Preseason: Tennessee 23, Packers 21

Another loss, but the starters barely played and the 2nd team defense held up well considering they were on the field a lot as the 2nd team offense really struggled.

QB Matt Flynn was probably the star of the game. Brohm had his best preseason game, although that was a low bar to clear, and Flynn struggled too with some sacks and a fumble. But Flynn led a last minute TD drive that almost tied the game. He completed the 2 point conversion to tie it too, but WR Johnny Quinn didn't have both feet inbounds.

C Junius Coston was lost for the season in the game. It's too bad because he provides flexibility to play either center or guard, but he wasn't in the mix to start either. There were no other notable injuries, which is key in the preseason. Just ask the NY Giants.

The first team offense and defense are set, although not 100% healthy either, and the backup defensive players really looked good with a couple exceptions. Everything is looking good going into the opening game vs. Minnesota.

First Quarter:

  • One play for the 1st team offense, a 68 yard TD bomb to WR Greg Jennings. I guess that's the way to go out sharp in the preseason. Too bad RB Ryan Grant couldn't have at least one handoff.
  • The Packers are playing some cover-2/zone this preseason and S Nick Collins does not seem up to the challenge. He got burned on a long pass play against San Francisco, and again here in the Tennessee game. He's late in getting over in coverage after the cornerback lets the receiver run by him.
  • LB Desmond Bishop is the man. He's everywhere on the field. He always comes off the field on 3rd down, so apparently they aren't fond of his coverage skills. LB Brandon Chillar will get the first shot at replacing LB A.J. Hawk, while he's out with injury, and it looks like LB Abdul Hodge will get the 2nd chance since he's stays on the field on 3rd downs with the 2nd team defense. Bishop can excel on special teams and will be the 6th linebacker.
  • The 2nd string defense is playing great against Tennessee's 1st team offense. Except the tackles blew contain on a couple big runs by QB Vince Young, and CB Jarrett Bush blew another coverage and was called for pass interference.
  • The 2nd team offense is struggling against the 1st team Tennessee defense, but at least QB Brian Brohm is looking much better. On one play, he took a sack when he should have thrown it away, but it would have led to a punt either way. Brohm still doesn't look good, but he was so bad at Denver that this is an improvement.

Second Quarter:

  • The 2nd team offensive line was eaten alive by Tennessee's great 1st team defensive line. A sack and a fumble by both QB Matt Flynn and Brohm on separate drives. In the quarter; four offensive drives, no first downs, two fumbles, and two punts.
  • A fake punt? In preseason? The Packers should be practicing to stop it, but why does Tennessee need to practice a fake attempt during a game? Isn't that something you keep under wraps?
  • CB Pat Lee was great with kick returns. So was WR Jordy Nelson in previous games. They've got a lot of good kick returners to choose from.
  • The defense spent almost the entire 1st half on field, and Tennessee's 1st team offense got going when the defense was tired. If it weren't for scrambles by Vince Young, Tennessee's offense would have done almost nothing in the half. There are a lot of solid backups on the Packers defense.

Third Quarter:

  • Wow. CB Pat Lee is a good return man, but he's lost in man coverage. He's not ready at all to play on defense. Tennessee had a long TD drive, but it was all backups in for the Packers.
  • S Tyrone Culver had a good game, including an INT, but was still released. He's a fine player, but the INT was not a great play, just right place at the right time, and the Packers couldn't keep five safeties. Although I don't know have a good reason why CB/S Jarrett Bush was kept while Culver got cut. Good pressure from DE Jeremy Thompson to tip the pass and create the INT.
  • TD pass by Flynn after the Culver turnover. WR Brett Swain got to do a Lambeau Leap before his release.
  • I don't understand why RB Kregg Lumpkin was kept. He seems to have good hands, and can run straight ahead behind blockers just fine, but otherwise I don't see the appeal. He doesn't seem to have great speed or much ability to see running lanes.
  • A big hit by Hodge to stop a Tennessee drive. Man it's good to see him back from injuries.

Fourth Quarter:

  • DT Daniel Muir had a quiet preseason, had a good game against Tennessee, making tackles and creating pass pressure, and he gets cut. He's slightly under 300 lbs., so his lack of size probably hurt when comparing him to someone like DT Colin Cole.
  • LB Spencer Havner had two big special teams tackles in this game, but gets cut anyway. He was fighting an uphill battle with backups Hodge and Bishop playing so well.
  • TE Joey Haynos has two big 1st down receptions, but he is cut too. It wasn't enough to move ahead of TE Tory Humphries. He was better than TE Jermichael Finley, but the 3rd round choice will be given more chances than the undrafted Haynos.
  • Brohm gets another chance and almost has a long TD drive. WR Jake Allen dropped a TD pass, but it was knocked loose by a great play by the Tennessee defender. Brohm had another fumble and isn't good at feeling the pass pressure, but he showed some great touch on his deep passes.
  • But Brohm was overshadowed by Flynn. He had a last minute TD drive and carried the offense. He scrambled for a big 1st down conversion, and scrambled out of trouble a couple times to complete big passes, including the TD. We don't know what's going on in practice, but if this game decided who's the backup, then Flynn won the job.
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