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More On Preseason Game #3, Packers 27, Denver 24

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Winning is good, but I heard one announcer call it a must win (please!). Mike McCarthy better not think the final score of a preseason game matters. A few players came off the field with injuries, but none of the players seem concerned about it.

QB Aaron Rodgers looked good again. He was 18 for 22 and at least one incompletion was intentional. The big concern on offense is getting RB Ryan Grant back because Brandon Jackson and Vernand Morency are showing how big the drop off is without Grant. The offensive line would be fine if they could find a left guard who didn't suck.

The defense allowed some big pass plays, one week after San Francisco torched them on a few deep balls. Last week, CB Jarrett Bush struggled, but in Denver, Al Harris and Tramon Williams had a tough day with WR Brandon Marshall. The run defense had some problems, but Denver has some quick backs and a good run offense.

There's more after the poll...

First Quarter:

  • On the first drive, Rodgers is making good decisions and passes. He's playing fantastic right now.
  • One reason why the running game is struggling is that Denver is playing a defensive back or linebacker up on the line nearly every play, but that can't be helping their pass defense and Rodgers is having a big game.
  • LG Daryn Colledge is starting at left guard, the third different starter at left guard in three preseason games. The Packers are getting a good push on running plays to Colledge's side, but he whiffed badly on one block in pass protection that nearly led to a sack.
  • Jackson is not running decisively. When either Denver RB Selvin Young or Andre Hall get the hand off they make one turn and go. Jackson is dancing too much behind his lineman. Grant runs like Denver's backs, as they should in a zone blocking scheme. Grant should back by week 1 and the Packers really need him.
  • The last play is a sack by Denver DE Elvis Dumervil. He's one of the quickest edge rushers in the game, and blew past RT Mark Tauscher. He's not the problem on the offensive line. That was a great play by Dumervil.

Second Quarter:

  • On Denver's 99 yard TD drive, there was blame to go around. Denver ran the ball straight up the middle and backup NT Colin Cole got shoved around. Starting DT Johnny Jolly was fine but wasn't able to control the middle all by himself, and Denver did a great job getting a lineman out to the second level to block the linebacker. LB Nick Barnett was late on a couple plays. It wasn't all running as QB Jay Cutler thread the needle on a couple pass plays, including the TD.
  • Jackson had a big reception on the next drive. He ducked under a couple of linebackers and turned a small gain into a first down. I'm not a fan when he's rushing, but he's great as a receiver in the open field.
  • CB Tramon Williams was abused on two long passes to Denver WR Brandon Marshall for a quick TD. Defensive coordinator Bob Sanders left Williams all alone on Marshall, who's one of the best in the NFL, and Williams had an INT (except he was called for pass interference) and might have knocked away the long TD pass if Marshall hadn't pushed off and swatted Williams' arm out of the way. Bad result, but he was damn close to making two big defensive plays. Williams should be the nickel cornerback.
  • Another field goal drive at the end of the half for Rodgers. The Packers had the ball four times in the first half, and scored on three of them. The defense struggled, but the first team offense looked good. Colledge allowed one near sack on a bad block, but was solid otherwise and should be the starter at left guard.

Third Quarter:

  • Denver sits most of their starters, but the Packers keep their starters in.
  • CB Will Blackmon has a great 40+ yard punt returner. He's questionable in pass coverage, but a great return man.
  • Rodgers abuses Denver's backup CB Karl Paymah, he got away with one pass interference call but the Packers ran the same play, deep along the left sideline into the end zone, and he was busted the second time. Rodgers runs a sneak for a TD, and the Packers retake the lead.
  • S Aaron Rouse had a good quarter. He came up in run support to stuff a couple plays and force a punt.
  • QB Brian Brohm looked awful. McCarthy called a lot of running plays for both backup QBs so Brohm only attempted four passes, but they were all awful attempts. He doesn't look anywhere near ready.
  • RB Kregg Lumpkin had 39 yards rushing, but it took 11 attempts, while RB Noah Herron actually looked better with 27 yards on 4 attempts. Both backs had some nice running lanes opened by the offensive line.
  • An awful play by undrafted rookie LB Danny Lansahan on a roughing the passer which is too bad because he looks like he has some talent. Unfortunately for him, the Packers have a lot of linebackers at the moment and his only chance to stay with the Packers is on the practice squad.

Fourth Quarter:

  • Rookie 2nd round CB Pat Lee played a lot in the quarter and showed he's not ready. He's late in coverage and took a bad angle for a tackle that led to a Denver TD. He also dropped a sure INT that he could have returned for a TD. Lots of promise, but he's not ready yet.
  • The Packers top choice, 2nd round pick WR Jordy Nelson, did nothing in the game as a receiver or kick returner. It wasn't his fault because all the kickoffs sailed into the end zone for touchbacks in the high altitude, and the Packers' backup QBs only attempted six passes.
  • It looked bad when the Packers signed DT Rodney Allen who was previously playing in the Intense Football League, but in his brief appearances in the 4th quarter, Allen showed some moves. He has a good spin move and got into the QB's face a couple times. Hopefully he gets more playing time in the last preseason game to see if it was for real.
  • QB Matt Flynn came in and his only two passes were short, quick passes. He didn't look bad or good. He was only allowed to show up and practice his hand offs and kneel downs.
  • LB Tracy White has been a special teams standout the past two seasons, but he had an INT that led to the game winning TD. He hasn't shown that he deserves playing time at LB, but he should make the team as a special teams ace.