Preseason Recap: Green Bay Packers Defeat The Chiefs, 20-19

I was expecting this game to be a battle-of-the-backups, but instead it was a battle of the Green Bay Packers backups vs. the Chiefs starters. It wasn't as close as the score indicates: the Chiefs dominated in many areas. They had more yards on offense (405 to 122) and dominated time of possession (39:56 to 20:04). But they were killed by big turnovers. The Packers still had 3 turnovers of their own, but the Chiefs had 5.

It appeared that the Chiefs were willing to play their starters deep into the game, RB Jamaal Charles and WR Dwayne Bowe were both still playing late into the fourth quarter (while QB Matt Cassel was only pulled after his shoulder was driven into the turf by NT Howard Green), because they haven't looked good this preseason. Chiefs head coach Todd Haley was very animated, and visibly angry, after the game. The schedule might have played a part too. The Packers will be playing next Thursday in the kickoff opener against the Saints, while the Chiefs won't play until the following Sunday, so they'll have more time to rest.

On defense, LB Clay Matthews wasn't even in his dressed to play, and the entire starting secondary had the night off. The first team offense was in for one series and QB Aaron Rodgers led them on a touchdown drive, but WR Greg Jennings, WR Donald Driver, and TE Jermichael Finley did not play. It was time for the backups to shine.

And on offense, the backups looked awful. After that opening touchdown drive, the offense managed only about 80 yards for the rest of the game. A lot of guys were battling for roster spots, and some guys might earn one by default.

It was a completely different story on defense. A lot of guys stood out, but the star was LB Vic So'oto, who had 1.5 sacks, 2 QB hits, forced at least one fumble, and returned an INT for a touchdown. He was getting double teamed in the fourth quarter. His weakness was supposedly his ability to drop into coverage (he was a defensive end at BYU) but the undrafted free agent looked pretty natural on his INT. The backup spots at outside linebacker were a bit of a question mark because of the injury to LB Frank Zombo, but not anymore. He's guaranteed himself a spot on the 53 man roster.

While So'oto was a surprise, he's been playing well all training camp. But LB Peanut Joseph hadn't played much before the Chiefs game, and he looked like a big hitting inside linebacker. He also recorded a half-sack and 2 QB hits. LB Jamari Lattimore was impressive for the second straight preseason game (2 tackles for a loss) and he spent a lot of time in pass coverage. There might be room to keep all three players, depending on whether the team has soured on LB Brad Jones or LB Robert Francois.

Who else really impressed you on defense? There were a lot of players to choose from who made plays, and I only mentioned three. Any other players stand out?

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