For a team who has been bombarded with training camp injuries, the notion that the back-ups and roster invitees are struggling can’t be a good sign for a Packers team that has Super Bowl or bust aspirations.
Observations (Real Talk)
- The best play and moment for optimism was surely Aaron Rodgers’ 50 yard connection down the left sideline with James Jones (pictured above). If Jones didn’t tumble it probably would have been a touchdown. Instead the Packers ended up in a fourth and goal situation and failed to convert.
- A pass defense that ranked 11th in the league last year at 218 yards per game was not very good on Friday night. Carson Palmer and company (three other QBs) combined to go 16-of-27 for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Some of the bad play can be attributed to the absence of stud corners Casey Heyward and Tramon Williams.
- It was a bit evident why rookie Eddie Lacy (didn’t play in preseason opener) has emerged as the most likely candidate for the starting running back job. James Starks (3.2 avg on 12 carries) received the most attempts, but failed on a critical fourth down conversion and Alex Green (2.3 avg on 7 carries)/Johnathan Franklin (2.3 avg on 6 carries) didn’t do much for first impressions in 2013.
- Green Bay played without a ton of their key players, so let’s not jump to conclusions just yet. The starting offense looked effective minus the botched fourth down play and the defensive star of the night had to be unknown safety Chris Banjo. He led the night with five solo tackles and has the last name Banjo!
Perception in the National Media
- Evan “Tex” Western of SB Nation’s Acmepackingcompany.com provides a brief and concise recap entitled Green Bay Loses Ugly Opener 17-0.
- If you want more observations from the disastrous preseason game , check out ESPN’s newly hired Rob Demovsky and his Observation deck: Packers-Cardinals: “First-round draft pick Datone Jones played just one snap, in the nickel package paired with B.J. Raji on third-and-6 on the game’s opening series. The defensive end went to the bench and had his left ankle retaped but did not return. That was the only injury McCarthy announced after the game.”
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tyler Dunne notes Cardinals’ receivers dish out severe burns to Packers’ corners: “Shields, House and Hyde were all victimized by Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton at various points.”
What bothered you the most about the Packers first preseason game? Or are you not concerned at all and know the team will come together come week one? Let me know by commenting below!
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at email@example.com.
*Pictures obtained from Packers.com