As we all learned last season, there’s something to be said for depth.
The Green Bay Packers demonstrated they have it again in their third meaningless game of the year, a 24-21 win over the [intlink id=”196″ type=”category”]Indianapolis Colts[/intlink].
The Packers starters — with the exception of [intlink id=”138″ type=”category”]Greg Jennings[/intlink], who sat out — saw their most of extensive action of the preseason.
On the positive side, quarterback [intlink id=”25″ type=”category”]Aaron Rodgers[/intlink] was sharp, completing 19-of-23 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown. He had another touchdown to Chastin West nullified by a [intlink id=”225″ type=”category”]Chad Clifton[/intlink] holding penalty.
West only caught two balls for 12 yards on the night, but the fact that he was out there when Rodgers was in the game and the quarterback found him in the end zone is a good sign he’s going to make the team.
As far as the other receivers go, [intlink id=”209″ type=”category”]Jermichael Finley[/intlink] continued to impress with four catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers hit Finley from 18 yards out for the game’s first score. [intlink id=”22″ type=”category”]Jordy Nelson[/intlink] also had a nice evening with five catches for 65 yards, including a long of 34.
One guy who may be flying under the radar, but has a real chance to make the team is seventh-round pick [intlink id=”1629″ type=”category”]Ryan Taylor[/intlink]. The tight end caught three balls for 24 yards and a touchdown. He can also contribute on special teams, which gives him even more value.
The Packers will have some tough decisions to make at tight end, which is a loaded position.
[intlink id=”1102″ type=”category”]Graham Harrell[/intlink], the Packers third quarterback, was responsible for the final tally, though. Although his play was uneven, Harrell rallied the team for the win.
Harrell hit Taylor with for a touchdown with 35 seconds left and connected with him again on the 2-point conversion to tie the score. After the Packers recovered an onside kick, Harrell was able to put [intlink id=”152″ type=”category”]Mason Crosby[/intlink] in field goal range for the winning margin.
It wasn’t all rosy for the offense though.
Clifton gave up two sacks and committed the aforementioned penalty that took points off the board. The coaching staff has to start thinking about the possibility of rookie [intlink id=”1613″ type=”category”]Derek Sherrod[/intlink] taking over the left tackle job this season.
The running game was equally unimpressive. [intlink id=”64″ type=”category”]Ryan Grant[/intlink] was the team’s leading rusher with 16 yards on six carries, which is only 2.6 yards per carry.
On defense, the Packers were fairly lackluster again, making Curtis Painter — who’s subbing for the injured Peyton Manning — look like a serviceable NFL quarterback. Painter was 11-of-21 for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
The secondary completely broke down on the Colts first touchdown — a 57-yarder by Reggie Wayne. No one picked up the Colts biggest offensive weapon in zone coverage and he walked in for a second-quarter score.
There was good news, though.
[intlink id=”454″ type=”category”]Clay Matthews[/intlink] actually played and notched one of four Packers sacks on the night. Let’s hope his hamstring doesn’t tighten up again.
Vic So’oto, who’s now playing with the second team after Frank Zombo’s injury, continues to show promise. So’oto sacked Painter on the Colts first second-half drive and forced a fumble that was recovered by Jarius Wynn.
So’oto, an undrafted rookie, looks like he’s playing his way onto the team.
The Packers have to make their first round of roster cuts by Tuesday. Then, it’s one more meaningless game and we get the real deal.