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.
I must say the defensive line and offensive line looked like complete shit. McCarthy is probably going to have a hissy fit, although they did come out with win from a ballsy onside kick. The defensive line got zero penetration in the first quarter and constantly got burned on their left side by clay Matthews in the run game. Clifton also looked God Awful, pretty much collapsing soon as the ball was snapped. the secondary had a few lapses but didn’t play too horribly and can probably be corrected this week hopefully. I’ve noticed Sam Shields getting burned all night along with Bush. funny how you can go from being a major contributing factor in a Superbowl win to playing like dog poop. I think the offensive line is the biggest concern. if Rodgers has no time to throw, then Rodgers has no time to score…meaning it doesn’t even matter what the defense does. defense played well enough for Rodgers to be able to outscore the opponents so that may be their game plan going into the season…
It seems like no one is thinking about what the packers were trying to do in this game and are forgetting what this game means to the packers. This game was the third preseason game. If you are Chad Clifton, what are you thinking about during the game? I would be thinking- man i could get injured and it would be meaningless. The packers are thinking- lets get as many reps in so we can evaluate properly. I think people are putting too much stock into a meaningless game. Sure, Clifton didnt have his best game, but this talk of how the packers “have to” being considering putting sherrod in is completely off base and wrong. The Packers hardly even game plan for this kind of game. I do know they said that they were doing a little game planning, but nothing like during the regular season. c’mon people, get a grip.
Dude…did you even watch the game? I’m pretty sure the Packers didn’t go into the game thinking “hey, lets just not have our line go 100%, and let our greatest weapon get sacked and possibly hurt >= 3 times.” I’m hard on Clifton because he is going to end up being the cause of a Rodgers injury or concussion if he plays like that in the regular season. in the past the packers have put their starters in for 3 quarters in the 3rd preseason game to give a nearly full simulation of the regular season. so you get a grip. i want to see my team succeed.how about you? but that’s just my two cents, think what you will.
Our lines are a real issue and the depth behind them is equally unimpressive. Derek Sherrod is actually looking like a long term project or potential bust from what I’ve seen…just curious as to how others see him…I definitely think an off night by Clifton does not mean the Rook should start in his place.
WOW, Derek Sherrod potential bust…. You really got an eagle eye for talent haha, glad your not the Packers GM! This kid has done alot of things good. in addition, look at the pass set he played a part of in college career(it takes adjustment) & the guy was asked to play a position he Never even played before! There’s alot more to it than what u have just ranted in your 3 sentences… Just WOW
Agreed. Perfect example is Bulaga form last year. He had his rough spots in transtioning form LT to all over the damn line. There’s a learning curve, and you can’t expect him to act like 10 year pro-bowler in the 3rd game.
Clifton got beat…Starks is big all the sudden…Awesome execution on the screen passes…GPG
Ya don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Sherrod is ready to take over for Clifton either. Sherrod is great against power rushers but he gets burned by speed every time and needs more experience. Clifton just needs…im not sure….just dont do what you did last night ever again and you’ll be straight haha. and it wasn’t just Clifton either. the running game was terrible allover. they couldn’t get a push anywhere. and Sitton got burned big time on one play.
Clifton is in the twilight of his career…week 1 of last season he gave up 2.5 sacks to the ShEagles…once he achieves mid-season form, he’ll be fine
Offensive line and Defensive backfield both need to step it up.
Good game breakdown Monty….I also watched Vic So”to closely…love this guys play…he really hustles and goes after it…..These Lines need serious attention…like code red serious…This offensive line is giving Rodgers like 2 seconds…thats pathetic, as soon as the ball is snapped that line gets driven backwards…it hurts to watch…Brett should be happy he’s not playing here…he’d get killed..before the line was pass blocking “ok” but couldnt run block, now they cant do either. 45 yards rushing, with rodgers having 10 of those…are you flipping kidding me with that shit?..That dog dont bark in the NFC North. maybe this year MM will finally admit we have a run problem…last year we were 24th running, and without Rodgers, we wouldve been last in rushing…Is James Campen accountable at all?…I mean w t f?…Jerry Fontenot running backs coach?…really?
Its a preseason game. Put less stock into it.
PS settle down there packerfan2008, you are defending yourself like a threatened your manhood. Taking personal jabs at me seems desperate. I hate to tell you this again, but Get a grip man.
nothing against you. you just don’t really know what the hell your talking about. I’m just trying to educate you.
Your right krisofer…its pre season…it probably didnt happen….we probably dont have an O line problem…We probably have the best line in the league…Kristofer, how is life in fantasy world?
I know that it was a preseason game, but the ending of that game was awesome. I was absolutely fun to watch.
Here are some facts I took from the game: West looks like a good bet to make the roster, linebacker depth is better than first realized, the Packers will probably have to keep an extra TE, the final cornerback job looks nailed down by Josh Gordy, would like to see more Devon House (although he will more than likely make the team), offensive line had too many sacks indicating that they will need the next 11 or so days before the regular season, and defensive line needs to get injured players back healthy. With the shortened offseason it may take a little longer than you are used to and, yes, 11 days is a lot considering, but these guys are pros and will be ready for the regular season. No need to take jabs at me because i am stating the obvious. For those that feel they have to insult, How about we just debate instead? We are rooting for the same team.
Were all Packers fans and we are all entitled to our thoughts and opinions. So lets stop trying to bash each others opinion and all just support our team. Agreed?
This team won the Super Bowl last year. Maybe some people forgot.
Yeah, we were ranked 24th in rushing. Of course, we didn’t have our best RB, Starks, until the last 6 games of the year.
The Packers won the Super Bowl while being 24th in rushing. The Colts won the AFC the year before while being dead last in rushing.
Yeah, but we play in the NFC North. Oh, wait, the Bears ranked 22nd in rushing last year. The Lions ranked 23rd. Both virtually dead even with the Packers. I guess rushing isn’t so important in the NFC North after all.
And why would it be? Two of the 4 teams in the division play in domes. All 4 teams are built offensively around speed.
The Green Bay Packers rank dead last in rushing this preseason. Worried? Do you know who rank right behind the Packers? The Chiefs and Raiders. Yes, the two teams that finished 1 an 2 in rushing last season.
Preseason don’t mean shit.
Anyone STILL waiting around for MM to realize we should run the ball more is comically going to be waiting around for a LONG time.
When what you are doing is working, does that typically initiate the desire to change? Um… no.
There’s a difference between electing not to run the ball, and not being able to run the ball. Running isnt a big deal?…How many 1st and goal did we have we cant convert…or 2nd and 2? or 3rd and 1..(punt) Thats not acceptable. What do you do when you want to run time off the clock, you run the ball. iltarion….I can try to explain it to you…but i cant “make” you understand it.
Agree. How many of those close loses last year were due to the fact that the Packers just could not grind out a couple of first downs rushing and kill the clock….
Yeah, you are right. The Packers will never win a championship with their current running game.
Starks will be the featured runner for the Packers. How many carries have we seen him have this preseason? Not many. The Packers don’t want to give away the tape on how good starks is and will be the entire year. He is big enough to be able to take the pounding in a game, knock the linebackers around, and also light enough to out maneuver the secondary. We are going to have a much better run team this year. Possibly top 15 at least.
I think at this point, Marshall Newhouse is the backup behind Cliffy – not Sherrod.
The 57 yard TD was on Burnett. He thought he recognized something and gave up on his responsibilities. I’m glad that he did it in a preseason game. I still consider him to be like a rookie becuase he missed so much of last year. Those things are very correctable and doesn’t make me concerned in the least.
My “concern” with the running game is that with as much as we pass, you think we’d have better results with the run. Still, we’ve seen something like 6 carries from Starks? Grant doesn’t have a ton of carries either. There is not enough information to really make an informed decision about this year.