Friday, August 9, 2013
Observation deck: Packers-Cardinals
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Not much went right for the Green Bay Packers in their 17-0 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in the preseason opener.
Here’s a rundown of the night:
- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers played one series, in which he completed three of five passes for 62 yards -- 50 of which came on a go route to James Jones -- but the starting offense couldn’t get the ball into the end zone. Packers coach Mike McCarthy went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 2 (enter your joke here about McCarthy not having any faith in kicker Mason Crosby), but running back James Starks was ruled down before he crossed the goal line. McCarthy challenged the play, but referee Carl Cheffers upheld the call on the field. That was the Packers’ best chance to score.
- David Bakhtiari played the entire first half at left tackle. Most of it came against the Cardinals’ No. 2 defense, but the rookie held up well. He missed a block on outside linebacker Matt Shaughnessy, and the result was just a 2-yard gain by Starks. But that was Bakhtiari’s only obvious bad play. He looked solid in pass protection and didn’t appear to give up any pressures. He played longer than any other starter on offense.
- On the other side, right tackle Marshall Newhouse had one of those lapses that he seemed to have once or twice a game as a left tackle the past two seasons, and the result was disastrous. Thirty-five-year-old John Abraham smoked Newhouse with an outside speed rush and strip-sacked backup quarterback Graham Harrell to end what had been a decent drive by the No. 2 offense. Newhouse and Don Barclay alternated series at right tackle. Barclay was called for a false start.
- Harrell turned it over twice in the first half -- an interception on his first series and the sack-fumble on his second. On the interception, there was a miscommunication between Harrell and receiver Jeremy Ross. Harrell threw the ball to the inside, and Ross broke toward the sideline, but Harrell couldn’t get much else done. He got no points out of six possessions and completed 12 of 19 passes for 76 yards with the one interception and one lost fumble. He was sacked twice.
- With just three practices under his belt, newly signed quarterback Vince Young replaced Harrell with 2:18 left in the third quarter and played two series. He completed one of three passes for 7 yards and had a pair of runs for 12 yards. His lone completion was for a first down. McCarthy ran several play-action bootlegs for Young, and his mobility looked good.
- B.J. Coleman went fourth in the quarterback rotation and played just two series. He was 2-of-7 passing for 15 yards.
- How badly did the Packers miss starting cornerback Tramon Williams and nickel corner Casey Hayward? Davon House started in place of Williams at left cornerback and struggled. He gave up an 18-yard completion on an out route by Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd on the game’s first play from scrimmage and got burned deep for a 38-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer to receiver Andre Roberts later in the first quarter. Then, in the second quarter, House didn’t recognize a double move by receiver Charles Hawkins, who caught a 36-yard pass from backup quarterback Drew Stanton. A year ago at this time, House looked like he was on his way to winning a starting cornerback job until a shoulder injury in the preseason opener at San Diego ruined his chances. Rookie Micah Hyde started in Hayward’s spot in the nickel. He tackled well but didn’t turn his head in time to make a play on the ball on Stanton’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown on a fade route.
- First-round draft pick Datone Jones played just one snap, in the nickel package paired with B.J. Raji on third-and-6 on the game’s opening series. The defensive end went to the bench and had his left ankle retaped but did not return. That was the only injury McCarthy announced after the game.
- Backup offensive lineman Greg Van Roten showed his versatility. He played three different spots -- center, left guard and right tackle.
- Neither Crosby nor Giorgio Tavecchio attempted a field goal.
- Backup running back Johnathan Franklin got the first shot at punt returns, while Ross went first on kickoff returns.
- Those who did not dress were WR Kevin Dorsey (leg), WR Charles Johnson (knee), WR Randall Cobb (biceps), RB DuJuan Harris (knee), RB Eddie Lacy (hamstring), S Sean Richardson (neck), OL J.C. Tretter (ankle), T Bryan Bulaga (knee), T Andrew Datko (concussion), T Derek Sherrod (leg), TE Andrew Quarless (quad), TE Ryan Taylor (knee), WR Jordy Nelson (knee), DE Mike Neal (abdominal), DE Jerel Worthy (knee), Hayward (hamstring) and Williams (knee).