Thursday, August 29, 2013
Observation deck: Packers-Chiefs
By Rob Demovsky
Green Bay Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers did not play in Thursday’s preseason finale at Kansas City, meaning his entire preseason consisted of five series and 45 plays. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews and tight end Jermichael Finley also were given the night off.
The Chiefs also rested many of their key players, including starting quarterback Alex Smith.
The Packers lost 30-8 to finish the preseason 1-3.
Here’s a rundown of the rest of the night:
- Backup quarterbacks Vince Young and B.J. Coleman split playing time. Young started and played the first two series, and then Coleman came in and played the next two series. They alternated that way the rest of the first half. Young played the entire second half and struggled. He lost a fumble on the first possession of the third quarter and then had five straight drives that ended with punts. Young actually fumbled twice in the third quarter, losing one of them when outside linebacker Josh Martin beat tackle Andrew Datko for a strip sack. On the second one, Ridge Wilson beat Datko and knocked the ball away from Young, but the Packers recovered. Young threw behind receivers several times and completed just 14 of 30 passes for 144 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Coleman finished 2-of-7 for 19 yards and an interception. He was picked off by former Packers linebacker Frank Zombo.
- On his first – and only – play this preseason, cornerback Tramon Williams came up with an interception, picking off Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel on the first play from scrimmage. Williams missed the first three preseason games because of a knee injury he sustained early in training camp but looks like he will be good to go in Week 1 at San Francisco.
- Rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari also played only one play. He was slow to get up after the Packers’ first play from scrimmage and did not return, but he did not appear to be seriously injured.
- Receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson made their preseason debuts but played only the first two snaps, both of which were running plays.
- Kicker Mason Crosby, who earlier on Thursday agreed to take a pay cut, made both of his field goals, from 48 and 45 yards, and likely solidified his hold on the job.
- Defensive tackle Johnny Jolly played extensively and likely solidified his spot on the team after missing the past three seasons because of a suspension. However, his personal-foul penalty helped the Chiefs to their only touchdown in the first half. Jolly delivered a late hit after linebacker Nate Palmer had a strip sack of quarterback Tyler Bray. Jolly’s penalty wiped out what would have been a 13-yard loss.
- Cornerback Brandon Smith, a receiver in college at Arizona State, gave up all the Chiefs’ three touchdowns – an 8-yard pass from Bray to Junior Hemingway in the second quarter, a 43-yard pass from Bray to Josh Bellamy in the third quarter and a 9-yarder from Bray to Frankie Hammond in the fourth quarter. Smith did also have an interception of Bray early in the third quarter.
- Rookie running back Johnathan Franklin got his most extensive playing time of the preseason and had a couple of good gains – a long run of 7 yards and a long reception of 14 yards – but struggled mightily in pass protection. He whiffed on several blocks, including one that may have caused Coleman to rush a throw on his interception.
- Receiver Jeremy Ross may have helped his chances. He caught three passes for 50 yards.
- Rookie linebacker Sam Barrington, who likely will make the team as a special-teams player, sacked Bray in the third quarter for a safety.
- Chris Banjo, trying to make the team as the fourth safety, sacked Bray in the fourth quarter.
- Rookie Micah Hyde took four punt returns. He had three fair catches and a 12-yard return.
- Coach Mike McCarthy turned the play-calling duties over to offensive coordinator Tom Clements.
- Tim Masthay punted 28 times during the preseason, including nine against the Chiefs.
- Receivers Tyrone Walker and Myles White both fumbled in the fourth quarter, hurting their chances to make it as the fifth or sixth receiver.
- The Packers may make a few cuts on Friday but likely will make the bulk of their roster moves on Saturday, when they have to be down to 53 players.