimately threatened the end zone only once, when they reached the Packers’ 10-yard line in the third quarter. On first down, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was promptly intercepted by Sam Shields, who took a hit on the play that resulted in a head injury that ended his participation.
“You have to make smart decisions with the football,” McCarthy said of Shields having run around the end zone with the football until getting clobbered by a Rams player in pursuit.
Bradford completed 28 of 44 passes for 321 yards, no touchdowns and Shields’ interception. It earned Bradford a 76.0 passer rating.
The yardage tells one story; the passer rating tells another. The passer rating more accurately reflects the Packers defense’s strong performance.
“I’m very pleased the defense kept the offense out of the end zone,” McCarthy said.
“I thought the team started fast, which is always the focus; commanding lead at halftime. Offensively, we didn’t do a very good job of handling the football. It wasn’t a clean second half but we won by three touchdowns,” he added in putting the win into perspective.
The Rams fell to 0-5.
Linebacker Clay Matthews notched his second sack of the season, one of three sacks of Bradford; Charles Woodson and A.J. Hawk got the other two.
The Packers are at 6-0 for the first time since 1965.
“We need to get the next one and then get healthy,” Rodgers said, referring to the fact the Packers have a bye week following the game in Minnesota. Additional coverage - Packers vs. Rams