Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Don't Want the Preseason to End

Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but how fun has this preseason been so far? I mean, I know this is exhibition football, but there's no way you can't take the Packers seriously after the preseason they've been having. Three straight weeks they've played three different NFL opponents and made them all look foolish, especially the first teamers. I know the Browns and the Bills aren't the cream of the crop in this league, but it's not like these teams aren't giving their all. This is legit football being played, and the Packers are shining.

I had to check myself after the Packers took a 38-10 lead into half-time on Friday night, because I didn't think it was possible to be that excited in August. On both the Aaron Kampman and Jordy Nelson touchdowns, I was cheering at or above normal regular season cheering levels. I wasn't cheering because I wanted to have a good preseason record, I was cheering because we are seeing now just how good this team can be.

I shouldn't have to preface these articles by saying, "I know it's preseason, but..." Clearly, I know that's the case. But the reason I'm excited is because this is not the same team we watched last season. Offensively, they have a ton more confidence. Defensively, they look better than they have in ten years. And on special teams, well, Mason Crosby has a little bit of work to do.

But if you're one of those people that like to error on the side of caution, that's your prerogative., and I'm fine with that. I just think that you have to recognize just how impressive a 38-10 lead at halftime is, no matter what kind of game is being played.

The second half wasn't as pretty, as the Packers offense stalled a little bit, and the Cardinals came within one point of taking the lead. Arizona missed a two point conversion, and then just for fun an onside kick was returned for a touchdown by Ruvell Martin. The Packers improved to a 3-0 preseason record, winning 44-37. Other highlights...

* Aaron Rodgers wasn't flawless, but damn near. He completed 14 of 19 passes for 258 yards, notching three touchdowns.

* Two of those touchdowns went to tight end Jermichael Finley, and they really couldn't have looked easier.

* Nothing really special from the rushing game, as it almost wasn't needed. Brandon Jackson left with a shin injury, so that could either cloud up or clear up the running back picture. I still agree with most people, saying they will keep Grant, Jackson, Wynn, and Sutton. Sutton tried some work on kick returns, but didn't really standout.

* Charles Woodson is insane, there's no other way to say it.

* Jeremy Kapinos did well punting. I have really have little interest about who wins the punting job, as long as they are capable.

* Greg Jennings was roughed up a bit, but should be fine.

Next up for the Packers is their preseason finale, this Thursday at Tennessee.

4 comments:

ricky said...

Wow, good job! I agree- "Woodson is insane..." How old is he again? 26, 27? Don't tell me he's in his 30's. He was a terror to QB Warner. Outstanding!

Harris also looked very good. I have been predicting a decline in his play for about two seasons. I want to rescind that judgment- I am really beginning to believe that the 30's for dedicated players (Woodson, Harris, Driver) is the new late 20's from the past. None of these guys seems to be slowing down. As with the inimitable Mrs. ricky- not getting older, getting better.

Rodgers seems to be developing some chemistry with his receiving corps. That offense could really be devastating. The OL looked very stalwart. I agree- the running game didn't look all that good, and that should be addressed. After all, when the winter winds start to blow, the running game should be ready to take up some of the slack.

Agreed, the kicking game is a concern. Crosby, for some reason, still hasn't gained consistency in his kicks. The punting situation is problematic.

Still, you're absolutely right- this exhibition season is really a blast to watch.

Mike said...

nate davis

Anonymous said...

Due to dominating nature of our offense so far this preseason, the Packer's have not yet exposed their Achilles' heel--their punting game. Even the best defense in the league cannot consistently stop offenses when they are starting at midfield.

Daniel said...

Well, if there's one area that I would be willing to give, the punting area is it. Not saying that you can get away with it, but it's definitely not as bad as, say, QB! Heh.

Man, oh man, I was so close to being able to go to the game on Saturday, but I was held over at work. I was able to watch the game on DVR, though, and I was hooting and hollering like it really counted. What an exciting team to watch in preseason! I am really upset that I couldn't go.

As for Mason Crosby, though, I would not worry. I hate to say it, but he was on his third string holder at times (Ruvell Martin). Flynn and the backup are injured right now. Crosby kicking touchbacks 50% of the time is so valuable. He'll overcome those hiccups he had on Friday.

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