Sum­mary, box score, game re­port, in­sider, grades

Packer Plus - - News - Greg Beacham AP sports writer

Los An­ge­les — Ty Mont­gomery’s fourth-quar­ter fum­ble on a kick­off re­turn was only the fi­nal big blow to the Green Bay Pack­ers’ hopes of knock­ing off the un­beaten Los An­ge­les Rams.

Mont­gomery’s mis­take was far from the only er­ror Sun­day that left Green Bay’s half of the rowdy Coli­seum crowd go­ing home un­happy de­spite an oc­ca­sion­ally in­spired ef­fort by their team.

“That play didn’t lose the game, but it def­i­nitely took away an op­por­tu­nity for us to go down and win it,” Aaron Rodgers said of Mont­gomery’s fum­ble.

Other plays loomed just as large to Rodgers and coach Mike Mc­Carthy af­ter the Rams salted away their 29-27 vic­tory with­out let­ting Rodgers touch the ball in the fi­nal 5:20.

The Pack­ers were on the brink of a state­ment vic­tory af­ter ral­ly­ing from a 10point deficit late in the third quar­ter. Green Bay had a one-point lead and the ball with 6:49 to play, but the Pack­ers only ended up mak­ing a state­ment about their own in­con­sis­tency.

“You got to play a fully com­plete game, and we didn’t do that,” said re­ceiver Da­vante Adams, who had five catches for 133 yards.

A se­quence in the sec­ond quar­ter fun­da­men­tally switched the mo­men­tum away from the Pack­ers (3-3-1), who had built a 10-0 lead – the largest any­body has taken on the Rams all sea­son long – shortly be­fore half­time thanks to out­stand­ing work on both sides of the ball.

“We came out with that en­ergy,” Pack­ers nose tackle Kenny Clark said. “We started re­ally fast. Like I said ear­lier, I think we did a lot of good things. It’s just dis­ap­point­ing for us to lose the game.”

Sam Shields started the mo­men­tum swing against his for­mer team when he tip­toed along the goal line to down a punt by Johnny Hekker, trap­ping the Pack­ers at their 1. Green Bay’s next play was a run up the mid­dle by Aaron Jones, and the Rams’ fear­some de­fen­sive front stuffed it for a safety.

Los An­ge­les awoke af­ter that stop, both in the stands and on the field. Jared Goff ’s of­fense im­me­di­ately drove for its first touch­down in the fi­nal minute of the first half.

The Pack­ers lamented los­ing that hard-earned mo­men­tum af­ter a largely stel­lar de­fen­sive first half. Green Bay sacked Jared Goff five times, in­clud­ing twice by Clark, and had eight tack­les for loss against L.A.’s pow­er­house of­fense.

“They’ve had the suc­cess they’ve had with a lot smoke and mir­rors, good play­call­ing, speed and mis­di­rec­tion,” Pack­ers line­backer Clay Matthews said. “We came out and made it kind of dirty and grimy, re­ally got af­ter them, hit the quar­ter­back. Ob­vi­ously they found their foot­ing in the sec­ond half, maybe late in the first half. But then we put it back on them at the end of the game. We did just enough for our of­fense to get down there. It re­ally is a shame the way in which we dropped that game. You’d like to think, if we see these guys again … but at 3-3-1, we need to start win­ning these games.”

Rodgers still had the ball with the chance to lead a clock-drain­ing drive with 6:49 left. In­stead, the Rams lost 6 yards on three plays be­fore a 25-yard punt by JK Scott. The Rams got a go-ahead field goal on the short field, and Mont­gomery fum­bled mo­ments later.

The Pack­ers re­al­ize they’re gain­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as a team that plays to the level of its op­po­si­tion. As they reach the mid­point of their sea­son, they know they’re run­ning out of time to put to­gether full games – par­tic­u­larly since their next game is at mighty New Eng­land.

“I don’t un­der­stand that, hon­estly,” Clark said. “In my mind, I swear, if we play games like that, we’re go­ing to win a lot of games. I don’t re­ally know how else to ex­plain it. We’ve got to come out there like that ev­ery game. I re­ally feel like we can get teams on their heels, and with the of­fense that we have, we can put up points and get up on guys easy.”

Gur­ley and Crazylegs: Gur­ley’s scor­ing catch put Los An­ge­les ahead in the third quar­ter. The grab also ex­tended Gur­ley’s TD streak to tie the Rams record set by El­roy “Crazylegs” Hirsch in 1950’51. Gur­ley leads the NFL with 15 touch­downs, and he be­came the fourth player in league his­tory to score at least 15 touch­downs in the first eight games of a sea­son, join­ing Jim Brown (17 in 1958) and Priest Holmes (15 in 2002 and 2004).

Shields shines: Sam Shields made sev­eral big plays for L.A. against his for­mer team. The vet­eran de­fen­sive back caught a pass from Johnny Hekker on a fake punt, and he later downed a punt at the Green Bay 1 to set up the Rams’ de­fense for its safety. Shields played seven sea­sons with the Pack­ers be­fore his fourth con­cus­sion in 2016 nearly ended his ca­reer, but he re­turned to the NFL with the Rams this sea­son.


Pack­ers run­ning back Aaron Jones is stopped in the end zone for a safety by Los An­ge­les Rams line­backer Mark Bar­ron (right).

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