Well, the Green Bay Packers last exhibition game with the Kansas City Chiefs was about as uneventful as it gets. The Chiefs won 30-8, but that’s not the real story.
No one who matters even played. Casey Hayward, Brad Jones and Morgan Burnett were notables out because of injury. Key contributors who dressed but didn’t play included Aaron Rodgers, Jermichael Finley and Clay Matthews.
Someone who might be important and actually did play for the first time all preseason was Tramon Williams and he picked off Chase Daniel on the first series. Oh, the Chiefs starters didn’t play much either.
But that was about it.
The starters who did play left almost immediately after the game started. Vince Young and B.J. Coleman alternated at quarterback, with Young getting the start. Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross and Tyrone Walker were the first three in at receiver, which says something for Walker’s chances of making the roster.
Ross, who was supposed to be the return man, hasn’t seized the job, although he did have three catches for 50 yards. The Packers gave rookie corner Micah Hyde another long look as the punt returner and used running back Alex Green extensively as the kick returner.
It’s time to say it, Ross might be gone. Green is probably on the team and Hyde looks like he might be a future star. Hyde sacked Daniel in the third and he’s been more than solid minus that touchdown he gave up against St. Louis.
Francois, meanwhile, had another solid game with three tackles. Jamari Lattimore was all over the place, though.
That guy had six tackles and probably made himself the next guy up when Brad Jones is out for the season and A.J. Hawk finally gets benched.
Another guy that was all over the place was cornerback/safety Chaz Powell. At the least, he probably earned himself a spot on the practice squad.
Another guy that probably earned himself a spot of the practice squad was cornerback Brandon Smith. Yeah, he got beat for three touchdowns, but he’s also a converted wide receiver and he’s still learning the position. He did some good things, has the size and speed and might have an NFL future as a corner with a little seasoning.
The question mark in all of this is safety Chris Banjo. The guy has been a playmaker all preseason, but he got hurt in the second. Although he returned in the third — probably because he thought he had to — you didn’t hear his name like you did early in the game. Banjo did catch our attention by getting a big sack in the fourth, though.
We’d be surprised if the Packers cut this guy.
Another guy who feels like he’s played himself into something, is fullback Jonathan Amosa, an undrafted free agent. That dude can pound some motherfuckers. He can also catch the ball — he caught that touchdown pass that won Vince Young the backup QB job.
It’s hard to see the Packers ditching John Kuhn, but they now have an option if they want to. This guy should at least be on the practice squad.
Unfortunately, as has been the case for most of the preseason, punter Tim Masthay was the Packers MVP. In addition to kicking the ball after the pathetic offense broke down, Masthay also had to make two tackles on returns and shit, Tim Masthay can tackle.
What else do we know?
These guys suck at run blocking. I don’t care who was in the game, it’s going to take Eddie Lacy running over three guys in the backfield for the Packers to gain any yards rushing this season.
Lacy is obviously the No. 1 back. He was in for a few plays and then out. Then the Packers gave Johnathan Franklin a long look. He gained 23 yards on 8 carries.
B.J. Coleman is getting cut. His pick in the first, which was a terribly thrown ball, likely sealed his fate. Ironically, perhaps, former Packers linebacker Frank Zombo intercepted that pass and returned it 28 yards.
The Packers defense — then mostly scrubs at that point — held the Chiefs to a field goal even though they started inside the Packers 10. Two sacks, one by our boy Johnny Jolly, helped that cause.
Another unfortunate development — first-round pick Datone Jones played pretty extensively, but was pretty much invisible. Jones has been dealing with an ankle injury and he might still be dealing with it.
We get it, he needs to learn, but is he going to be of any use to the Packers at 75 percent?
So, here we go. Into the regular season hoping our starters are, A. better than everyone else’s and B. don’t ever get injured. Then we’ve got a shot.
I am not overreacting to preseason….
Last year i thought there was no way Alex Smith would come into Lambeau & beat Aaron Rodgers…No way.
This season, the 49ers are better…our O-Line is shaky at best & theirs is the best i’ve ever seen. & i’m not so sure we’re better this year than last year. I expect to get flattened by them in Week 1…it pains me to say.
You and me both.
The only thing we have going for us in week one is that maybe Aaron Rodgers plays lights out with that chip on his shoulder he has against San Fran.
(Sucks it is in San Fran BTW.)
I see you, Old Man.
The 2 things we do have going for us in Week 1 are the best QB in football & a defense predicated on forcing turnovers. Otherwise, i think Sept. 8th is going to be a long day for us. I hope i am wrong.
If they are the best you’ve ever seen, then you must not watch much.
They gave up 40 sacks last year and have consistently ranked near the bottom of the league in sacks allowed.
In comparison, the 1995 Dallas Cowboys OL gave up 14 sacks, while opening gaping holes for Emmitt Smith.
Davis, Staley and Iupati = road graders.
Do those 40 sacks include Kaepernick getting hit for a one yard loss on read option plays?
I don’t know if i agree with TyKo about “best ever”. But they’re surely the best o-line in the league right now. No doubt about that. Maybe the best run blocking o-line ever.
No, those stats don’t include read-option plays. Those are considered run plays.
They’re definitely beasts, but I would have to put my money on Denver’s o-line, Manning’s quick release certainly helps (A-Rodg’s is just as fast and he gets sacked at leat 3 times as much, granted he does hold on to the ball too long a little too often) but they’re still ridiculously good (and underrated). The Patriots still have one of the beat o-lines in all respects as well, Nawlins’ is excellent as well, as was the giants’ last year and Tampa has an extremely underrated crew. Inwould contend all of these o-lines are at least as good as San Fran’s (remember the Bloodline had 3 sacks on Staley last year and the defense had 5 or 6 total) and they’re all fantastic (though NYG’s did get shaken up this year).
Denver’s Center, Dan Koppen in on IR.
Patriot’s O-Line is just slightly above average from what I’ve seen.
I’ll give ye Denver, but they were the best o-line last year, losing one cog, arguably the most talented and vital one certainly hurts a good deal, but there’s still 4 other studs on that line.
I respectfully disagree with your assessment, NE had the 7th-ranked rush game, 3rd-ranked pass, and a mid-20s sack total, and Brady holds the ball for a longer interval than my lunch break at times; that o-line is right where it’s always been-top 5 in the league, IMO.
iltarion seems to think the 49ers line isn’t that good, but ironically, thinks the Packers O line was ok the last 2 years.
I would hope we can agree that there is a sizable difference between saying the 49ers line isn’t the best of all time versus saying they aren’t “that good.”
The 49ers’ line is one of the better ones in the NFL right now, but it is no where near the best ever and has actually been considered a weakness until the last couple years.
I would say it is more ironic to say the 49ers line, which gave up 40 sacks last season, is the best ever while also saying the Packers o-line, which gave up 51 sacks, is one of the worst in the NFL.
The 49ers definitely have one of the better o-lines on today’s game, principally in terms if run blocking, but are you saying you’ve ever seen one of the ’60s Packers’, ’80s/’90s Dolphins’ or ’90s Cowboys’ games on ESPN/Classic, or the Peyton Manning-led Colts or the ’00s Patriots?
Real fans don’t lose faith!
Just like the early 90’s when the Cowboys punked us every time, the Niners have our number.Their personnel is better on both lines and at LB, we get the edge in the secondary. Their defense is salivating over game film of the Packers O-Line, and rumor has it Rodgers just increased his life insurance coverage. The new and improved run game is a myth. No way a case can be made for a Packers victory, I am mentally prepared for a thrashing by two TDs or more. It is a statement game, but I dread what it says.
We already saw how well Lacy can run when Aaron Rodgers and the other starters are on the field. It’s no myth.
Right. We know our Oline is nothing to write home about. The backups are that much worse. You shouldn’t have really expected anything out of the backup running game.
It’s the preseason. Hardly any of the starters were even playing. And people are already giving up on the Packers this season. Lol.
I would never “give up” on them.
Just some real talk. 49ers are gonna pound the rock on us & they have a top 2 defense. The game is in S.F. Bowman/Willis are gonna make us 1-dimensional.
I still think we’ll win the NFC North.
As cynical as this article is, I can’t say I disagree with any of it. This has been a complete horseshit preseason, I believe spearheaded by horrific QB play and comically bad run blocking.
Tyler Bray, the Chiefs 3rd string QB, is better than EITHER of our back ups.
However, before we bow to the might of the 49ers, I wonder who they are going to trot out there against Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Micah Hyde. Remember, Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Mario Maningham are all gone. Yes, the 49ers picked up Anquan Boldin, but the Packers have never had any problems with him.
Clearly, the Pack has a big advantage there. Enough so, that they could consider jamming 8 in the box on every down where running is any kind of option. Load the box and force the 49er WRs to beat our guys. I like our chances.
Seems to me that Vernon Davis and the scrambling of Kaepernick are the only way the 49ers are likely to consistently move their offense. If the Packers contain Kap, they likely win the game.
Sure, on offense, the Packer running game might be a non-factor against them, but few teams look to beat the 49ers by running the ball anyway. As good as they were for most the season, in the postseason, the 49ers had their issues stopping the Packers right before they had their issues stopping the Falcons right before they had their issues stopping the Ravens.
And there is a tendency for losers of the Super Bowl to continue the trend that lost the Super Bowl the following season.
Agree with almost all of this, though I would like to point out that most of the teams that were successful vs. the 49ers (Giants, Vikings, Rams, Chick-fil-a’s, Ravens) were able to run on them and wear that defense down.
Great point about the receivers particularly Bolden, hopefully Hayward, Tramon, and Burnett will be good to go. As for Davis, I think he along with (obviously) Gore and Kaepernick will be key to the 49ers success-good TEs have almost always gone enraged Poseidon on the D and none more so than that man.
The 49ers had a miserable time stopping the pass in the postseason, and now they don’t have Dashon Goldson back there. Sure, they picked up Asomugha, but then they lost Culliver to injury.
Quite true that Vernon has had some big games against the Pack. I have Kaepernick and Vernon in fantasy football, so at least if they go crazy I get some benefit out of it.
But don’t get me wrong, I would love to see the Packers break Kap’s leg and send Vernon to Singletary to get spanked again.
Even though I accept it is the preseason and that most of our starters are held out and those on the field are running vanilla teams, I am not sure how any team–let alone this Packers team–can turn it on a dime after playing hardly all through the preseason.
Two considerations. First half of the Seahawks game,our starters, particularly on defense, with ferocity. So maybe they can just turn it on, with proper motivation.
Also, a lot of people are picking the 49ers as the preseason Super Bowl favorite. They are two problems with this. First, every year it seems the favorites at the start of the season change as the season goes on, and rarely follow through. Last preseason favorite that did was our 2010 Packers, but the injuries, close losses removed us from that status mid-season, only to gain it again as we entered the playoffs. Our team will also changes as the season progresses–quite possibly for the better.
In relation to the 49ers specifically, no team has ever lost the Super Bowl and won. The last team to win the Super Bowl after losing it under the same coach and same quarterback was Tom Landry’s 78 Cowboys, who lost it in 76. History tells us that the apex of Harbaugh’s 49ers was that loss to the Ravens against his brother. By no means can anyone relate them as the reincarnation of the 90s cowboys vis-a-vis our Packers.
I don’t think the players see it that way. They know the chemistry and timing that they have developed in practice. They know what they’re capable of. The starters haven’t really played together in preseason more than a series or two – and they looked pretty sharp.
There’s been a noticeable method to the madness. MM and TT are using this time to evaluate players and give important reps to guys that we might need later in the season.
Until we can stop the read option with mobile qb’s like Kaepernick, I don’t see us winning this game, or possibly even against Washington. I also don’t see Kaep making it through the whole season if they continue with that trend. Someone is gonna knock the crap out of him, just like RG3.
Agreed they need to figure out the Read Option, let’s see what Neal, Perry, and DialTone can contribute to that end.
I’m not too worried about Washington, their pass defense still is quite awful and RGIII seems to be fragile to begin with and I’m not convinced he’s even 90% healthy. I guess well see in 2 weeks.
The packers starters played probably the least they have in recent memory. But everyone just calm the friggin beck down. The lions went 4-0 in the preseason when they went 0-16. The preseason only matters when the “dress rehearsal” happens, and we saw nothing but highlights when that happened.
Everyone still comfy with our depth? Look, with playmakers like Kap and Wilson making names for themselves in the previous preseason, you can say all you want about how it doesn’t count. But boy oh boy the times they are a changing. Our 2s and 3s look Pathetic against ‘similar’ talent from the opposition, and that’s being kind.
Yes, lets hope the final 53 stays healthy as possible. Good luck making huge strides in the running game this year…think baby steps.
I don’t think Hyde returning punts was so much a reflection of Ross’ future with the team as it was Mm trying to accurately judge Hyde’s PR ability-MM knows what he has in Ross as a returner.
As for Ross losing a roster spot to Brandon Smith, I say to you, Brandon Burned-like-a-vampire-walking-on-the-Sun Smith? Ross finally showed some potential at WR and he’s going to get beat out by someone who got beat for a big play in every game so far, in fact multiple times in each game? Sorry, I just don’t see that happening. That’s not to say Ross makes the team (though I think that’s likely) and Smith doesn’t (though I think he’d be lucky to make the PS) but to
say he’ll make the team over Ross? Come on man!
As for some of the bubble boys, Mulumba didn’t help his case. Barrington should be in, as should Lattimore, Palmer at least on the PS if not the 53, same for Boyd and Banjo Kazooie.
HAHAHAHA!!!!! Who the HELL is BANJO KAZOOIE?????
I disagree slightly about Ross though. MM tried Hyde at PR partially to see if Ross is expendable there. He is. BUT, Ross might have done enough to make the 53 and put Walker on the PS.
You know? Banjo, Banjo Kazooie.
What a bunch of over reactions here. I am not saying the evaluation is wrong. But think about how we all know how much MM cares about the score of a preseason game. He could care less what the final score is. All he wants to do is put the players that are on the bubble and players who need more practice in game action out there to make sure they get a good look at these players before the Packers A. release them, B. promote them, or C. place them on the practice squad. MM saw the same thing as this article describes. Keep the goods and release the baggage. The Packers will destroy that sissy squad of a 49ers team. (too far?) Anyways, Why? because they are conveniently hiding their true look on offense and defense. Speaking of hiding plays, looks and players– i think i noticed more teams hiding players this year in the preseason than any other year. All that preseason is is an extended try-out, do not read too much into it. Here is my prediction for the year: Packers 12-4 record & Suberbowl Champs!!! That’s all you need to know.
TT is going to have to shine up his crystal ball. His biggest challenge isn’t the roster, it’s the 20 guys he has to choose from to pick 8 for the practice squad.
As for the 1’s and how the season plays out, I have no idea. But I do know that they are still hugely at risk with that offensive line, which is aptly named.
Whatever happens, AR is going to get another taste of what Favre went through. Both in terms of getting beat like a rented mule and hoisting the team onto his shoulders to carry them wherever they end up going.
All the talk about the run game? Bullshit.
I fully understand what coach was doing this preseason – more so than in years past – evaluating the talent he has on the roster for mostly back up slots. Knowing this, my biggest concern is back up O line. We haven’t run blocked well – 1’s or 2’s & 3’s -, but without the threat of a serious passing game (ie Rodgers on the bench) teams played run. We ran well the few series Aaron played. But if we get hurt on the OL (starters) we may be in trouble. And if we lose our QB, well, that goes without saying.
This is all the preseason has ever been. Since we were kids, this has been going on for decades.
Just from a non-biased viewpoint, things don’t look real positive going into the season. But, maybe being under the radar is a good thing.
And by under the radar, I mean teams knowing what we know and taking us lightly and surprising every team on our schedule.
The teams do have a bit better insight than we (fans, casual or die hard, no matter), i.e. gametape, and they know what Rodgers is capable of. That said, I agree teams (esp. The Niners and maybe the Giants) may treat the Pack with less reverence than in years past, and that would be a fatal mistake.
Since the topic has come up, let me tell anyone under 50 that the greatest offensive line of all time–by far–was the Packers’ OL in the sixties during the Lombardi years. Ron Kramer, the “misplaced tackle” at TE, tackles Forrest Gregg and Bob Skoronski, guards Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer, with Jim Ringo at center. Absolutely awesome. It’s no accident that Jim Taylor rolled up all those rushing yards during those years. It’s also no accident that Bart Starr had enough time in the pocket to sip a cup of tea while going through his reads.
Up to the moment: Did Tyrone Walker do anything last night to suggest he might make the team? I’m interested because he comes from my alma mater (Illinois State).
Yup, best o-line ever, it’s a sham they’re not all in the HoF, poor lonesome Jerry.
Walker was arguably played better than anyone besides Rodgers vs. AZ, only had one or 2 catches vs. the Rams but it was a great RAC and was consistently open, did alright vs. Seattle. Overall, he appears to be the 6th best receiver, and a natural slot man.
I don’t care if it’s first team or third team — these guys just can’t run block.
It doesn’t make sense statistically: every, single one of them can’t run block, year after year?
It seems like every running play has three or four opponents in our backfield, at about the same time the runner gets the hand-off.
A little advice for Franklin: don’t even think about coming to a complete stop (like you did so many times last night)
I can’t see the downside to starting Francois over Hawk.
I hope, I hope the Datko experiment is over; he actually looks worse than Newhouse.
I’ve seen on blogs, much hand-wringing over selections like the 6th WR or 5th TE. These are guys that don’t play special teams and they won’t ever get in the game. There is one rookie and another near-rookie starting on the offensive line. While this is the best that Green Bay can cough up, the league will eat them up. There will be some games where they’re not awful, but there will be other games where they are exposed. This means that drives will end prematurely as Rodgers can’t go through read progressions and the run game can’t get started. GB will have to go heavy on defense if it stands a chance of staying in the season.
“So, here we go. Into the regular season hoping our starters are, A. better than everyone else’s and B. don’t ever get injured. Then we’ve got a shot.”
That paragraph was some of the best journalism I have read in living memory. Thanks for writing it!
Being optimistic, our opponents have almost no real tape on our starting offense, including whatever run game we might have. This is an advantage over teams who played starters into the second half. Our line is not awesome, but given the talent available in free agency and the draft how much better could we have done? Ted will probably pick up some castaways after the final cuts but complaining about our line is just whining at this point.
Being negative, we have no real tape on our starters so we can just experiment on San Francisco. Oh Christ I just got heartburn.
Complaining about the O line isn’t whining….It’s having enough sense to realize we need run blocking, and more talent and stability to protect the leagues best QB…… It’s been broke for 2 seasons. We’re going into a 3rd season with more questions than answers…No offence Ted.
I didn’t care much one way or another about that game….Its over… Sept 8th….It’s game on!!….Then, we’ll see what we have, pre-season bores the shit out of me. After week 2…We’ll know exactly what we have.