NFL football fans here in Wisconsin can now say that the season is underway. Yes, the first game of the year was quite “underwhelming.” The final score was had the Packers on top, 17-11, and to be honest, the game really wasn’t that interesting, aside from the fact that there were three safeties in the game.
The Packers played only two quarterbacks in this game, the two guys fighting for the third string job. Joe Callahan started the game, and had a decent outing, going for 16-24 for 124 yards and a touchdown. That lone touchdown pass was a two yard toss to running back John Crockett in the second quarter. Marquise Williams took over in the second half, and he fared favorably worse. Williams finished the game just 6-14 for 55 yards, and an interception. Callahan already had the leg up to begin this competition, and after this game, it’s going to be almost impossible for Williams to win the third quarterback job.
Mike McCarthy said he wanted to commit to running the ball more this preseason. Eddie Lacy, whose weight issues have been well publicized and so has his weight loss this offseason, carried the ball the first four plays of the game, for a total of 24 yards, and then his night was over. James Starks, entered the game for Lacy and carried the ball five plays for 13 yards. Then the third running back job competition got underway. Brandon Burks wants that job, and he had the best night of any running back on the team, carrying the ball nine times for 45 yards. Yes John Crockett had the touchdown catch, but as far as running the ball is concerned he had a very ineffective night, carrying the ball six times for just 17 yards.
The Packers really didn’t move the ball through the air that much in this game, but when they did, most of the work was done by the tight ends, specifically the two competing for the third tight end job. Justin Perillo stood out, catching the ball five times for 52 yards with a long of 18. Kennard Backman had three for 28 including his own 18 yard catch.
The Packers defense had a great game as a unit. They sacked the Browns quarterbacks four times, and picked up two fourth quarter safeties. Safety Kentrell Brice, who has absolutely no chance of making the 53 man roster, had himself a strong game, six tackles, and one for loss, making his case for the practice squad. Christian Ringo, Reggie Gilbert, Kyle Fackrell, and Datone Jones (all of course who will make the team except Gilbert,) had the four sacks.
The only other non-controversial, controversy was the fact that McCarthy sat out Rodgers, who is reportedly having one of his best camps in years.