On a day when a new era began in PackerNation with Aaron Rodgers taking over as leader of the Packers offense, it was the Defense that could not stop the Bengals attack resulting in a 20-17 win for the visiting Bengals.
Both teams offenses looked rusty right out of the gate as it took until the 3rd series for the Packers to get the ball moving and it took the Bengals until the 2nd Quarter.
Rodgers looked decent in his first start for the Packers, he ended his night going 9-15 for 117 yards. His numbers could have been better as his receivers had a difficult time holding on to the football. On Rodgers second pass, he split 2 defenders to hit a crossing Donald Driver, who then dropped the pass that hit him dead in the chest. Then in the Packers second series, Rodgers threw a quick pass to Chris Francies who let the ball bounce off his chest and into the arms of Dexter Jackson. This is why you catch the ball with your hands and not your body.
The running game of the Packers was without new contract signee Ryan Grant but still flourished behind the strong, i do mean strong running of 2nd year Brandon Jackson who ran for 44 yards on 6 carries.
Brett Favre was a dominant QB last year for a reason, it’s because Green Bay has arguably the best set of WRs in the league and that’s the reason Aaron Rodgers will have a decent year numbers wise. They all have great hands, the speed to beat a defender down field and not a one of them will hesitate to go accross the middle and then do whatever possible to NOT be tackled. This was made very clear to FS Marvin White who was the man who Donald Driver (4 catches for 39 yards) punished after a short catch and the man who “tried” to tackle James Jones (3 for 44) on his TD catch that resulted in Jones losing his helmet.
The Bengals looked really bad to start the game, incomplete passes, rushing attempts for negative yards, really out of sync. However, once the rust came off it was evident that the Packers defense could not stop the rushing game. On the Bengals first scoring drive, the yards for each attempt went like this, 6, 14, 5, 6, 12 and 9…wow, are you kidding me? 52 yards on 6 carries, if they can run like that all year then Carson Palmers arm will never get tired and “ocho cinco” and TJ “whosyourmomma” will both have sub par years stat wise. Note to the Packers…if your defense is going to allow 3 different RBs to have runs of at least 12 yards then it won’t matter who your QB is because he’ll hardly see the field.
A couple of notes from the game, it was cool getting to see both Carson and Jordan Palmer play in the same game. The Bengals did a good job of protecting their lead once they got it. They also seemed to have a pretty decent pass rush. Aaron Rodgers had the ball float on him a couple times, not sure if it was nerves or what but if he continues that habit then he’s going to get his recievers hurt by throwing high when they go accross the middle. Packers WR Ruvell Martin had a nice 30 yard catch before having to leave the game with a head injury…he did walk off the field with no assistance.