Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pack beats Browns 17-0

The Packers possessed the ball for approximately 40 out of 60 minutes of tonight's game against Cleveland, prevailing by a score of 17-0. It was total domination on the both sides of the ball by the Pack. Aaron Rodgers threw for a 53-yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver on the first drive of the game. Ryan Grant scored on a short TD run on the next possession. The Packers got three more points in the second half courtesy of a 45-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. Crosby had missed a 60-yarder and 55-yarder in the first half.

The debut of Dom Capers' new 3-4 defensive scheme was a success. At least for a preseason game. It seemed to be able to generate pressure from a lot of angles, resulting in several sacks and four interceptions off Cleveland QBs.

The tone and pace of the game also favored the Packers. They seemed to be in better condition, played at a faster pace, and showed more intensity on both sides of the ball than the Browns.

One of the nice surprises of the second half was the play of rookie free agent running back Tyrell Sutton, who rushed for more than 90 yards on 17 carries. The team as a whole gained more than 200 yards rushing tonight.

An area of concern for the Packers so far in the preseason has been the punting game. They didn't really get a chance to evaluate much in tonight's game, punting only once.

The Packers weren't perfect. Backup QB Brian Brohm threw two interceptions, and the team had far too many penalties, primarily with the back ups on the field.

But for the first game, you had to like what you saw tonight. The Packers clearly have a lot of offensive weapons and plenty of manpower on defense. The catch for the Pack is that with the depth they have on both sides of the ball there will be some difficult cuts coming down the road. That's a good problem to have. And it bodes well for the season as a whole.

It's good to have that winning feeling...again.