Yes, I said 0-17.The last time that the Packers were shut out in exhibition play was in August 1987 with a 33-0 loss to the Washington Redskins. I, for one, wasn’t able to witness it (I’m a 90′s Baby). However, I imagine my level of anguish would have been the same.
With the injury bug running rampant in Green Bay (17 players in total were ruled out for the Preseason Opener), Coach Mike McCarthy made the wise decision to keep his starters’ involvement minimal. This personnel decision allowed for players that would probably never touch the football in any other situation to have time on the field (i.e. Backup Quarterbacks BJ Coleman, Graham Harrell and Vince Young). Blaring issues on defense included the overall confusion with the secondary. The Cardinals capitalized on this weakness early and it translated to points on the scoreboard. Right Tackle Marshall Newhouse also struggled tonight and had an overall inability to complete plays.
On offense, Jermichael Finley suffered with a minor case of the dropsies. Dropping passes is a problem that has plagued Finley in the past. However, I’m not willing to count him out just yet.
Then of course, there’s the obvious. Tonight, the Packers had 8 consecutive punts and two fruitless 11-play drives totaling over 167 yards. That just can’t happen. Like ever again. It’s far below the standard of Packer Play and I’m sure the team will have reels of film to watch as a result.
On a positive note, players like David Bakhtiari, James Starks and Tyrone Walker showed great promise. With Left Tackle Bryan Bulaga out for the season with an ACL tear, Bakhtiari stands a strong chance of being the first starting Rookie Left Tackle for the Packers since 1985. At Running Back, James Starks ran some impressive routes. Starks is fresh from off season conditioning and is looking sharper than ever. For Starks, the main thing is that he remains healthy. Wide Receiver Tyrone Walker was the leading receiver for the game with five catches for 41 yards. Walker came to the Packers as an Undrafted Free Agent, and I’m excited to see what he can do with this opportunity. What can I say? I root for the underdog.
Going forward, the Packers must maximize offensive opportunities and work on coverage and rushing. Simply put, the team with the most points wins…and the Packers need to act accordingly.
Next Game: Packers @STL (Rams) – August 17th /7pm CDT