(AP) — Coming off an impressive bounce-back victory, the Green Bay Packers are looking to finally exhibit the consistency of an elite team.
Looking to win consecutive games for the first time this season, the Packers conclude a three-game road stretch Sunday against a St. Louis Rams club they have dominated recently.
Amid criticism from media and fans alike, Green Bay (3-3) delivered a resounding 42-24 win over previously undefeated Houston on Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers went 24 of 37 for 338 yards with a team record-tying six touchdowns and no interceptions.
That allowed the Packers to re-assert themselves as one the NFL’s best – at least for one week.
“Our team has a lot of pride,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “They have never lost any confidence. I haven’t seen that. I think after (Sunday) night’s win, it’s even stronger.
“But you just turn the page and you get up and you come into work.”
The Packers were coming off a 30-27 loss at Indianapolis the previous week in which they blew a 21-3 second-half lead. Only time will tell whether they follow up last week’s strong performance with another or suffer a letdown again.
“There’s such a fine line between winning and not winning,” McCarthy said. “We’re 3-3, and I know exactly why we’re 3-3. But I (also) know how to continue to improve.”
One way will be to not overlook St. Louis (3-3), which Green Bay has outscored 93-34 during a three-game winning streak in the series.
“You see a (St. Louis team) that had almost 500 yards of offense (during a 17-14 loss at Miami last Sunday).” McCarthy said. “So it’s tough every week in this league, and you’re foolish not to think so.”
Though the Rams are averaging just 18.3 points and 308.7 yards (28th in the NFL), they’ll be facing a Green Bay defense that’s suddenly banged up. D.J. Smith was lost to a season-ending knee injury last week, while fellow starting linebacker Nick Perry is also expected to be out against the Rams.
Starting cornerback Sam Shields could sit with a shin injury suffered against the Texans.
Green Bay still has Rodgers to lean on offensively, as he’s posted a 124.5 rating while throwing for 892 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions in the last three games.
With receiver Greg Jennings hampered by a groin injury, James Jones has recorded six of his seven touchdown receptions in the last three contests.
Rodgers has thrown for 585 yards with five TDs and a pick in two games versus St. Louis. Jones and Jordy Nelson, who combined for five touchdowns at Houston, each caught a TD in the Packers’ 24-3 home win over the Rams last Oct. 16.
St. Louis can move on from last week’s defeat by improving to 4-0 at home. The Rams had a season-high 462 yards – 162 on the ground – against Miami but managed one touchdown and two Greg Zuerlein field goals.
St. Louis has scored nine TDs – 30th in the league.
“The object is to score more points than the other team,” middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said. “However many yards we put up or yards we didn’t allow on defense, all that, doesn’t matter.”
The Rams’ Steven Jackson is averaging 53.8 yards rushing without a TD this season, but he could be poised for a breakout game against a Green Bay team allowing 110.2 yards on the ground. Jackson has averaged 113.5 yards with a score in four games against the Packers.