Rams unblemished

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Turnovers are usually game-changers and it was last Sunday at the Coliseum when Green Bay fumbled a kickoff return in the waning moments.

After a slow start in which the undefeated Rams trailed by two points at the half, they exploded for 21 points in the second half and edged the Packers 29-27.

The go-ahead points were provided by Greg Zuerlein, who drilled a 34-yard field goal with 2:05 left.

With 8:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, quarterback Aaron Rodgers (18 of 30 for 286 yards) directed the Packers 75 yards and later hit wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (45 yards on two receptions) with a 40-yard strike as Green Bay (3-3-1) darted ahead 27-26.

Zuerlein’s 43-yarder with 11:39 on the clock in the fourth pushed the Rams (8-0), who are halfway through a perfect regular season, in front 26-20.

The Packers opened the scoring when Rodgers, a one-time Super Bowl champion, maneuvered Green Bay 75 yards that was culminated with a one-yard blast by running back Jamaal Williams (nine yards on four carries) and just over six minutes left in the first.

Mason Crosby’s 41-yard field goal and 14:19 left in the second made it 10-0.

The Rams cut the lead to 10-2 when running back Aaron Jones was tackled in the end zone by linebacker Mark Barron (five tackles and one assist) for a safety and 2:47 left before the break.

Green Bay’s defense was stellar in the first half, but allowed Jared Goff (19 of 35 for 295 yards) to drive the Rams 72 yards which he capped after drilling wide receiver Josh Reynolds (42 yards on three catches) with a one-yard toss and 21 seconds on the clock that made it 10-8.

Crosby’s 53-yarder with 9:38 left in the third handed the Packers a 13-8 lead.

Goff responded with a short pass to running back Todd Gurley, who raced 30 yards, ending a 75-yard march.

When Goff hit Gurley (114 rushing yards on 25 carries and 81 yards on six catches) on the two-point conversion, the Rams burrowed ahead 16-13 with 7:19 left in the third.

The Rams (416 total net yards) extended their advantage to 23-13 when Goff unloaded a 19-yard laser to Reynolds, finalizing a 66-yard trek and 1:50 on the clock in the third.

The Packers (359 total yards) had Jones (86 yards on 12 rushes) add a 33-yard sprint with 13 seconds left in the third as the visitors drew within 23-20.

The Rams finished with 23 first downs compared to 16 for Green Bay and converted on third down eight of 18 times while the Packers were successful on two of nine.

The Rams owned the clock, possessing the ball 34:10 to 25:50 for Green Bay.

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About Author

The Sports Department Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at richsports5@sbcglobal.net.

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