Friday, August 31, 2012

Packers finish preseason in fine form; final roster being formed

The Green Bay Packers completed their 2012 preseason schedule last evening at Lambeau Field, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 24-3 and ending with a 2-2 record. It was, as any Packer fan would hope, a sign that things are coming together on offense and defense.

Now, to be honest, the number one unit on both offense and defense looked a bit spotty in their play. Didn't do much of anything spectacular one way or another. But the defense did dodge a bullet when NT B.J. Raji went down with an ankle injury on the first snap of the game. He was able to walk off the field on his own power, got heavily taped and looked happy to be on the bench for the rest of the game. No further reports which indicate that the injury is not serious. Whew!

The good news of the game came especially in the form of the performance of backup QB Graham Harrell who wound up going 13 of 15 for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns. He finished with a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Any doubts which pundits and fans may have had probably vanished last evening. Harrell finally showed in a game setting what his coaches and teammates have been saying all through camp: he's got game. As Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packers beat writer extraordinaire Bob McGinn states in his game review, "Harrell was sensational. He showed arm strength, touch and timing. He took calculated chances downfield. He was in command. Most important, he led three long drives and capped them with touchdowns."

There were also very good performances by backup players, as it was primarily their game to play last night. WR Tori Gurley had a good game, as did Jarrett Boykin and Diondre Borel. It's possible all three may get cut given the numbers cruch at receiver on this squad. They'll be playing somewhere, or get stashed on a practice squad.

You know, I could say more but I'm going to point you to McGinn's assessment as it doesn't get any better than that.

Cuts Coming
Some cuts today have already been reported (if not officially announced) this morning as the Packers, and all NFL teams, get to their 53-man rosters. For the Packers, defensive back Anthony Levine and center Samspon Genus have already received their walking papers, while receiver/kick returner Shaky Smithson has reportedly received an injury settlement for his ankle injury. The team has until 8 p.m. CT today to get to their final roster.

Stay tuned. Go Pack Go!!!