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10/17/2011 5:35 AM EDT
Packers top Rams to remain NFL's only unbeaten
GREEN BAY 24, ST LOUIS 3
By CHRIS JENKINS
AP Sports Writer
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Don't expect Charles Woodson and the
Green Bay Packers' defense to beat themselves up for letting the
winless St. Louis Rams pile up yards.
Woodson worries first about points and wins - and the Packers
were just about perfect on both counts Sunday.
Despite giving up 424 yards of offense, Green Bay's defense shut
St. Louis out of the end zone in a 24-3 victory that kept the
Packers perfect at 6-0.
"Does anybody want to give up a lot of yards? No. But the goal
is to win," Woodson said. "We held them to three points today,
kept them out of the end zone, which is a goal of ours. There's
places where we can get better, we feel like we'll get better,
and we'll enjoy this win today."
With Sunday's loss by NFC North rival Detroit, the Packers are
the last unbeaten team left in the NFL this season.
But the Packers' defense hasn't been flawless.
Green Bay has been tough in the red zone and made plenty of big
plays. But the Packers are having a hard time stopping teams
between the 20s. It happened again Sunday.
Sam Bradford was 28 of 44 for 321 yards with an interception for
the Rams (0-5). Bradford said moving the ball but failing to
score was becoming an unsettling trend for St. Louis.
"It is something that we struggle with all year," Bradford said.
"There have been several games that we have been able to move
the ball up and down and we get to the red zone, we have silly
mistakes that don't allow us to put the ball in the end zone. In
this league, if you want to win, you got to score touchdowns."
Bradford's ankle was sore after the game, but he said he wasn't
Rams running back Steven Jackson had 18 carries for 96 yards.
"For whatever reason, we get into the red zone, we keep shooting
ourselves in the foot," Jackson said.
The Packers held the Rams to 3 for 13 on third down and 1 for 4
when they went for it on fourth - more indications that the
Packers' defense tightens up when it needs to.
"You give some things, but you buckle down in the times when
you're supposed to and get yourself off the field," Woodson
said. "I think we had a couple of fourth downs today where we
got off the field. Those are the type of things that we're going
to have to do during the season. When games are tougher than
they are today, you're going to have to make plays and get off
the field in crucial situations. And today we did."
Bradford said the Rams have to find ways to avoid getting backed
into third-and-long situations.
"It is not easy to pick first downs up when you get yourself
into that situation," Bradford said. "When you do it with
penalties, it becomes very frustrating. We got to figure out a
way, whether it is my communications skills or whether it is
guys just tuning in, we've got to figure out a way on first and
second down not put ourselves in such a bad situation."
The Packers' offense took control in the second quarter, as
Aaron Rodgers threw touchdowns to James Jones, Jordy Nelson and
Donald Driver. But Green Bay's offense hit a lull and didn't
score in the second half.
"It's a feeling of minor disappointment, I think, in that locker
room," Rodgers said. "We just, in the second half, offensively
just struggled. The second quarter was great, we put up a lot of
points. I think it's encouraging at the same time. It's tough to
win in this league, we're 6-0, and have a lot of room for
Packers coach Mike McCarthy had a mixed reaction to the victory.
He bristled at questions about the offense being shut out in the
second half, saying, "the last time I checked, when you win by
three touchdowns, that's a pretty significant win."
But McCarthy also said the team isn't anywhere near where it
wants to be.
"You have to be running on all cylinders, and we're not there
yet," McCarthy said. "So fortunately, we're 6-0. We'll continue
to work to get there."
Notes: Wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker and linebacker Ben Leber
were inactive for St. Louis. Neither was listed on the team's
injury report this week. "We weren't trying to send any
messages," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "We just put our the
guys out there that we thought would help us win the game." ...
It was the Packers' last home game for nearly a month. ...
Packers cornerback Sam Shields sustained a head injury after he
picked off a Bradford pass in the end zone and was hit hard.
McCarthy said Shields was still being evaluated after the game.
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