After three weeks of very hit or miss performances from their backups, the Green Bay Packers will head into the regular season extremely confident about their depth after their performance on Thursday night. Aaron Rodgers played just two series while most defensive starters only played one against the Kansas City Chiefs. The second team offense and defense were both excellent, and they outplayed their opponents throughout the game in a 24-3 win.
Graham Harrell finally showed exactly what Mike McCarthy sees in him with a spectacular performance. He showed great pocket awareness and an ability to improvise outside the pocket in a 13-15 passing performance, good for 223 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He left the game with a perfect 158.3 QB rating.
Jarrett Boykin and Tori Gurley were impressive as well, and will cause Ted Thompson some serious headaches tonight. If they're cut, they might get snapped up by other teams before the Packers can name them to their practice squad on the basis of these performances. Gurley had two catches for 69 yards, including one huge play for 54 yards. Boykin was dominant in the second half, catching five balls for 82 yards and a touchdown.
The biggest improvement from game-to-game, besides Harrell, came from the second team offensive line. It's tough to tell exactly how much the apparent improvement of both Harrell and his line caused each other, but the improvement was noticeable regardless. With Herb Taylor cut and Andrew Datko out, Don Barclay got more time and had a very impressive outing.
Both the linebackers and secondary looked solid, though they were given plenty of help by Chiefs QBs Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi, who were not very good on the night. All of the linebackers had at least one missed tackle and made third string RB Nate Eachus look like a star, but they were impressive in coverage and on the pass rush. All of the safeties were very good, and Thompson will have difficult decisions to make at that position.
We'll get more in depth tomorrow, but all in all, this was a very good performance from the Packers. What did you notice? Discuss away.