Green Bay Packers Look To Continue Strong Defense Against St. Louis Rams

Green Bay Packers Look To Continue Strong Defense Against St. Louis Rams

A preview for the October 11, 2015 game between the visiting St. Louis Rams and the host Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Caleb Wahlgren

Dom Capers has the Green Bay Packers defense firing like a well oiled machine through four games of the 2015 season. In their past two games the defense has combined for 13 sacks, two interceptions, and have forced five fumbles. A large reason for  their success has been putting Clay Matthews back to the inside after the injury in the season opener to Sam Barrington which has knocked the middle linebacker out for the rest of the season. Even with playing from inside, all Matthews has done is made a shorter distance between two points, as he still has totaled three sacks by himself in the last two games, and the Packers defense is thriving with Julius Peppers and Nick Perry being the primary pass rushers out of the Packers 3-4 base defense.

Meanwhile their opponent for week five, the St. Louis Rams, are no defensive slouch themselves. Their strength is their defensive line, featuring big names like Aaron Donald. They have beaten two teams that would arguably be considered to have weak offensive lines, in the Seattle Seahawks during week one and the Arizona Cardinals in week four. They have compiled 17 sacks on the season themselves, which includes a four sack performance against Carson Palmer. Janoris Jenkins was impressive as well as he was able to record an interception for his second interception of the season.

The Rams defense will certainly have their hands full though as they will try to figure out a way to stop Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, and the Packers offense. James Jones and Randall Cobb have been a strong combination as receivers as well, as they both have four touchdowns receiving this year. Cobb has more catches with 25 for 289 yards, while Jones has 17 catches for more yards with 317. Jenkins can only cover one of these gentlemen at a time, so it would be shocking to expect the Packers offense to struggle too much in the passing game.

But the even bigger reason for that is because the Packers offensive line continues to remain to be one of the teams strongest positions. Starting with left tackle David Bakhtiari, who the Packers found as a diamond in the rough in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then he has started at left tackle as Bryan Bulaga, who is expected to miss the game at right tackle with an injury, went down in training camp with a torn ACL and Bakhtiari was given his opportunity to start. Then the inside of the line is solid with Josh Sitton at left guard, Corey Linsley at center, and T.J. Lang at right guard. The guards for the Packers are arguably the top guard tandem in the entire NFL. Plus, the Packers have had both guards for quite some time, so Rodgers is very comfortable with them and trusts them. Linsley has been a good center so far in his 22 games with the team, as he started at center to begin the 2014 season at CenturyLink Field against the Seahawks. If the Packers had a question on the offensive line, it would likely be considered to be at right tackle as Don Barclay is filling in for the injured Bulaga, who went down in week one against the Chicago Bears. But Barclay has been fine, facing tough pass rushers like Justin Houston and Bruce Irvin, and the Packers offensive line has only given up six sacks on the entire 2015 season so far.

With the power of the offensive line against the Rams formidable defensive line, the battle in the trenches should be a marvelous one to watch. But even with the emergence of Todd Gurley last week against the Cardinals. It seems like the majority of the experts are leaning toward the Green Bay Packers winning this game and going 5-0. It is tough to beat the Packers at Lambeau Field and the odds makers in Vegas are currently projecting the Packers to win the game by ten. This writer would say that the Packers will do well, and would actually pick the Packers to cover, as the final score prediction for this game is Packers 34, Rams 17.