The Green Bay Packers beat the Cleveland Browns 17-0 Saturday night in the Upper Midwest Shrine Game. While beating the Browns, a team that may be in the running for the NFL’s worst this season, in an exhibition game isn’t anything to get terribly excited about, there were some interesting developments to come out of last night’s game.
First, the backup quarterback competition looks to be over. Brian Brohm threw an interception – that wasn’t his fault – on his first pass. Meanwhile, Matt Flynn went 5-of-6 for 50 yards. Flynn continues to display the confidence and playmaking ability that Brohm doesn’t.
The Packers also seem to be gravitating towards using the two tight end set more often this season. Donald Lee and Jermichael Finley could develop into a combined force similar to the Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett. Finley’s improved blocking are a big reason he’ll be on the field a lot more this year than he was last year.
The Packers 3-4 defense made a solid debut. Although Dom Capers ran less than 1/3 of his packages, the defense still managed to put pressure on the Browns quarterbacks, mostly from the linebacker position. Desmond Bishop made several plays, while A.J. Hawk was his typical invisible self. Bishop looks like he will be a playmaker for the Packers this season.
To no one’s surprise, Aaron Rodgers was solid, leading two touchdown drives before hitting the pine. The Packers’ offense will be a force to be reckoned with this season. Unfortunately, the Packers can’t play the Browns every week.
In coverage from the Wisconsin media, the Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn was enamored with Jermichael Finley (man crush, anyone?).
The Press Gazette’s Pete Dougherty has a hardon for the Packers’ defense, which looks to be about 100 times better than last years’ sieve.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Wilde has a similar erection for the Packers’ offense, and rightfully so.