Fourth-down stops help Packers hold 3-0 lead

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on August 17, 2013 – 7:41 pm

RB Eddie Lacy

ST. LOUIS–The Packers offense moved the ball but had to settle for a Mason Crosby field goal and a 3-0 lead over the St. Louis Rams after one quarter of play at the Edward Jones Dome on Saturday night.

The Packers offense exploded out of their one-game funk with a game-opening drive that featured the power running of rookie Edddie Lacy and the precision passing of Aaron Rodgers. Lacy followed a 25-yard pass from Rodgers to tight end Jermichael Finley by running through several defenders for 15 yards and a first down at the Rams 22-yard line.

On third-and-one at the 13, Lacy carried around left end for what was a gain of seven yards, but the play was nullified by a holding penalty against Finley. The Packers had to settle for a field goal attempt by Crosby, who split the uprights from 34 yards.

Rookie cornerback Micah Hyde helped stall the Rams’ promising first drive of the game by nailing running back Isaiah Pead for a 6-yard loss. The Rams failed on a fourth-and-five play, turning the ball over to the Packers at their 36-yard line.

Rodgers went right to work on his second series of the game by completing a 26-yard pass to wide receiver Jarrett Boykin, who broke two tackles on the play. On second-and-one, Rodgers missed a wide open Finley up the seam, and on third-and-one Lacy was tackled for a 2-yard loss, as the Rams defensive line penetrated into the backfield to disrupt the flow of the play. Kicker Giorgio Tacvecchio then missed on a 49-yard field goal attempt, wide to the left.

The Rams took possession at their 39-yard line and on the first play from scrimmage quarterback Sam Bradford hit wide receiver Chris Givens in stride with a 57-yard bomb. Givens had beaten Hyde, who was in single coverage.

Hyde recovered to make a nice stop on a second-and-goal pass completion at the 2-yard line, and the Packers defensive line forced a fourth-and-goal play by stopping Pead at the 1-yard line on third down. Bradford fumbled the snap from center on fourth down and the Packers retained their 3-0 lead.

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