A week after getting shut out by the Arizona Cardinals in their preseason opener, the Green Bay Packers actually showed up and dispatched the St. Louis Rams by a score of 19-7.
The Packers first team offense and defense played into the second quarter and left with a 6-0 lead. That second-quarter lead could have been 9-0 if Giorgio Tavecchio had made his first field goal attempt.
Tavecchio didn’t do himself any favors in the kicking competition with Mason Crosby by missing that kick, after looking like the favorite through the first few weeks of camp. Crosby was 3-for-3 on the night, while Tavecchio was 1-for-2.
But on to more important things.
Aaron Rodgers was Aaron Rodgers — 10-for-12 for 134 yards, but he didn’t throw a touchdown for the second straight game.
Eddie Lacy — as advertised. Lacy had 8 carries for 40 yards in his first action with the Packers and it looks like his only competition for the starting job will be DuJuan Harris.
Jermichael Finley, everyone’s favorite tight end, was also impressive with four catches for 78 yards. Jarrett Boykin, who started alongside James Jones, didn’t hurt his chances of earning a bigger role on offense either, with two catches for 33 yards. One of those was an impressive 26-yard catch and run.
Even after last week’s turd of a performance, Graham Harrell was still the No. 2 quarterback. He went 5-for-10 for 44 yards, demonstrating his usual dink and dunk precision.
Johnathan Franklin was the No. 2 back and Alex Green was the No. 3. Neither were impressive. Both guys averaged an identical 3 yards per carry. James Starks was the fourth back a week after being the starter and ran three times for four yards.
Meanwhile, on the offensive line, Don Barclay and Marshall Newhouse alternated at right tackle, with Barclay starting.
DuJuan Harris, Randall Cobb, Casey Hayward and Tramon Williams were the notables not playing.
So, let’s talk about the guys fighting for a roster spot and playing time. Here’s who stood out.
Micah Hyde started at corner with Sam Shields and gave up a 57-yard reception to Chris Givens that put the Rams inside the Packers 10 in the first quarter, but they didn’t score after Sam Bradford mishandled the snap on 4th-and-goal. Although Hyde gave up the big play, he also had two tackles for loss, including a sack, and followed Jeremy Ross on punt returns, returning one for 13 yards in the second quarter. Hyde looks like a guy who’ll have a role when the season starts and just might be a find as a fifth-round pick.
Andy Mulumba continues to be a guy to keep an eye on. The undrafted free agent had three tackles and two for a loss, including a sack.
Jarrett Bush continues to be a special teams demon. We all know the Packers are loaded at corner, but how do you cut this guy?
Inside linebacker Robert Francois looks like the real deal. He had two tackles — both for loss. Francois just might be a future starter.
Johnny Jolly. Johnny Fuckin’ Jolly! Johnny Jolly looks like he’s back. After a three-year layoff for stupidity, Jolly looks like he has his legs back. He had a tipped pass in the third quarter — which is what he used to be known for — that led to a Jarrett Bush interception. Jolly added two tackles and picked a pass late in the third when the Rams were at the Green Bay 5. That came on a deflection by cornerback Loyce Means, a street free agent, who also maybe has a future.
Where the hell does Big Ted find these guys?
One of the things that remains interesting to us is the backup quarterback situation. You know what we think about Graham Harrell. Vince Young was the third quarterback and came in early in the third. He went 5-for-9 for 26 yards and ran once for seven yards.
Frankly, we’d like to see Young work with the No. 1 offense and see what he can do.
B.J. Coleman has fallen far. After getting second-team reps during Family Night, and performing terribly, he’s been the fourth guy the last two weeks. That being said, he made the most of his opportunity this week, going 8-of-13 for 86 yards and throwing the Packers only touchdown — to Jake Stoneburner.
Coleman’s problem has been making stupid decisions. He didn’t look like that guy on Saturday night.
And with that, two down, two to go.