Saturday, August 23, 2008

Packers Get Their "Must Win"

Quite honestly, I have no idea how I'm going to be doing these Packers recaps this season. Doing a recap for a Packers game is a little more intense than anything I've done for the Brewers (because they play 148 more times a season), and the Bucks (because their season was done in December). You'll probably be able to find the stats and the play by play elsewhere, just what I'll try to do is just put each game in perspective as to what each win or loss means for our season.

Tonight, however, I'm going to break it down position by position, and just point out some things I noticed in the Packers 24-21 win over the Broncos.

Quarterbacks: Any confidence Packer fans had in Rodgers after the Bengals game were wiped out with his performance against the 49ers last week. But Rodgers, with the pressure on him, delievered with a spectacular performance against Denver Friday night. Spectacular may be too strong of a word for the preseason, but he won a lot of people over tonight.

Rodgers went 18 for 22 with 193 yards and a touchdown. That, my friends, is what a 118.4 rating looks like. Not to mention he also snuck the ball in from the one for a score. I honestly love watching this guy play, and I couldn't be more excited for the Monday Night season opener.

Brohm went 0 for 4, while Flynn went 2 for 2, but neither saw much action. This is a battle that will likely be settled on the practice field, unless one of them completely steps up next week against the Titans.

Running Back: I was impressed with our running game for the most part, even though cumulatively they only averaged 2.9 yards a carry. Kregg Lumpkin had a pretty good game for himself, 11 for 39 with a TD. Brandon Jackson looked alright, but couldn't punch the ball in when the Packers were on the goal line. Noah Herron had a nice run or two, but I remain continually unimpressed with Vernand Morency.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends: Donald Driver found the end zone, which has been a stranger to him in recent memory, on a nice slant pattern over the middle. It's nice to see he's finally done dropping the ball and willing to give Rodgers a helping hand. James Jones, on the other hand, dropped a very catchable ball, a problem for the whole receiver corp that needs to be solved, and quickly. Greg Jennings had 4 catches for 42 yards, and Tory Humphrey picked up 35 yards on his one reception.

Offensive Line: A few Packers got dinged up tonight, but out of all of them, McCarthy says Josh Sitton's was the most serious. The kid was being mentioned as a possible starter, but now he could miss a substantial amount of time. My guess is a couple of weeks, but I am basing on that on nothing besides my own meandering experience (bonus points for anyone that just got that Baz Luhrman reference. More bonus points if you know who Baz Luhrman is).

Defensive Line: The Broncos ran for 136 yards on the Packers, getting a good chunk of that on their 99 yard scoring drive. A good run defense starts with a good defensive line, so the Packers will have some things to work on in that regard. The Packers did get some good pressure throughout the game, but came away with zero sacks.

Linebackers: Tracy White looking good. He had an interception and a some nice hits, if I recall correctly. I liked the play of Desmond Bishop as well, and Poppinga lead the team with 5 tackles (tied with Aaron Rouse). The Packers have a very good crop of linebackers, and whoever is the last one to get cut will quickly find himself with another team (ala Paris Lenon and Hunter Hillenmeyer).

Secondary: Played pretty well for the most part, I thought. The second and third team guys did a good job of not letting the Denver receivers hang on to the ball when they got their hands on it. Pat Lee almost had a 90 some yard pick six, but couldn't hang on for the interception. Nick Collins had a neck stinger, but should be ready for next week.

Special Teams: Will Blackmon had a nice 43 yard punt return. Jordy Nelson only got his hands on one kick return, for 24 yards. Jon Ryan had a good night, including a 72 yard punt. Mason Crosby had a couple of field goals, to go along with this new commercial.

Overall, I was pleased with the result, especially the play of Aaron Rodgers and the offense. Sure there are a few kinks to work out, and the final cuts will be interesting, but I think this is a team ready to show themselves off to the world September 8th against the Vikings.

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Ben said...

When I first saw Lumpkin, I remember thinking "woah good game against Cinci... to bad he doesn't really have a chance of making the team" but he just keeps pounding it.. I mean, it's against the number 3's but he's been consistent

Anonymous said...

SUNSCREEN!!!!!! Love Baz.

Anonymous said...


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