Friday, August 5, 2005
Bills, Packers scrimmage at sold-out Lambeau Field
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The sellout crowd at the scrimmage
between the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills had to wait until
after the game to see any fireworks Friday night.
There just wasn't much offense on either side.
About halfway through the 2-hour, 20-minute scrimmage, Brett
Favre finally got the crowd of 62,492 pumped up by throwing three
short touchdown passes in the span of four plays inside the Bills'
The only other score while the first-teamers were on the field
came on a 12-yard jaunt by Bills running back Willis McGahee, who
was stymied much of the night before bursting free into the end
zone. He ran 12 times for 32 yards.
Favre hit tight end Ben Steele twice and wide receiver/kick
returner Antonio Chatman for the TDs.
Before that, Chatman had been having a bad night, slipping on a
ball thrown his way, never looking back on a quick slant that was
intended for him and also dropping a 14-yard pass for a first down
from rookie Aaron Rodgers, who was then pressured on three of his
next four snaps.
"Tonight is not a setback," Rodgers insisted. "It's just a
Especially for the Packers, who had trouble with their blitz
pickups and were sacked eight times in all while only garnering one
sack of Bills starter J.P. Losman, who looked poised in his debut
in a competitive setting as an NFL starter.
Losman completed 6-of-11 passes for 69 yards with no touchdowns
or interceptions. He completed two long third downs that impressed
his coach, Mike Mularkey.
"He really wasn't flinching. He looked comfortable in there,"
Mularkey said. "I'm sure there's some things we're going to have
to watch the tape and we'll say he should have or could have. But
for the most part I was pretty pleased watching him live."
The Packers' refurbished defense had trouble with the Bills'
motion offense and Green Bay's unsettled offense had trouble
repelling the blitzers, but coach Mike Sherman refused to say the
Bills were just a better team than his.
"A week into this thing, I would never make that evaluation
today," Sherman said. "We'll know more about this team as we go
through the preseason and play the first quarter of the season. And
to determine who's who and what's what at this point in the year is
just I think a little ridiculous."
The Packers lost backup running back Najeh Davenport to a right
ankle injury, the extent of which wasn't immediately known.
This was the biggest crowd ever for the Packers' annual Family
Night scrimmage, and the first one in which they hosted another
team. The Bills came to Green Bay for two joint practices and the
scrimmage after their usual practice partner, the Cleveland Browns,
backed out this year.