Packers’ Preseason Finale and What It Meant
The Green Bay Packers went into Nashville last night and largely stunk up the joint, getting drubbed by the Tennessee Titans, 27-13.
The No. 1 offense played only one series, and the No. 1 defense did about the same, although linebackers Nick Barnett, Clay Matthews and Jeremy Thompson – all of whom saw their first preseason action last night – got extended playing time. So, not a lot should be read into the disaster that was this game.
The real story will come when the Packers begin the cut down to reach 53, which must be complete by Saturday afternoon, so I will keep this brief. Check out our 53-man roster here.
Here’s what we know from last night’s game.
Brian Brohm, in what may have been his last audition to stick with the team, put up decent numbers. Brohm was 20-for-28 for 154 yards. He threw no touchdowns and no interceptions. However, those numbers really don’t tell the story. If you watched the game, Brohm wasn’t impressive. All of his completions were on short passes. Those that went for big gains were turned into big gains by the receivers (see: Jordy Nelson, Ruvell Martin). Granted, Brohm’s protection was horrendous at times, but this guy simply doesn’t look like he could help a team win at the NFL level. Two people messaged me during the game saying, in effect, “We need another quarterback.” I couldn’t agree more, but Ted Thompson spent a second round pick on Brohm last season, so I expect Thompson will use last night’s numbers as an excuse to keep Brohm around for another year.
Nick Barnett played and played well. He was active, around the ball and showed no ill effects from offseason knee surgery. Barnett said after the game he felt good and was happy he got some contact in before the regular season. I expect Barnett to come out with the Packers’ starters in week one.
Of the running backs fighting to make the roster – DeShawn Wynn, Kregg Lumpkin and Tyrell Sutton – Lumpkin and Sutton did the most work. Wynn played first, a clear sign the Packers consider him the No. 3 behind Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson, but didn’t do anything to solidify his roster spot. Wynn got stuffed several times. Although, not overly impressive, Lumpkin was the best of the bunch, running for 34 yards on 9 carries and scoring the Packers’ only touchdown. Sutton ran for 37 on 10 carries. This will be a tough decision for the Packers.
B.J. Raji was solid in his first extended game action with 3 tackles and a sack. Unfortunately, Raji sustained an ankle injury and was seen limping after the game. Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn’t think the injury was serious, but that’s all we know thus far. Raji was unlikely to start in week one after missing an extended portion of training camp, but he will be on the field if he’s healthy.
The Packers cornerbacks were atrocious. Granted, neither Al Harris or Charles Woodson played last night, and nickelback Tramon Williams played only briefly, but what was left – UGLY. Both Brandon Underwood and Pat Lee, who are fighting for roster spots were torched on multiple occasions. Underwood, who started, was picked on early and often. Lee, a former second-round draft choice, who’s brief stay with the Packers includes a lot of time off with injuries saw the field for the first time this preseason, and the field ate him up. Well, that is, until he got injured again. I have two words for you, Pat Lee – you’re cut! Underwood may be worth keeping around on the practice squad, but God help the Packers if either of these guys has to play in a game this season. They made Vince Young and Patrick Ramsey look like Pro Bowlers, and Vince Young and Patrick Ramsey are pretty far from a trip to Honolulu.
Lastly, the Packers are shopping several players. According to the Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein and Bob McGinn, those players are backup lineman Tony Moll, safeties Charlie Peprah and Aaron Rouse, and possibly center Scott Wells. Although there’s no chance the Packers would cut Wells, the other three are likely gone if the Packers can’t find a trade partner.
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