Sunday, August 30, 2015

Packers vs. Eagles Preseason Game #3 Re-cap...One Word: Ugly!

The Green Bay Packers played their first home game of the 2015 preseason last night at Lambeau Field against the Philadelphia Eagles. The sell-out crowd was treated to an exhibition of offensive firepower. There was total domination of inept and penalty-prone special teams, and full exploitation of a defense that seemed stuck in slow gear. Oh, to be clear, we're talking about the Eagles as the dominating team, winning with a final score of 39-26.

Yes, the birds from Philly took it to the Packers early and often last evening. It was a woeful performance by the Packers' special teams and defense. To be fair, the Packers' first-team offense was not really on display; three of the starting linemen were out due to various injuries, QB Aaron Rodgers was not going to get exposed to injury and wasn't even dressed for the game, and number one wideout Jordy Nelson is of course out for the season with the ACL injury he suffered in last week's game in Pittsburgh.

But the drubbing the Packers' defense and special teams received was only compounded by more injuries besetting the Pack. New number one receiver Randall Cobb sustained a shoulder sprain early in the first quarter and was done for the night. How long he will be out is subject to further tests today. Don't expect to see him back until -- if we're lucky -- the first regular season game against Da Bears in Chicago. Defensive back, Micah Hyde, left the game in the second half with a neck injury of undetermined variety at this point. Even starting right tackle, Bryan Bulaga, wound up with ice on a sprained ankle.

Were there any good moments?
With most of the starters out for various reasons, players fighting for roster spots were on display. The first cut-down date is Tuesday, when the Pack has to go from 88 to 75 players; the second cut date is Saturday, Sept. 5, when the final 53-man roster has to be set. A practice squad of 10 players can be established the next day for those players cut who don't get picked up elsewhere.
Green Bay Packers rookie QB Brett Hundley was one bright spot in the Packers' loss to the Eagles in preseason game #3.
Photo by Evan Siegle/P-G Media/@PGevansiegle,

QB Brett Hundley made a strong case for sticking on the active roster. While QB Scott Tolzein, who didn't play last evening, is the current number two behind Aaron Rodgers, Hundley showed why GM Ted Thompson pulled the trigger on him in the draft. He performed extremely well, starting and playing about three-fourths of the game. He has a quick release, made his reads, scrambled and created plays. In all, he threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns. Not a bad night for a rookie. Even QB Matt Blanchard, from UW-Whitewater, passed for a touchdown and posted a passer rating of 88.1 in his fourth-quarter stint, also showing a strong arm. It would be nice to keep him on the practice squad. Head coach Mike McCarthy likes both of these young QBs.

Wide receivers Jeff Janis, Ty Montgomery and Myles White all had good nights on the receiving end. RB Rajion Neal showed nice receiving and running ability coming out of the backfield...a good third-down type back.

Having said all that...there were still plenty of problems for the Packers coaches to address. Maybe we'll address those in a later post. Let's stick for the moment with what little positives came out of what was othersise a rather lackluster showing for a consensus Super Bowl contender.