- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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Reviewing Thursday's action at Paul Brown Stadium:
Preseason record: 1-2
Of interest: Despite a successful debut by tailback Cedric Benson, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was once again the Packers' leading rusher. Rodgers capped two drives with touchdown runs of 12 and 5 yards, ending the evening with 52 rushing yards. He completed 12 of 22 passes for 154 yards in a half of play. ... Benson didn't start but rushed for 38 yards on six carries. ... Receiver Greg Jennings, in his preseason debut, caught passes of 19 and 18 yards on the Packers' first scoring drive. ... The first-team defense didn't give up a touchdown and might have found some clarity in its lineup. Rookie cornerback Casey Hayward was beat on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones later in the game but otherwise played well, as did safety M.D. Jennings. ... Linebacker Jamari Lattimore returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown. ... Cornerback Sam Shields also had an interception in his preseason debut. ... Tight end Tom Crabtree's shoulder injury left the Packers with two tight ends for the majority of the game, limiting the options of the second- and third-team offense. ... And finally, the numbers were once again bad for backup quarterback Graham Harrell, who completed 5 of 12 passes for 26 yards. But he was sacked three times amid the continuing struggles of the Packers' second-team offensive line.
Local coverage (in lieu of BBAO): Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "It wouldn't be surprising if when the Packers return to practice on Sunday, rookie Casey Hayward was at right cornerback in the base defense and second-year pro M.D. Jennings was at strong safety in the nickel package. Both had impressive games Thursday night." … Benson's strong between-the-tackles running might have earned him the Packers' starting job, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. … Cornerback Tramon Williams played well, according to Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette, especially when he twice prevented receiver A.J. Green from jumping over him for scoring plays. … Coach Mike McCarthy continued his defense of Harrell, saying he "improved" Thursday night and adding: "We had some protection adjustments that didn't go right. We had free runners coming two or three times. He was able to make them miss and step out of a couple of them. He's in command of the offense, whether you're aware of that or not. It's part of preseason football. We're not putting a Band-Aid on it. He's trying to play above it." … Rodgers said he didn't have a communication problem on an interception he threw in the direction of receiver James Jones, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. "I just threw a real bad ball," Rodgers said. "… We kind of quick-snapped 'em and if I throw the ball I should have thrown, James is probably still running."
Up next: Next Thursday versus Kansas City Chiefs