The Packers preseason kicked off with a clash with the Titans at LP Field last night and the game couldn’t have been…wetter! Shortly before the game, thunderstorms circled the area threatening to end our chances of seeing any football at all. But by game-time things had gotten a whole lot better…no thunder, no lightning…just torrential rain. We entered LP Field…well it might be more accurate to say we scuttled in like a couple of drowned rats, with football on our minds and hope in our hearts that our tickets could still be read by the scanners. Heck, I think we SWAM most of 3rd Avenue!
When we got inside we had to immediately seek shelter while we sorted out what soggy garments and paraphernalia were still worth keeping. But we could only do so AFTER we have found a screen to view the game. And this soggy, dodgy game gave me a LOT to talk about. Too much, in fact, for one post.
Some Prudent Choices
Mike McCarthy prudently chose to list Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, and Jordy Nelson as healthy scratches for this game. Very smart. There was NO call to put these guys at risk playing in turf soup. The chance for a twist, sprain, or tear was too great and the conditions were poor for a game that was all about reps but was meaningless in terms of wins and losses.
But the scratch of Eddie Lacy in particular, gave the Packers their clear winner in this sodden contest.
What stood out
The Packers started this game as many would expect, running the ball. James Starks and the offensive unit were clearly the standouts in the game if you were looking at it from a production standpoint. Starks was decisive and punishing and it was great to see him have success as a likely second to Lacy. The Offensive line seemed to feed off his energy and it was on the Starks touchdown that Jonah and I realized…just…how many…Packers fans were at LP Field that night. There was so much Green and Gold! The crowd just blew up with that first touchdown.
What to take away
OK, like I said above, there was a LOT to take away from this game, but in this post I am only focusing on Starks and the O-line as a real positive to take away from a game that did not lend itself at all to solid player evaluation. Did things go wrong? Ahhh…yeah. We will talk about those later (how many balls hit the turf…like…six!) but in a preseason game if you want ANY kind of comparison as to what the two teams would do against each other in a real game, just check out the ones vs. ones portion of the game. Starters are generally on the field for a small portion of each game up to the third game where they get the most reps. Then in the forth game of the preseason, the starters do little or nothing, their work is done.
In this game, the Packers scratched the starting quarterback, number one wide receiver, and starting running back (in a game in the rain, mind you) and still were able to march down the field and score. James Starks averaged more than 8 yards per carry and our limited group of starters punched it in.
This game was a great preseason game for the Packers because it gave the whole team a chance to see what they could do in really poor conditions. It also gave Mike McCarthy plenty to correct and that is a good thing too because when the season rolls around, this team will be better for it.
Well, more to come on this first preseason game of the year. Let me know what you think, who excited you? What were you disappointed in? I’d love to hear all your comments in the comments section below.