Saturday, August 17, 2013
Observation deck: Packers 19, Rams 7
By Rob Demovsky
The Green Bay Packers evened their preseason record at 1-1 with a 19-7 victory at St. Louis on Saturday.
Here’s a rundown of the night:
- Aaron Rodgers played three series and looked sharp despite failing to get into the end zone. He completed 10 of 12 passes for 134 yards and a rating of 113.2, but the starting offense struggled on third down. A holding penalty on tight end Jermichael Finley on third-and-1 from the Rams’ 13-yard line wiped out a 7-yard run by Eddie Lacy on the first series. On the second series, the Rams stopped Lacy for a 2-yard yard loss on third-and-1 at the 29. On the third series, Rodgers was sacked on third-and-5. All three possessions ended with field-goal attempts, and the offensive starters totaled six points.
- Finley, who has drawn repeated praise from Rodgers during training camp, made two big plays. He had a 25-yard reception on the first series and a 33-yard catch-and-run on the third series. He had four catches for 78 yards.
- In his preseason debut, Lacy rushed eight times for 40 yards and showed off his ability to break tackles. On his first carry, he made a defender miss in the backfield and picked up 7. On his second carry, he broke two tackles and gained 15. He also had one catch that went for 11 yards thanks to a spin move that juked a defender. Lacy played the first three series (although Johnathan Franklin actually started) after missing last week’s opener against Arizona because of a hamstring injury.
- Rookie cornerback Micah Hyde bounced back after giving up a 57-yard completion to speedy Chris Givens in the first quarter. On the same series, Hyde had good coverage and tackled rookie receiver Tavon Austin for a 1-yard gain on second-and-goal from the 3. On the next play, Hyde stopped running back Isaiah Pead for a 1-yard gain. It’s possible Hyde was counting on help from safety Jerron McMillian on the deep pass to Givens, but he might be better suited to play inside, where speed isn’t as big of an issue. Hyde also had a sack in the third quarter.
- Hyde also got a crack at a punt return, and brought it back 13 yards. He had not previously been used as a returner in practice this summer.
- Franklin made a major mistake as a punt returner in the third quarter. He failed to run up and catch a punt that hit one of his blockers, Brandon Smith, and was recovered by the Rams at the Packers’ 10-yard line.
- Don Barclay got the start at right tackle and alternated series with Marshall Newhouse. Barclay had a good block on Lacy’s 15-yard run on the first series and another on a 13-yard rush by Alex Green in the third quarter. Newhouse also played left tackle in the second half.
- Rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari made his first major mistake in pass protection since taking over for the injured Bryan Bulaga. Rams defensive end Robert Quinn beat Bakhtiari inside and sacked Rodgers on third-and-5 on Rodgers’ final series.
- Tight end D.J. Williams, who had a poor showing against the Cardinals, dropped one pass and missed a block on a field goal that was partially blocked. His inconsistent play may have opened the door for Brandon Bostick, who caught three passes for 29.
- Defensive tackle Johnny Jolly may have taken a big step toward completing an improbable return. In just his second game since returning to the NFL after serving a three-year drug suspension, Jolly was part of two turnover plays in the third quarter. First, he pushed back guard Barrett Jones and tipped a Kellen Clemens pass that Jarrett Bush intercepted. Then, he dropped into coverage and intercepted a Clemens pass that was tipped. Earlier, he fought off a double team and tackled running back Benny Cunningham for a 2-yard loss in the second quarter.
- One the most impressive players of last preseason, outside linebacker Dezman Moses hasn’t looked the same this summer. He made a couple of glaring errors – a missed tackle that led to a 10-yard catch-and-run by Pead and a blown coverage on a 37-yard completion from Sam Bradford to tight end Jared Cook.
- Backup quarterback Graham Harrell played three series and completed 5 of 10 passes for 44 yards and accounted for three points. He had no turnovers after losing a fumble and throwing an interception against Arizona last week.
- Vince Young followed Harrell and played three series in the third quarter. He completed 5 of 9 passes for 26 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He accounted for just three points, and it came on a short field after the Packers took possession at the Rams’ 29-yard line. On Young’s first series, he had receiver Myles White open down the seam but overthrew him on what could have been a 29-yard touchdown. Three plays later, Young was late on a fade to White, who ran out of room in the end zone.
- B.J. Coleman followed Young and played the fourth quarter. He looked considerably better than he did in the Aug. 3 scrimmage and last week against the Cardinals. He led the only touchdown drive of the game, capping a 13-play, 75-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass on the run to tight end Jake Stoneburner.
- Running back James Starks lost ground in the running-back competition when he fumbled in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Green.
- Mason Crosby looked solid on field goals of 34 and 48 yards. He also made a 30-yarder that was partially blocked. Giorgio Tavecchio missed wide left from 49 yards and made a 38-yarder.
- Tight end Matthew Mulligan and linebacker Nate Palmer left with injuries. Their status was not immediately known.
- The following players were not in uniform: WR Kevin Dorsey (hamstring), WR Charles Johnson (knee), WR Randall Cobb (biceps), RB DuJuan Harris (knee), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), CB Tramon Williams (knee), OL JC Tretter (ankle), T Bryan Bulaga (knee), T Derek Sherrod (leg), TE Andrew Quarless (quad), TE Ryan Taylor (knee), WR Jordy Nelson (knee), DE Datone Jones (ankle) and DE Jerel Worthy (knee).