The Green Bay Packers ended their four-game losing streak with a solid 20-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Jordan Love completed 20-of-26 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown while the defense held the Rams to 187 total yards for the game and forced three turnovers in the win. Here are 10 things we learned from the Packers 20-3 win over the Rams.
First Thing We Learned in the Packers Win: The Defense Was Stout
The Green Bay defense had a strong game against Rams backup quarterback Brett Rypien. The Packers held the Rams to just 10 first downs for the game and 187 total net yards.
The Rams gained only 68 yards on the ground and averaged just 2.6-yards per carry. The long gain was eight yards and that was picked up by Rypien on a scramble.
Second Thing We Learned: Jordan Love Was Efficient and Effective
Love completed nearly 77 percent of his passes in the game and did not throw an interception. He still needs some work on throwing deep downfield, but he did hit on several deep passes in the second half including a 37-yard effort to Christian Watson and 25-yard pass to Luke Musgrave.
In the first half, Love struggled at times and completed 8-of-13 passes for 68 yards. But he bounced back to have a stronger second half and got the team the points they needed to win the game.
Love was patient and found his checkdowns instead of forcing the ball to covered receivers.
While he still has plenty of things to improve upon, this game was a step forward for the team’s starting quarterback.
Third Thing We Learned in the Packers Win: Jaire Alexander Had His Best Game this Season
Jaire Alexander has struggled for most of the 2023 campaign in part because of a nagging back injury. But the former Louisville star returned to form against the Rams even with their solid receiving corps.
Alexander made tackles without hesitation and tipped a ball that was later intercepted by rookie Anthony Johnson, Jr.
He had seven unassisted tackles to lead the Packers, broke up two passes and recorded a tackle for loss.
The Packers needed Alexander to step up after the trade of Rasul Douglas and the injuries to both starting safeties and he did a great job.
Fourth Thing We Learned: The Penalty Parade Continues
Despite the win, the Packers continue to commit penalties at an alarming rate. In the first half alone, the Packers committed seven infractions that cost them 47 yards. In the second half, they improved and committed only one penalty for an additional 10 yards.
In the first half, two fourth down conversions were wiped out by offensive linemen lining up offsides. While the calls may have been questionable, there is no excuse for all these penalties which are hurting the team on both sides of the ball.
The better second half is encouraging but the coaching staff needs to work with these young players to cut down on these infractions or the Packers will continue to make it harder for themselves on both sides of the ball.
Fifth Thing We Learned in the Packers Win: Injuries Continue to Mount
The Packers suffered more injuries in the game although the seriousness of them is not known. Defensive lineman Kenny Clark left the game in the first half due to a shoulder injury and did not return. Clark remains the Packers best defensive lineman and his loss would be tough to overcome.
The Packers also lost Watson late in the game with an undisclosed injury. The speedy wideout headed to the locker room before the game was over. He was limited to one catch in the game, but it was an encouraging one as he used his height and jumping ability to make a contested catch deep downfield.
Sixth Thing We Learned: Carrington Valentine Had a Good Game
After the Douglas trade, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst indicated the team had confidence in rookie Carrington Valentine. He also explained the team wanted to see what the former Kentucky star can do with more playing time.
Well, Valentine had a solid start against a talented Rams receiving corps. Neither Cooper Kupp nor Puka Nacua had a big game as the duo combined for just five catches for 48 yards and no scores.
Valentine broke up three passes in the game and played well in his first start since the Douglas deal. Of course, Rypien is hardly an elite quarterback, but the rookie got off to a good start in his expanded role.
Seventh Thing We Learned in the Packers Win: The Packers Ran the Football
When they lose, the Packers offense often gets away from the running game. That did not happen in this game. As a team, the Packers ran the ball 38 times for 184 yards and a touchdown. They averaged a healthy 4.8-yards per carry.
The Packers even inserted Sean Rhyan into the lineup for several plays and he made played well in the first offensive snaps of his pro career.
The Packers need to see this kind of play consistently, but this was a definite improvement.
Eighth Thing We Learned: Defensive Backups Filled in Well
Backup inside linebacker Isaiah McDuffie replaced the injured Quay Walker and played well. McDuffie made seven total tackles including two tackles for loss. One of those tackles for loss led to a missed field goal by the Rams.
Rookie defensive lineman Karl Brooks also had a strong game, knocking down two passes when filling in for the injured Clark.
Ninth Thing We Learned in the Packers Win: Matt LaFleur Called a Better Game
The Packers offense wasn’t spectacular, but it was effective. Matt LaFleur stuck to the running game and was generally less predictable in his play calling.
In the second half, he did a better job of scheming receivers open, and the results showed. The best example was Luke Musgrave’s first NFL touchdown which came in the fourth quarter. Love faked a screen to both sides before throwing to Musgrave in the middle of the field and he was wide open and able to run into the end zone.
The Packers need to continue to get better play calling from LaFleur to make more progress on offense.
Tenth Thing We Learned: This Is Something to Build On
The Packers played a solid but not spectacular game against the Rams. Still, it was vital to end the team’s four-game losing streak and restore some confidence to this young team.
The schedule only gets tougher from here and the Packers will have to continue to play better in the coming weeks to win more football games.
Still, this win was something to build on as the team looks to make progress and build towards a brighter future.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
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