Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
ST. LOUIS -- A few halftime observations from the Edwards Jones Dome, where Green Bay leads St. Louis 23-14 in what became an offensive explosion during the second quarter:
If you read the first two posts of this game, you might wonder if the Packers’ offense had suddenly seceded from the NFL. But almost immediately after that post, Green Bay caught fire. It started with Donald Driver’s sensational 46-yard reception down the left sideline; Driver pulled in the ball with his left hand while holding off the defense with his right. That play set up one touchdown, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ 50-yard strike to Greg Jennings set up his 21-yard scoring pass to Driver. Add it all up, and the Packers finished the half with 189 offensive yards.
Not coincidentally, Green Bay’s pass protection improved at about the same time Rodgers started drilling passes all over the place. Rams pass-rusher Leonard Little has two sacks against right tackle Allen Barbre, but I would attribute one of them to Rodgers. I haven’t noticed left tackle Daryn Colledge, which for an offensive lineman is a good thing.
After all of last week’s controversy over the safety position, the Packers spent part of the first half with only one safety -- Nick Collins -- on the field. Rather than use a second safety, Green Bay utilized Brandon Chillar as a fifth linebacker. You’ve heard of a the 3-4? Call this a 3-5. But in nickel and other passing situations, Derrick Martin replaced Chillar and served as a traditional second safety.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Rams were a different offensive team with Kyle Boller on the field. Once he got warmed up, Boller played with spunk and was surprisingly accurate on his passes. Interestingly, he and tight end Daniel Fells targeted Chillar on touchdown passes of 16 and 19 yards. As a result, the Rams actually finished the half with more offensive yards (194) and first downs (15) than the Packers. Remember, this is an offense that managed one touchdown in the first two games of the season.