It's been a fairly eventful first half for the Packers and Raiders. The starters for the Packers left midway through the second quarter, while the Raiders' offensive starters played the entire first half.
The Packers marched down the field methodically on their first drive, mainly running the football. Eddie Lacy dove in for a short score. In what would be a recurring theme during the first half, Mike McCarthy elected to have the starters go for the two-point conversion, and Rodgers fired a bullet to Jordy Nelson for the successful try and an 8-0 lead.
Mason Crosby promptly booted the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving the Raiders prime field position. They took advantage of it, and on a third and short, Maurice Jones-Drew broke through a group of would-be Packers tacklers and walked in for a touchdown to pull within 8-7. A few traded possessions later, Aaron Rodgers found Jordy Nelson on a short pass. Nelson shook a tackler and walked into the end zone. Once again, Green Bay went for the try, but failed, as a quick hitter to Davante Adams had a bit too much heat on it, and the lead was 14-7. Rodgerswould end his night with a bullet pass to Andrew Quarless on third and goal after an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Raiders defender Antonio Smith gave Green Bay a new set of downs in the redzone. Another two-pointer turned it into a 22-7 game.
The Packers offense wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, either. The offensive line had its fair share of issues on the second and third drives versus the Raiders' front, but they made adjustments to finish the night strong. Matt Flynn didn't get much going; he missed an open Davante Adams and threw an interception on a screen pass (which, granted, was an excellent play by Raiders rookie linebacker Khalil Mack.)
Other than the Jones-Drew run, the Packers defense was nothing short of fantastic. They held Oakland to a string of three-and-outs and the second-team defense had no issues versus the Raiders' first-string offense. Granted, Oakland is no offensive powerhouse, but it was nonetheless impressive to watch Green Bay's depth players square off well against an NFL offense. Jamari Lattimore had a near interception, and Nick Perry had a strip-sack that was recovered by Mike Neal. Perry hadn't been particularly impressive in the previous weeks, so seeing him make a big play versus starters was encouraging. Julius Peppers and Davon House also made their respective marks on the game.
On the injury front, the players who dropped out were Jones and Raji. Jones seemed to have some sort of cramping issue; he was being worked out by trainers on the sideline and returned. Raji was ruled out of the game with an arm injury, but seemed to be in good spirits on the sideline (he could be seen cheering on Mike Neal's fumble return), so the hope is that the issue isn't a major one.
The second half will likely see players like Mike Pennel, Jayrone Elliott, Davante Adams and Jeff Janis get playing time. Keep it here at APC, and enjoy the rest of the game.