Jclombardi reviews Packers preseason victory over Seahawks.
Guest senior writer jclombardi @ http://lombardiave.com
Summary: Packers QB Rodgers completed 8-of-11 passing for 116 yards and two touchdowns in an easy quarter, but the Packers had to rally on RB Jackson’s touchdown for a 27-24 preseason victory over the Seahawks.
Highlights: Breaking down Packers-Seahawks game. Rodgers, offense stay hot while defensive lapses continue vs. Seattle. Rodgers Sharp; Packers Rally Past Seahawks. Thin defense has trouble with Seattle. Rodgers sparks Packers to win. Insider: Finley becoming go-to threat. Injuries cloud Packers’ progress check at linebacker. Notebook: Top linebackers held out of Seahawks game. Offense scores TDs on two long drives.
1. No. 1 offense and QB Rodgers sharp–with great protection, QB Rodgers completed 8 of 11 for 116 yards and two touchdowns. In his two games, Rodgers has 20-of-24 for 275 yards and three scores with an outstanding passer rating of 154.0.
2. Solid running game–Packers rushed for 174 yards. RB Jackson looked solid having 11 carries for 80 yards and 1 touchdown averaging 7.4 yards. FB Kuhn had six carries for 30 yards averaging 5 yards.
3. Backup LBs get experience–without key starting LBs Matthews, Barnett, Hawk, and Jones who were held out of the game, the Packers started backup LBs Poppinga, Bishop, Francois and Chillar. Backup LB Havner had a key interception late in the game.
4. Defensive lapses continue–Seattle veteran QB Hasselbeck completed 11 of 15 passes for 127 yards with one touchdown in the first half against a thin defense. Facing little pass rush, Hasselbeck had plenty of time and success picking apart the entire secondary for two touchdown drives out of 5 possessions in the first half.
5. Special teams up and down–Slocum’s units looked awful with penalties, mediocre returns, and bad punts. Packers kickoff return coverage allowed 5 returns for 152 yards for a good 30.4-yard average including KR Wilson’s 54-yard return immediately after Packers’ first touchdown. KR Blackmon made his season debut returning a punt for 12 yards. RB Jackson showed great effort on a 32-yard kickoff return setting a go-ahead field goal in the first half. K Crosby connected on two field goals of 34 and 51 yards.
6. Good players–QB Rodgers, RB Jackson, FB Kuhn, LB Havner, TE Finley, WR Jennings, OL Bulaga.
7. Improving players–FB Johnson is a solid bull blocker and caught one of two passes! LB Zombo has pass rushing skills getting a sack, but he needs to improve on the edge.
8.Struggling (bad) players–CB Underwood and CB Lee struggled throughout the game. Undrafted rookie CB Shields had an up and down game losing a fumble, getting one interception, and having a big hit on special teams. Backup QB Flynn looked only marginally better in this game.
9. Ugly players–CB Bush (shocking!) had a rough game. Backup RT Giacomini had a really bad game in pass protection and a costly penalty at the end of the first half. Backup LT Barbre is just awful.
Commentary: “The bottom line remains that if the Pack can’t find a way to generate a consistent pass rush and be respectable on special teams, they’ll have a tough time realizing the lofty goals they’ve set for themselves in 2010.”