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Preseason-Packers 17, Cincinnati 20

I was going to put up an open thread for tonight's game, but I forgot. I guess I've still got to work off the rust in the preseason too.

First Quarter:

  • So QB Aaron Rodgers' first play as the undisputed starter was a false start, but it was all good after that.
  • Rodgers was impressive and looked a whole lot better than he did a week ago in the family night scrimmage. It also helped that the Packers receivers struggled against Packers secondary, but they killed Cincinnati's.
  • Ron Jaworski said Cincinnati has to go back to training camp and learn how to tackle. The Packers first team defense and offense was more physical, especially on offense.
  • RB Brandon Jackson missed a safety blitz, he missed another blocking assignment later too, but had a couple great runs while fighting through tackles and turning nothing into big gains.
  • Jason Spitz started at center, rookie OL Josh Sitton has been impressive in training camp and got the start at right guard, and 2nd year player OL Allen Barbre got the start at left guard. C Scott Wells will take over for Spitz once he is healthy, but Barbre and Sitton might be the new starting guards.
  • WR Donald Driver had the great hit on DB Marvin White, then WR James Jones brushed off White's next hit, although he did lose his helmet on the play, and ran in for the TD.
  • The Packers would have scored again if WR Chris Francies, who seemed to be having a good training camp, hadn't let a ball ricochet off his shoulder pads for an INT.
  • Not much to report about the first team defense because Cincinnati only ran 6 plays against them with no first downs. They did run a goofy two down lineman, two linebackers up the middle, seven in coverage formation on third down. CB Tramon Williams and LB A.J. Hawk did a great job knocking the ball out of receivers' hands. DE Mike Montgomery got the start and was very active.

Second Quarter:

  • Cincinnati's first team offensive line got to go up against the Packers 3rd string defensive line and opened up huge running lanes for RB Chris Perry. Hawk and Barnett were still playing and trying to help the defensive line, but someone blew the coverage and left TE Ben Utecht open for a TD. The run defense gets a pass in this game with the top three defensive tackles (Pickett, Harrell, and Jolly) all out with injuries. They should be back for the start of the season.
  • QB Brian Brohm's first NFL pass is an INT. Jaworski commented that he didn't think Brohm's timing with his receivers is good yet, but that was something that comes with practice. On his INT, he waited too long, kept his eyes locked on his receiver, and threw into quadruple coverage. He looked better as he played more, but Cincinnati got no pressure on him, so it was a favorable situation. Unfortunately he isn't ready, and probably won't be until mid-season at the earliest, but he's still a better option than signing QB Daunte Culpepper.
  • CB Jarrett Bush got the start at cornerback and played fine, but on Perry's TD run, it looked like Bush was in at safety, he's been working at safety and cornerback in training camp, and Perry ran right over him. His future is probably at corner, not safety.
  • RB Deshawn Wynn is playing behind Grant, Jackson, Morency, and even RB Noah Herron. If the Packers keep Herron, who was very good in 2006 but missed all of 2007 with an injury, then Wynn has no chance at sticking with the team unless he accepts a role on the practice squad.
  • Former 3rd round pick, LB Abdul Hodge, another guy who missed all of 2007 with an injury after showing some promise in 2006, looked active on defense and knocked down a pass on a blitz.

Third Quarter:

  • Six punts and an interception in the quarter. Neither team looked good, but the Packers 3rd string defensive line outplayed Cincinnati's 3rd string offensive line.
  • S Aaron Rouse really impressed in this quarter. He had an interception, but before that he made a couple plays where he stood up a blocker and forced an offensive play inside. On one 3rd down play, he redirected a screen pass inside and probably prevented the 1st down conversion. S Nick Collins struggled on a couple plays in coverage and is going to have to step up this preseason or lose his job to Rouse.
  • P Jon Ryan is entering his 3rd season, and he's still inconsistent. He had a couple great punts along the sidelines and inside the 20 yard line. He also had one bad one off the side of his foot and two touchbacks on long punts. He's got no competition and he's the guy in 2008, but he could be better.

Fourth Quarter:

  • A bad punt and two big penalties set up a short field for Cincinnati's last scoring drive. Including the special teams penalty, Cincinnati had 27 yards of offense and the Packers committed 25 yards in penalties. You could excuse it because the penalties were committed by guys unlikely to make the team, but Herron and DT Conrad Bolston each have a good shot at making the week 1 roster.
  • QB Matt Flynn had the better stats and the TD pass, but Brohm is better right now. Flynn is actually better at making a quick decision and targeting a receiver, but Brohm is better with his mechanics. A week ago I said Flynn looked ahead of Brohm. It will be interesting to see if one of them can truly stand apart from the other this preseason.
  • RB Kregg Lumpkin was an undrafted free agent and he's a big 228 lb. running back who has a good shot at taking Wynn's roster spot, or RB Corey White's spot on the practice squad. He had a late TD reception, but followed it up with a game ending fumble. The Packers might keep him as they trim down the rosters, and should have another shot at proving himself.