Aaron Rodgers has picked apart opposing defenses with ease in leading the Green Bay Packers to their best start in nearly 50 years. Things don't seem likely to go any differently against a winless St. Louis Rams team that is without both starting cornerbacks. Rodgers looks to lead the undefeated Packers to an eighth straight win at Lambeau Field on Sunday against the struggling Rams, who own the league's worst road record over the past four seasons. Green Bay's perfect record was in a little jeopardy Sunday night in Atlanta, as the Packers fell behind 14-0 in the second quarter. But Rodgers kept his composure and threw two second-half touchdowns to rally Green Bay to a 25-14 win.
Green Bay fans might also be expecting another Super Bowl. The Packers improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1965 and seventh time in franchise history. Each of the previous six, Green Bay went on to win an NFL title. The Packers have won 11 straight dating to last season, including their march to the Super Bowl title. They've also won seven in a row and 13 of 14 at Lambeau Field, while the Rams are an NFL-worst 4-21 on the road since 2008. It all starts with Rodgers, who leads the NFL with a 122.9 quarterback rating and a 71.7 completion percentage and is tied for the league lead with 14 touchdowns along with only two interceptions. His Packers are the highest-scoring team in the NFL, averaging 34.6 points.
That seems like a tall order for the Rams (0-4), who have been outscored 113-46 this season. St. Louis had an extra week to prepare for this challenge, but in the process it lost starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher to a season-ending knee injury. Fletcher got hurt in practice last Wednesday when he stepped on Mike Sims-Walker's foot during a drill. He's the seventh cornerback injured since training camp for the Rams, who had to place starter Ron Bartell on injured reserve after he sustained two fractures in his neck in the opener. The Packers are also a bit banged-up, with left tackle Chad Clifton and right tackle Bryan Bulaga battling injuries, but that hasn't seemed to make much difference to Green Bay's offense. Clifton (hamstring) is expected to miss a couple of weeks, while Bulaga (left knee) has missed the last two games but likely will return Sunday.
Sam Bradford was sacked a career-high seven times by the Redskins, throwing for 164 yards - the third time this season he's failed to reach 200. He didn't get much help from Steven Jackson, who finished with 45 rushing yards on 17 carries. Jackson has rushed for 260 yards in his last two games against the Packers, but will be facing a Green Bay defense that ranks third against the run, allowing an average of 75.8 yards.
Even with St. Louis having the benefit of the bye week to get a few of its myriad injured guys healthy and ample time to devise a strategy to try to counter the Packers' arsenal of playmakers, a lopsided outcome seems about right. Mike McCarthy hasn't been taking mercy on inferior opponents with his play calling, so figure Rodgers to get warmed up in a hurry throwing the football against a depleted secondary. The Rams are brutal against the run, allowing a league-worst average of nearly 180 yards per game, and perhaps the tandem of Ryan Grant and James Starks will get an overdue chance to run at will even before the score is out of hand. Matt Flynn hasn't had any meaningful playing time since he made his one and only NFL start in place of a concussed Aaron Rodgers and nearly led the Packers to what would have been a stunning road win against the New England Patriots last December with a three-touchdown performance. We could, no let me rephrase that. We will see Flynn at the helm by the fourth quarter.