Rams Fall 19-7 to Packers in Preseason Home Opener

Posted Aug 17, 2013

The Rams fell to the Green Bay Packers in their preseason home opener, 19-7, on Aug. 17 at the Edward Jones Dome.

The offensive starters for St. Louis accounted for 175 yards of total offense, but were unable to take advantage of scoring opportunities. The Rams failed to convert on fourth-and-5 on their first drive, and suffered a costly fumble inside Green Bay's 1-yard line.

QB Sam Bradford finished his night with eight completions on 12 attempts for 156 yards.

“A little shaky, but I think we played pretty well for the most part," Bradford said. "Obviously, I’d like to have the throw to (WR) Tavon (Austin) down on the goal line back, but I thought we executed pretty well. We moved the ball, we’ve just got to find a way to put some points up on the board.”

WR Chris Givens picked up a 50-yard reception for the second consecutive preseason game when Bradford found him for 57-yards in the first quarter.  It marked Givens' only reception of the game. After just one target in last week's game at Cleveland, WR Tavon Austin caught four of the seven passes thrown his way for 28 yards.

As Head Coach Jeff Fisher said earlier in the week, the Rams are easing their way into complex game planning and keeping it vanilla on the field. TE Jared Cook got in the mix in the second quarter when Bradford connected with him for a 37-yard catch and run.

"I wish we had a little more time to prove what the offense could do, but I understand it’s a stepping stone and we’re still building," Cook said. "We’ve still got two more games left, so we’ll get ready for the regular season."

RB Isaiah Pead got the start for the Rams in the backfield and rushed for 20 yards on 11 carries. Daryl Richardson did not receive any carries on the night, but hauled in a 24-yard reception down the sideline on the first drive of the game.

RB Benny Cunningham saw an increase in playing time in Game 2 of the preseason, as RB Zac Stacy was inactive. Cunningham got six carries for 19 yards, picking up the majority of his production on a 17-yard rush.

Second-year QB Austin Davis showed some resolve when he took over the offense to close out the game. Davis produced four first downs during the two-minute drill and came out with a out with a 26-yard touchdown pass to WR Nick Johnson, the only scoring drive of the game. Davis ended the night with seven completions for 114 yards for a 94.9 passer rating.

The ball was spread around with WRs Brain Quick, Andrew Helmick, Cameron Graham, and Emory Blake each bringing in one reception. Helmick, former player at Lindenwood University, made his first game appearance of the preseason and hauled in a 30-yard reception in front of a home crowd.

On the defensive side, DE Robert Quinn was able to come away with a sack on the night, but ended the game aware of things that the group needs to correct.

"We gave up some passes and some runs, but that just comes with some basic fundamentals and techniques," Quinn said. "We will keep practicing that each week and get better.”

LB James Laurinaitis was glad the unit kept the Packers offense from crossing the goal line. The veteran linebacker was unhappy with some fundamentals from Saturday, but is confident that the group will use the game as a learning experience.

“I’m disappointed in our tackling, we didn’t play our best on defense," Laurinaitis said. "But, I’m proud that, I guess looking back we held a dang good quarterback (Packers QB Aaron Rodgers) to six points. I think that’s a positive, but we definitely have to get better at tackling because we have some plays that should be 4 yard gains, end up 11, 12 (yards) – stuff like that. Hopefully, we learn from that and we have a couple more games to get that down. All the other stuff – scheme stuff – we’ll learn from, but pretty good.”

Early in the contest, the Packers had their offense going. Despite giving up 165 yards of total offense to Rodgers and the Packers' first team offense, the Rams defense surrendered only two field goals.

The youth in the secondary looked improved with second-year CB Trumaine Johnson finishing with four tackles and a pass defensed, according to press box statistics. Rookie LB Alex Ogletree saw an increase in playing time, along with rookie CB Brandon McGee. Though McGee didn't get the start, he did get some work with the first and second team. S Quinton Pointer stood out on both special teams and defense, recording two tackles and a pass defensed.

After making,  54-yard and 55-yard field goals in Cleveland last week, K Greg Zuerlein missed a 50-yard attempt in the second quarter. The attempt was his only one of the night.

The Rams offense totaled 327 yards for the night with 275 through the air and 52 on the ground, while the defense gave up 357 total yards, 281 passing yards and 76 rushing yards.

St. Louis falls to 0-2 in the preseason and will look to earn their first win when they travel to Denver and take on the Broncos on Aug. 24. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.