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Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 3:07:22 AM(UTC)
Quote:
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers dives for a one-yard TD in the third quarter against the Broncos on Friday night. Rodgers was 18 of 22 for 193 yards and a TD.[img_r]http://graphics.jsonline.com/graphics/packer/img/news/aug08/saaron22b.jpg[/img_r]

Everything that Aaron Rodgers was not a week ago in San Francisco he was Friday night at Invesco Field in an exhibition game that the Green Bay Packers ended up winning, 27-24, over the Denver Broncos.

Granted, it was just another forgettable night in August before an uninspired crowd with thousands of no-shows. Although the Broncos did play their No. 1 defense for the full first half, coordinator Bob Slowik seldom blitzed and was content playing primarily zone coverage with a two-deep secondary.

But the circumstances were out of Rodgers' control. He needed an impressive showing for his own self-esteem, if nothing else, and impressive it was in the Packers' third exhibition game, the one most teams regard as the most telling.

Implementing a canny game plan from coach Mike McCarthy, Rodgers led the Packers to four scores in five possessions. Under Rodgers, the Packers gained 217 yards and generated 15 first downs.

"I thought it was important for our offense to play a lot better," McCarthy said. "Aaron had a very good night. He was sharp. He managed the offensive tempo. He was smart with the football. He was very good on third down."

In all, Rodgers completed 18 of 22 passes for 193 yards. His passer rating of 118.4 was far better than his mark of 71.3 in the first two games.

Asked if it was the best he had seen Rodgers play, general manager Ted Thompson replied: "He was pretty good in college. Aaron's had some good preseason games. I thought he played pretty good in Dallas last year.

"I thought he was accurate tonight and he managed the game well."

Both teams are 1-2.

Unlike last week, when McCarthy used a shotgun formation on the Packers' first two plays from scrimmage, the coach returned to more conventional football, undoubtedly helping Rodgers get on track and keeping the Broncos off balance.

On the Packers' first possession, an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, Green Bay was in an I-formation with either base personnel or two tight ends on its first six snaps.

The opening play was a bootleg pass in which Rodgers found tight end Tory Humphrey for 35 yards. He came back with a 17-yard curl to Greg Jennings, who played well in his first game back from injury, and then found the open man, Donald Driver, on third and 3 for a 10-yard touchdown.

On its second possession, Green Bay drove from its 20 to the Denver 43 before protection problems intervened. The Packers were able to overcome a quick pressure against Daryn Colledge by defensive tackle Kenny Peterson, but not an 8-yard sack by end Elvis Dumervil around the corner against Mark Tauscher.

Joe Philbin, the offensive coordinator, said the only thing close to a forced ball by Rodgers came on the first play of the third series. Driver wasn't open down the seam against D.J. Williams but the Packers drew a 26-yard interference play on the Pro Bowl-caliber linebacker.

"If we see a linebacker on Donald we're going to throw it," Thompson said.

The Packers reached the Denver 19 before Rodgers was penalized for a false start and James Jones dropped a pass at the 14. Mason Crosby then kicked a 44-yard field goal.

Taking over at the 20 with 1 minutes left in the first half, Rodgers completed five in a row for 52 yards before overthrowing a well-covered Jennings in the end-zone corner. Crosby's 46-yard field goal cut Denver's lead to 17-13 at halftime.

The Packers stuck with their No. 1 offense against Broncos' reserves in the opening series of the third quarter. Will Blackmon's 43-yard punt return led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Rodgers, his third successful quarterback sneak of the night.

"That's new," said Thompson, mindful that the Packers hadn't frequently used Brett Favre on sneaks for the better part of a decade.

McCarthy also gave more than just short shrift to the running game for a change. With Rodgers under center, the Packers had run 10 times compared with 38 drop-backs in the first two games. On this night, the ratio was more balanced at 15 runs to 23 drop-backs.

When the Broncos did blitz Rodgers, he was quick on the trigger, snapping off three or four hitch routes to wide receivers.

After producing just 13 points in 10 possessions against the Bengals and 49ers, Rodgers put up 20 points in five against the Broncos.

On defense, the Packers had a terrible night, giving up 91 yards rushing (6.1 average) and 206 total yards in the first half.

"They ran the ball up the middle," Thompson said. "That's not usual for us."

For the third straight game, Green Bay's starting pass rush was nonexistent. There were no sacks, and the only two knockdowns were registered by Aaron Kampman. Jay Cutler's passer rating was 117.0.

Cutler directed a 58-yard drive for a field goal, then a 99-yard for a touchdown. If Nick Barnett had made the tackle of rookie fullback Peyton Hillis in the flat on the third play of the 99-yard march, the Broncos would have had to punt from their end zone. He missed, Hillis gained 14 and the drive went all the way.

"Getting off the field on third down is the strength of our defense," McCarthy said. "We're better than we showed on that drive."

The second of Cutler's two touchdown passes came late in the first half when Brandon Marshall took a long pass away from Tramon Williams for a 49-yard score.

"At first Marshall separated from him," Thompson said. "Then he (Williams) caught up. Then their arms got together and it was one of those deals."

Greg C.  
#2 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 3:29:33 AM(UTC)
The headline, "Rodgers shows some improvement," really annoys me. He's been playing like this since the preseason of last year. The San Francisco game was an exception, due mostly to horrendous pass protection. Rodgers is ready for the regular season, and he should do just fine.

Next week, I would like to see him get one or two series, then let's see what Brohm and/or Flynn can do with the #1 unit. That's where we've got big question marks.
Zero2Cool  
#3 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 3:36:01 AM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
The headline, "Rodgers shows some improvement," really annoys me. He's been playing like this since the preseason of last year. The San Francisco game was an exception, due mostly to horrendous pass protection. Rodgers is ready for the regular season, and he should do just fine.

Next week, I would like to see him get one or two series, then let's see what Brohm and/or Flynn can do with the #1 unit. That's where we've got big question marks.

I just copied and pasted man!! lol

I agree. Last preseason I think he looked pretty decent too. I didn't care for that 49ers game one bit. I thought he made several really poor decisions. He's human, he will make mistakes and he'll learn from them too.
Cheesey  
#4 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 9:52:50 AM(UTC)
Rodgers looks good.....if our o-line can give him at LEAST a little time.
PackerFan  
#5 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 10:57:55 AM(UTC)
I agree he has looked good. 19 of 22 is nothing to sneeze at, even our last quarterback who I refuse to name couldn't do that recently on a consistent basis. I think the Aaron we got yesterday is the Aaron we will get on a consistent basis and that makes me very happy. He did make a few mistakes and took a few sacks but I think thats also on the o-line that needs to start getting some continuity and I mean now. Wells needs to get back in there and I mean yesterday. I know he is hurt and that he is doing everything he can but still we need to build consistency and continuity with our first o-line.

We also need Ryan Grant to get back in there. Its bad enough he missed the first two weeks(or was it one) of training camp. Again I know he is hurt but he needs reps so he doesn't fall flat on his face and look like an idiot when he gets back in there. After the season he had last year I am worried that if he falls off that the media, who thanks to our previous quarterback's actions will be watching us like hawks, will crucify him if he doesn't have the same magic he had last year.
Greg C.  
#6 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 11:51:06 AM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
We also need Ryan Grant to get back in there. Its bad enough he missed the first two weeks(or was it one) of training camp. Again I know he is hurt but he needs reps so he doesn't fall flat on his face and look like an idiot when he gets back in there. After the season he had last year I am worried that if he falls off that the media, who thanks to our previous quarterback's actions will be watching us like hawks, will crucify him if he doesn't have the same magic he had last year.


We don't need Grant back in there until September 8th. Most of the better RB's in the NFL play very little, and sometimes not at all, in the preseason. Ryan Grant knows how to run the football, so I'm not worried about him not being ready. His health is what's most important.
MassPackersFan  
#7 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 12:37:29 PM(UTC)
I'm just amused he threw the word "some" in the title. Some improvement? How about just say he looked damn good. He had 4 incompletions: 1 drop, 2 throw aways, and one in the corner of the endzone before a 2nd (or 3rd?) down field goal at the end of the half.
walleye  
#8 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 1:04:51 PM(UTC)
I thought Rodgers had one hell of a game i was very impressed,but i was already impressed with what he could do last year. it would be nice if he was given the credit he was do!! SOME improvement how about ho looked sweeeeeeeeeet!!! GO RODGER"S U THE MAN!!!!!!!!!
johnny_blood  
#9 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 1:08:52 PM(UTC)
Rodgers was much better at getting rid of the ball quickly this week. He looked very comfortable when they moved him around. His footwork in the pocket was bad in the Family Night Scrimmage and against SF, but that should improve with experience.
wils0646  
#10 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 7:02:23 PM(UTC)
I loved the TD to Driver. It was perfect. He looked off the safety/linebacker that was trying to follow his eyes. That made Driver have the perfect lane into the end zone.

http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80a33f3d
evad04  
#11 Posted : Saturday, August 23, 2008 7:17:03 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
I loved the TD to Driver. It was perfect. He looked off the safety/linebacker that was trying to follow his eyes. That made Driver have the perfect lane into the end zone.

http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80a33f3d

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