Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bengals 20, Packers 17: Final Thoughts

I know that I'm nearly 24 hours late with this, and in blog time, that's unacceptable. For that I apologize, but I still wanted to go ahead and give some of my final thoughts regarding the Packers' loss to the Bengals last night.

* First, I must bring up Aaron Rodgers. I really don't think I've ever been that pleased after a loss of any kind. I know it's just pre-season, but as a Packer fan you had to feel good about what you saw from the team last night, especially the starters, and especially Aaron Rodgers. The last regular season loss I can remember where I wasn't furious was last year again Dallas, where once again the Packers lost but Rodgers played well. I'm not saying he was better than Favre at his prime last night, but I do think he is better right now. He's a four-year veteran, who has had all this time to get acquainted to starting in the NFL, and I think we'll do just fine with him. Last nights performance made me feel just a little bit better about that, too.

* Elsewhere, I was really impressed with the wide receivers. Part of me almost thinks James Jones and Ruvell Martin will outshine Driver and Jennings this year, just because of how comfortable Rodgers is with them. I know that won't be the case, but we have to once again have the best quartet of receivers in the league. That's without mentioning what we could get out of Jordy Nelson. As far as Driver, he just looks better every year.

* Happy with the play from Brandon Jackson, who should provide a nice 2nd option to Ryan Grant. Kregg Lumpkin will make someone's practice squad, if not ours. The touchdown was nice to see, but his fumble cost the game.

* I'm officially rooting for the Packers to carry six wide receivers. I'm officially rooting for number six, Taj Smith, to be that guy.

* The offensive line played pretty good, although everything I'm reading says Josh Sitton may have played himself out of a starting gig.

* Jon Ryan had a pretty awful shank at one point.

* Absolutely love our first team defense. I have never been more confident in a Packers defense to get a quick 3-and-out than I am with this defense. And that was without Woodson, Harris, Jolly, and Pickett.

* I feel like rookie quarterbacks always look lost when they take an NFL field for the first time. Brian Brohm fit that description as his first pass went for an interception. Matt Flynn, on the other hand, started off shaky but led the Packers on a touchdown drive.

Good night all around, minus the loss of course, but the Packers still have a lot to build on as they head to San Francisco this weekend. I know it's early, and it's only one game, but I'm very, very excited about what this Packers team can do.

(AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


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