GREEN BAY, Wisc. – The Rams (7-4) fell to the Packers 36-28 on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
A 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to running back Darrell Henderson Jr. pulled the Rams within three of the Packers (9-3) before halftime, but the Packers' 16-point third quarter created too big of a deficit for the Rams to overcome in the second half.
Stafford completed 21 of 38 pass attempts for 302 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in the loss, while wide receiver Van Jefferson added three receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. also scored his first touchdown as a Ram, finishing with five receptions for 81 yards in addition to the score. Meanwhile, wide receiver Cooper Kupp's 96 receiving yards brought him to a new single-season career-high, bringing him to 1,237 on the season.
Defensive lineman Greg Gaines chipped in seven total tackles, one sack and one QB hit for the Rams defense.
Here is the complete game recap:
The Rams reached their own 41 and were forced to punt on their first possession. That ensuing 53-yard punt by punter Johnny Hekker was downed at the Packers 6-yard line. The Packers reached the Rams 38 but were forced to punt thanks to tight coverage by Rams cornerback Darious Williams on Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard deep down the right sideline. Green Bay initially brought out kicker Mason Crosby for a 56-yard field goal attempt before calling a timeout and choosing to punt instead.
However, two plays after the punt, Packers linebacker Rashan Gary's sack-fumble of Stafford at Rams 12-yard line and the ensuing recovery by outside linebacker Preston Smith set up Green Bay at the Los Angeles 7-yard line. Green Bay converted the takeaway into points via a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a 7-0 lead with 2:11 left in the first quarter.
L.A.'s unsuccessful 4th down conversion on 4th and 1 from their own 29 gave Green Bay another chance to add to their lead early, but a third-down sack of Rodgers by defensive lineman Greg Gaines allowed the Rams to hold the Packers to a 45-yard field goal, keeping the deficit at 10 early in the second quarter.
It didn't take long for the Rams to answer, though. Facing a 3rd and 8 from the Rams' own 21, Stafford launched a 79-yard touchdown pass to Jefferson to pull Los Angeles within 3 with 12:42 left in the second quarter.
The Packers used an explosive play to manufacture their response on the ensuing drive, as Rodgers' 54-yard completion to wide receiver Randall Cobb on 3rd and 3 from their own 32 quickly moved them into Rams territory. However, thanks to cornerback Dont'e Deayon's coverage on Cobb on 3rd and 5 from the Rams 9-yard line, the Rams managed to hold the Packers to a 28-yard field goal goal and keep their deficit at 13-7.
Initially, the Rams weren't able to answer the Packers again, until rookie cornerback Robert Rochell recovered a muffed punt by Cobb at the Packers 25. After a go-ahead touchdown pass from Kupp to Jefferson was overturned and ruled incomplete upon further review, the Rams settled for a 36-yard field goal by Gay to reduce their deficit to 13-10 midway through the second quarter.
Completions of 28 yards to Cobb and 43 yards to wide receiver Davante Adams helped the Packers respond, as Rodgers found Cobb again at the end of the drive for a 7-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-10 Green Bay with 4:21 left in the first half.
The Rams answered the Packers' touchdown with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Henderson to cut their deficit to three on the ensuing drive. The Rams were on the verge of getting the ball back with the chance to potentially tie or take the lead, but they lined up offsides on the punt that followed the third-down stop, giving the Packers a first down.
Though the Packers reached the 49 after the fresh set of downs, they were still forced punt, mitigating the damage. However, the ensuing punt was fair-caught by Kupp at the Rams' own 10, and with 11 seconds remaining, the Rams chose to take a knee and run out the remaining clock to halftime.
Receiving the second-half opening kickoff, the Packers erased 7 minutes and 42 seconds off the clock with a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to running back A.J. Dillon and increased their lead to 27-17 midway through the third quarter.
A 3-and-out forced by the Rams defense with 5:10 left in the third quarter appeared to give the Rams a chance to cut into the 10-point deficit, but wide receiver J.J. Koski's fumble on the ensuing punt return was recovered by Green Bay at the Los Angeles 28. Despite the turnover, the Rams managed to hold the Packers to a 29-yard field goal.
On the ensuing possession, Stafford was intercepted by Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas, who returned the pick 33 yards for a touchdown. The ensuing 2-point attempt was unsuccessful, but the touchdown increased the Rams' deficit to 36-17 late in the third quarter.
A 54-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Beckham, followed by a 2-point completion from Stafford to Kupp, gave the Rams some life early in the fourth quarter, cutting it to 36-25.
However, they were unable to eat further into that 11-point deficit and forced to punt each of their next two offensive possessions.
On their third chance in the fourth quarter, the Rams reache added a 39-yard field goal with 18 seconds remaining to cut the Packers' lead to 36-28, but their ensuing onside kick attempt was recovered by the Packers.