The Green Bay Packers played what was mostly an ugly first preseason game against the San Diego Chargers, but it was nothing out of the ordinary for the first week of preseason. There were some positives for sure, but turnovers plagued the Packers and San Diego deserved their 21-13 win.
In a ridiculously sloppy game, the Packers coughed up the ball four times while the Chargers turned the ball over three times. Aaron Rodgers had one unlucky interception on a tipped ball, and thanks to a combination of dropped balls and bad pass protection, he had a rough outing. When he exited at the end of his third series, he was 2-8 for 16 yards with a pick.
Most of the first unit regulars on offense were done by the end of the first quarter, though Randall Cobb stayed in to get some addition work with the second offense. He was probably the team's best offensive performer with 4 catches, 58 yards and a touchdown. Graham Harrell played almost the entire game and had plenty of big ups and downs in an average performance, finishing on 15-27 passing for 135 yards, one touchdown and no picks.
Green Bay was without Charles Woodson, but still stuck with the 2-4-5 base defense, meaning C.J. Wilson didn't get a lot of early action. Jerel Worthy played next to B.J. Raji in the nickel base, while M.D. Jennings played strong safety, Davon House played right outside corner and Jarrett Bush played in the slot.
House was the game's most impressive player by far, but he was forced out of the game with a shoulder injury. He left the field under his own power and did not appear to be in too much pain, but was brought back to the locker room. Also going out of the game with injuries were Anthony Levine and Desmond Bishop, the latter of whom had an injury that looked potentially serious. We should know more about their injuries in the morning.
Nick Perry picked up a sack early and stayed in briefly with the second team defense to get some additional reps, recording three solo tackles in his time on the field. He looked very ready to make an impact in the pass rush and the run game right away in a very good performance.
The first touchdown of the game came on a poor defensive play, where Philip Rivers connected with Antonio Gates for a 23-yard touchdown. Jennings was badly turned by the play, and allowed Gates to make an easy touchdown catch. With the second team defense on the field in the second quarter, Jennings, Brad Jones and Casey Hayward all were made to look bad on Vincent Brown's 27-yard touchdown reception that put the Chargers up 14-0.
Harrell got off to a tough start, but led the team down the field for a touchdown in his last drive of he second quarter. He made a good adjustment at the line and connected with Cobb for a 23-yard gain on a slant mid-way through the drive, then hit Cobb on a short 3-yard pass to bring the Packers back within one score.
On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Harrell found Dale Moss a couple of times for solid gains, but the story of the drive was Marc Tyler, who made four solid runs, including the touchdown run on the drive. Unfortunately for Green Bay, their two-point conversion attempt was not successful. Harrell attempted to hit Jarrett Boykin with a back shoulder throw, but missed.
The Chargers went three-and-out on their next drive, but scored a touchdown on their final drive of the game to go ahead by eight points. B.J. Coleman got his first action of the game in the ensuing two-minute drill and hit a couple of decent passes to Boykin, but was off the mark with four of his passes. The game ended when Tyler coughed up the ball after a screen pass, with Bront Bird recovering, and the Chargers took a knee to end the game.
Some quick notes on other performances. while we're here:
- Herb Taylor filled in at left tackle and seriously struggled. He looked completely out of his depth.
- Andrew Datko was very poor in the first half, but had a much better second half against San Diego's fringe players.
- Tori Gurley might have gained some ground on his competition by not playing. Diondre Borel fumbled a kickoff return, Shaky Smithson muffed a punt and Curenski Gilleylen had butterfingers.
- Anthony Levine made a couple of very nice plays, including a pick. I think he has a good shot at making the final roster.
- D.J. Smith played a very good game after Bishop went out. He's not better than Bishop, but the defense is fine if Smith has to play.
We'll have more for you tomorrow morning.
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