Thursday, August 16, 2012

20120 Preseason Week 2 - Packers/Browns Review

Well if the 2012 Green Bay Packers' wanted to lower expectations, they've done just that in their first two preseason games.  After struggling last week against the Chargers on the road, the Packers looked equally horrible this week against the Browns. Here are a few of my quick thoughts on the Week 2 Packers/Browns preseason game:

#1) Player that hurt his stock most
: Well we now officially know that Graham Harrell will not be Matt Flynn 2.0 in 2012.  I am not as worried about the two interceptions because one was a Hail Mary at the end of the half and the other one was a pick-six that happened because tight end Ryan Taylor slipped. I am more worried about the fact that Harrell looked off on almost all of his throws.  The Packers are going to say all the right things but it is crystal clear that if Rodgers is hurt for an extended period of time this season, the Packers might not even be a playoff team.  Cleveland Browns' backup quarterback Colt McCoy lead a nice scoring drive that was capped off with a Brandon Jackson (yes, another former Packers that got way overpaid thanks to Super Bowl XLV) touchdown run.  I am not sure what else McCoy has to do to prove he is a better option than Harrell, I hope the Packers trade a late round pick for McCoy just so that I can stop advocating for what feels like the no-brainer-trade of the year.

#2) Player that helped his stock most
: Rookie safety Jerron McMillian made some impressive plays close to the line of scrimmage.  The Packers haven't had a thumper at safety since Atari Bigby filled that role for a few seasons before becoming the walking wounded thanks, in part, to his physical play.  If McMillian can continue to play like he did against the Packers he will be on the third safety behind Charles Woodson and Morgan Burnett, which means he will will be on the field for almost all the defensive snaps in 2012 since Woodson will be playing hybrid cornerback/safety.

#3) Position to watch
: All of a sudden the running back position got very interesting after general manager Ted Thompson signed Cedric Benson.  Going into the preseason it looked like a foregone conclusion that James Starks would be the starting running back at the start of the regular season because the only other running backs with NFL experience were rookies in 2011 with significant question marks: Alex Green (coming off an ACL injury) and Brandon Saine (undrafted free agent that wasn't an every down back even in college at Ohio State).  Starks looks like he will be out the rest of the preseason so he will not be in game shape at the start of the regular season.  Thus unless Benson looks horrible in the next two preseason games he will be the starting running back at the start of the regular season.

Final Note
:  Papa Cheese and Mama Cheese took my godson (and cousin) Will and cousin Elly to their first Packer game at Lambeau Field.  Since this has been a fairly dour post so far, I thought I would include what Will texted after his first Lambeau Field experience: "Packers games are insane.  I had such a great time.  I cant wait to get to a regular season game."  Indeed Will, we will be attending one together sometime soon because even factoring in my Cheesehead bias, there is really no better place to watch an NFL game than Lambeau Field.

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