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Preseason: Packers 13, Pittsburgh 9

There was a lot to like in the first preseason game. Few penalties, no turnovers, and a lot of physical play. There were a few bad things that caught my attention so I'll get them out of the way. QB Brett Favre and the 1st team offense didn't have any rhythm and couldn't get anything going. The pass defense got burned on a three big pass plays downfield and it appeared that CB Patrick Dendy, LB Tracy White, and S Marviel Underwood were burned. The special team kick coverage and blocking didn't play very well. None of these bad things are a concern at this point.

Overall the positives outweighed the negatives. I really like the way RB Brandon Jackson runs. He's quick to the line, makes one cut and goes. His stats aren't great, but the offensive line wasn't creating a lot of running lanes. WR James Jones seems to get open so easily, has good hands, and is really good at gaining yards after the catch. A lot of receivers showed good hands (Martin, Holiday, Bodiford) and so far it looks like GM Ted Thompson is going to have a hard time figuring out who to cut. DT Justin Harrell had his first sack against Pittsburgh's third string lineman late in the 4th quarter. The backup cornerbacks (Walker, Bush, Blackmon, Williams) played great, and if a Pittsburgh receiver managed to catch a ball against one of them, he gained no yards after the catch. Pittsburgh managed a few running plays of around 20 yards, but it was usually a problem with a backup linebacker not coming up and making the play instead of a problem with the defensive line, which overall played very well. Another tough roster decision will be K Mason Crosby or K Dave Rayner, who are both kicking really well.

Best special team player. DE Mike Montgomery gets the nod for blocking an extra point, plus he was solid at defensive end too.

Best defensive player. DE Cullen Jenkins played only in the first half, but had two sacks and forced one fumble, which he recovered. The first sack was a speed move outside the left tackle while his second sack was a power move that knocked the left tackle back on his heels.

Best offensive player. QB Aaron Rodgers was not perfect, but this was by far his best performance as a Packer. He was under a lot of pressure but kept several plays alive by moving around in the pocket or scrambling. He was surprisingly accurate while on the run and would have had a 2nd TD pass if WR Ruvell Martin hadn't stepped on the line in the back of the end zone before stepping back in for the catch.