Now That's More Like It
All better, or almost all better. Against a good opponent, the Packer starters played a half (generally speaking, the defense was already playing backups late in the second quarter) and at halftime, Green Bay led 17-6 and had out-gained the Bengals 245 yards to 87. Green Bay is a talented team, and given more opportunities, it showed.
-It looks like the rich are getting richer on offense. Cedric Benson showed he can bring a new dimension to the Packers offense. They've had running backs who were productive in recent seasons, but not like this guy. Benson falls into the "special" category.
-Since the Packers actually game planned for the Bengals, Tramon Williams was assigned to cover A.J. Green the far majority of the time. Green is a pro bowl receiver, and his bottom line read 1 catch for 3 yards. Williams is back.
-Pressure on the quarterback took a couple steps in the right direction. Just 2 sacks but 7 Hits overall. Every level of the defense, line, linebackers, and secondary, had a hand, or a helmet, in that. There was pressure from more than one point, and against mobile QB's, that's the only way to get consistent heat. Andy Dalton, a pro bowler as a rookie, had a QB rating of 39.6.
-Perhaps a sign of things to come. The Bengals really played the Packers receivers aggressively, throwing caution to the wind and pressing them very hard from the get-go. Aaron Rodgers was just 12 of 22 and one of the reasons for that was tight coverage. Teams may have decided that playing conservative in an effort to prevent the big play is a good way to get beat by the Packers passing game.
-Graham Harrell just hasn't had a preseason defining moment. At least not in positive sense. He's received plenty of support from coaches and teammates alike, but if you're from Missouri, you're still waiting.
-Dependable offensive line depth consists of Evan Dietrich-Smith and that's it. Harrell has been forced to scramble for his life far too often. Rookie free agent Greg Van Roten has done some good things, but he's a guard. If the Packers lost one of their starters at tackle, they'd likely have to move T.J. Lang outside and the juggling act begins. The availability of Derek Sherrod is still a long way off.
No practice for the Packers today or tomorrow, they, and we, will be back at it on Sunday.