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Preseason Review: The Packers Defense

There might have been a little news made about the starting Green Bay Packers defense, which didn't look it's best as it allowed two long Cardinal field goal drives. But overall the defense looked as sharp as it could be without one of it's super stars.

It is just a preseason game, but the starters are still working as hard as ever, and the pass rush isn't the same without LB Clay Matthews, who missed the game due to a hamstring injury. LB Frank Zombo replaced him, and I usually saw him getting stood up, away from the quarterback, whenever he rushed.

In his absence, DE B.J. Raji had a strong first quarter before taking a seat. It didn't show on the stat sheet as a pressure, but he flushed Kevin Kolb from the pocket (and drew a holding penalty) on their first drive, and he applied pressure on a couple other occasions. He also blew up a running play and made a solo tackle for a loss.

The Cardinals first score was aided by a weak pass interference call on CB Tramon Williams during a 3rd down play that kept the drive alive. On their second drive, the Packers nearly picked Kolb off on three occasions (Morgan Burnett, A.J. Hawk, and Nick Collins all had separate shots) before they got in range for a 53 yard field goal. 

The starters played the first quarter, and part of the second quarter, and the Cardinals only moved themselves in position for two long field goals. It wasn't glamorous, but they were in position to stop both drives before they led to points, and the defense appears to be in good shape heading into the regular season.