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Preseason Packers vs Jaguars Game: Reviews & Pics

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPHAT, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    TOP HAT'S REVIEW: A Tale of Two Halves

    SUMMARY: In the first half, the Pack had strong performances from the offense, defense, and special teams to lead 10-0. In the second half, with the Packers reserves playing poorly, the Jaguars reserves rallied to win the game 21-3. Overall, the Pack had positive indicators, especially the dominating 1st team defense, QBs Favre & Rodgers, and most rookies, in the loss with their preseason record going to 2-1. Rookie RB Jackson struggled running the ball, but he scored on a 1 yard TD run and caught 4 catches for 28 yards. Rookie WR Jones shined with six passes for 80 yards. TE Franks had two big catches.

    THUMBS UP:

    1. Defense: In the first half, the first and second teams’ defenses held the Jaguars to a shutout including two stops on fourth down conversions. The Jaguars were 0-4 on third down conversions and held to six first downs. LB Barnett led the dominating & pressuring defense. During the Jaguars’ second drive, Barnett dropped WR Williams for a one yard gain, stuffed RB Jones-Drew on a 3rd and 1, and ended the drive by wrapping up RB Jones-Drew for no gain on 4th and 1. S Bigby played well enough to please the coaches & to continue starting. S Collins added, "He’s pretty good. He’s been here about two years. He knows the whole scheme of what we’re trying to do. He gets the calls out and he makes the right checks so he’s doing a very good job back there.” CB Bush solidified his nickel cornerback role. "I'm definitely pleased," said John Schneider, personnel analyst to GM Thompson. "It was a great preseason test….[O]ur defense should be able to keep us in games. Offensively, we'll come along…."

    2. QBs: Starting the game, QB Favre completed 14 for 130 yards for an 87.5 passer rating. He completed seven consecutive passes in a 76 yards scoring field goal drive. Then, backup QB Rodgers completed five of seven passes in a 73 yard scoring TD drive. For the game, Rodgers finished with a passer rating of 95.6 points, although he was sacked three times. "We were productive in the sense of moving the ball, but we didn't get a lot of points," said Favre...."That's how you judge, with points & wins & losses. We were off with some route-running. We still have a long way to go....."

    3. Rookies: After a slow start, Packers rookies WR Jones and RB Jackson got better in the game. Jones caught three straight passes for first downs in the first scoring drive. The drive ended with two big plays by Jackson: an 11-yard catch to set up first-and-goal and, on the next play, a 1-yard touchdown run. Rookie LB Bishop had a decent game with 5 tackles including a big hit that knocked the helmet off Jaguars WR Williams. Rookie safety Rouse looked solid including a big hit on Jaguars TE Wiggins. Rookie K Crosby continued to impress on kickoffs & hit a 38 yard field goal. Rookie RB White rushed for 60 yards on 11 carries

    4. Special teams. The special teams looked good on solid kickoffs with strong coverage except in the late stages of the game.

    THUMBS DOWN:

    1. Running game: In an unbalanced offensive attack, the rushing game finished with 84 yards in 25 carries for an average 3.4 per carry. In the first half, with no holes, RB Jackson appeared tentative getting 8 yards on 10 carries. In second half, the coaches made inside zone adjustments opening up holes improving the rushing game. When asked about the running game, offensive coordinator Philbin said, “Not much and not well….They were moving their line at times and slanting and angling….[W]e didn't adapt well to that" [till late in the game].

    2. Sloppy & weak offensive execution: In the first half, several receivers did not adjust to coverage making errors on running routes. The 1st team offensive line struggled executing the running game. Here is a horrifying assessment of the 1st team offensive line play:

    "On the first play of the game, for instance, dependable left tackle Clifton badly missed his block....On other occasions, the Packers’ blockers whiffed in their attempts to block linebackers....Too frequently, the Packers missed their backside blocks, so when Jackson cut back to daylight, he was swallowed up....Other times, the line was simply overpowered."

    In three runs, G Spitz "missed two blocks against DT Stroud and another against LB Peterson." In the second half, the 2nd team offensive line had a real rough game looking like a sieve on pass protection. In the game, the Pack had two forced fumbles, committed four penalties, and gave up five sacks.

    3. Shoddy defensive execution & pedestrian defensive backups: In the first half, the 1st team defense looked solid with pressure & big plays. Yet, they lacked an overwhelming pass rush & had a sometimes leaky rush defense. In the second half, the backups played shoddy with pedestrian execution and tackling having few standouts. Rookie DT Harrell continued to struggle against backups. "He played slow and looked sluggish," one scout said. "Poor reactions. He stalled out on the line of scrimmage rushing the passer. He got knocked back too far one time on the goal line." LB Bishop must improve shedding blockers & LB White must improve to make impact plays.

    CONCERNS:

    1. Injuries: The Pack had injury scares when WR Driver left with a foot sprain injury and G Spitz left the game with a reocurring injury. WR Driver is expected back for the home opener against the Eagles.
     
  2. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Preseason Packers vs Jaguars Game: Reviews

    http://www.acmepackingcompany.com/story/2007/8/24/15156/8245

    The big story in the loss to Jacksonville is the injury to WR Donald Driver. FOX's Chris Myers said during the game it wasn't an ankle sprain but a foot injury, however Mike McCarthy in the above linked article said it was an ankle injury. For what it's worth, since he was so tentative to put any weight as he was helped to the cart, it looks like a severe ankle sprain.

    In the first half, it made a big difference to play against Jacksonville this week which had the 3rd best defense and was 3rd best against the run last season compared to Seattle who had the 23rd best run defense last season. The offensive line didn't open anything up for RB Brandon Jackson and he had no cut back lanes. However, the offensive line was pretty good in pass protection, only struggling early when LG Daryn Colledge got bull rushed into QB Brett Favre for a sack. The 1st team offense was able to move the ball on nearly every possession, but a failed 4th down conversion and a WR James Jones fumble killed two good drives. However TE Bubba Franks had another big reception, followed up with a good catch by TE Donald Lee, and both tight ends appear to be playing very well. What a first half for Jones who was spectacular getting open in the middle of the field and when he had to fight the for the ball. The calf injury suffered by RG Jason Spitz isn't as serious a blow as the injury to Driver, but hopefully that isn't a problem either. OL Junius Coston got a lot more playing time too and he has looked very good this preseason as a backup tackle. It looked like they abandoned the run, but since Jacksonville is so good at run defense and the Packers have so few healthy running backs, this probably wasn't a bad idea. The defensive line was playing a much better Jacksonville offensive line than they played against Seattle last week. They didn't dominate like they did against Seattle and struggled some early, but by the second quarter the front four was putting consistent pressure on QB Byron Leftwich and playing good run defense. All of them played well, but DT Corey Williams stood out primarily for busting up the middle on one of Jacksonville's failed 4th down attempts. The line didn't make a lot of plays, but they kept the blockers off the linebackers who did make a lot of big hits in the half. None of them bigger than rookie 6th round LB Desmond Bishop, who knocked WR Reggie Williams' helmet off on two separate hits. How Williams was able to hold onto the ball after the first hit was amazing. The defense rarely blitzed Leftwich, unlike last week against Seattle when it happened a lot, but it didn't help him at all. A shut out, 10-0 lead at half time by the first units is pretty good.

    The second half was not in favor of the Packers. There were some good plays, such as Bishop continuing to be all over the field, S Aaron Rouse had a big hit, and K Mason Crosby continues to impress. QB Aaron Rodgers led a TD drive to end the first half, but he struggled in the third quarter. His biggest problem is that he is bad at taking sacks and had three in the third quarter alone. Jackson looked good pass blocking in the first half, but his whiff on one block led to a Rodgers sack. DT Justin Harrell disappointed me the most. He seemed to show no pursuit and couldn't penetrate on run or pass plays against Jacksonville's 2nd and 3rd offensive lines. There were few standout plays by the backup defense. On offense, the backup offensive line opened up some huge running lanes for RB Corey White, but 3rd string QB Ingle Martin was bad and probably threw himself off the team with the INT that was returned for a TD. He shouldn't lose his job to 4th string QB Paul Thompson, who had two INTs against Seattle. I would expect both Martin and Thompson will be released and the Packers look to see who is available on waivers at the end of preseason.

    I'd better not neglect the special teams, which played well in the game. The return men didn't have any opportunities because Jacksonville's kickers did a good job at kicking it deep and near the sidelines or inside the 20. However, the Packers kick coverage was very good and Jacksonville got nothing on their returns until late in the 4th quarter. Again, both Ks Dave Rayner and Mason Crosby looked good, but hopefully they keep Crosby. P Jon Ryan had some good kicks, but it wasn't good to see the touchback on his only attempt to pin Jacksonville inside the 20.
     
  3. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Preseason Packers vs Jaguars Game: Reviews

    http://packerfansunited.blogspot.com/2007/08/pack-vs-jags-2nd-half-review.html

    Pack vs. Jags: 2nd half review

    The Packers lost the game to the Jags 21-13, after leading 10-0 at half. The game was basically decided when Coach McCarthy opted to go for a 38-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-one late in the fourth quarter. The Pack had a shot at pulling it out with about a minute to go when they recovered a fumble deep in their own territory. Unfortunately, third-string quarterback, Ingle Martin, was sacked on the first play, the second down went nowhere and then Martin threw an interception that was returned for the Jags' final touchdown. A couple other comments on the second half: Free agent running back Corey White ran authoritatively in the fourth quarter. The Packers' backup offensive linemen were like a sieve, allowing pressure on Rodgers and Martin the entire half. Can't really read too much into anything, but it just seemed as if rookie kicker Mason Crosby was getting most of the work.

    http://packerfansunited.blogspot.com/2007/08/pack-vs-jags-1st-half-review.html

    Pack vs. Jags: 1st half review

    Quick observations from the first half of tonight's game versus the Jaguars, where the Packers lead 10-0:

    The running game is still basically non-existent.

    The defense looked very good, coming up with a few fourth down stops, a sack or two, and lots of pressure on Jags QB Byron Leftwich with only a four-man front.

    Brett looked a bit out of sync with receivers early -- or, more likely, the receivers (with the exception of Donald Driver) were not where they should have been.

    For as out of sync as the passing game looked early, Brett looked very sharp in the second quarter before giving way to Aaron Rodgers. He led a great drive, throwing to at least 6 different receivers on the drive, only to have a sure touchdown pass tipped at the line of scrimmage; the Pack had to settle for a field goal, which continued that disturbing red zone trend from last year.

    Rookie receiver James Jones really came on strong in the second quarter, with more than 80 yards in receptions.

    Bubba Franks continues his path back to reliability.

    Aaron Rodgers, taking over for Brett in the second quarter, led a TD-scoring drive, finished off by a short run by rookie RB Brandon Jackson.

    The big hit of the first half -- probably the entire preseason -- was made by backup linebacker, Desmond Bishop. He hit the Jag receiver on the slant route so hard that the receiver's helmet was knocked off and the receiver "de-cleated" (as John Madden might say).

    The down side to the first half was seeing Pro Bowl receiver Donald Driver carted off the field with an unspecified ankle injury. It appeared from replays that his ankle was rolled up when he was tackled trying -- what would you expect? -- to pick up additional yardage after the catch.
     
  4. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Preseason Packers vs Jaguars Game: Reviews

    http://www.mytvisonfire.com/packersnation/?p=2323

    Packers vs. Jaguars Game Review.

    Pros:

    Nick Barnett was all over the field. He couldn’t be stopped. He almost intercepted a pass, he tipped a pass away, and had several run stuffs including two stuffs on 3rd and 4th and 1 that went for no gain. Nick Barnett was the standout player on the defense.
    James Jones continues to play well in every game. Jones once again was the best receiver on the roster once again. If he continues this I would be shocked if he is not the starter by the end of the season. Jones did make a few mistakes (ran two routes wrong and fumbled the ball) but I believe they are all easily corrected.
    Desmond Bishop had a great game. He played the run great and also played well in coverage. We also found out that he can hit with his hit that took the helmet off the receiver. That is one of the best hits I have seen in a long time. With Bishop’s performance yesterday I think he earned himself a spot on the team.
    Brett Favre had some trouble with communication but I still think he had a good game. He seemed to be spot on his throws but he does need to work on his chemistry with his young receivers.
    Aaron Rodgers had another impressive performance. At this point I know he will do a great job replacing Brett once he retires.
    Corey White probably improved his chances of making the team with his running last night. He showed some explosiveness and seemed to break tackles pretty well. If White improves a little on this performance he might get the third down spot from Noah Herron.
    Bubba Franks had another pretty good game. He had only one reception but he showed that he still has some explosiveness and could still get some long runs.
    The starting offensive line did a really good job pass blocking. Brett Favre was mostly able to have all the time he needed to throw the ball. The good pass blocking also let us have 4-5 receiver sets for the first time in quite a while.
    The defensive line had another great game. While they didn’t get any sacks it was amazing how much pressure they put on the QB with no blitzing. If we can get that much pressure on the QB without even blitzing, I wonder how much pressure we could get with blitzing.

    Cons:

    Donald Driver’s injury is one of the worst things that could have happened. Let’s hope Driver isn’t seriously hurt because he will be once again an important part to our offense this season.
    The running game struggled once again. One of the reasons the running game didn’t do well is because Jacksonville is a great run defense team (4th in the whole NFL last season). You can’t blame it all on their defense being good though. I think it was both Jackson’s and the offensive lines fault. The offensive line didn’t open many holes and Jackson didn’t really break any tackles.
    The backup offensive line was terrible. They seemed to not be able to pass block anyone. On what seemed like every play the QB was pressured because at least one defensive lineman was chasing them.
    Ingle Martin was terrible once again. I think Ingle Martin got himself cut with his performance. He was terrible throwing the ball and even threw a ball right at a LB. At this point I think we should cut both backup QBs and just keep Rodgers and Favre.
    Al Harris didn’t have a very good game. For once in a long time Al Harris let receivers get by him and get open. Al Harris was bailed out several times with overthrows and drops. I believe Al Harris just had a bad game.

    Game Notes

    I was very pleased with our starters. Our defense played great once again and our offense passed the ball well but had some running game problems....Hopefully our offense continues to improve their chemistry and we will have a good season.
     
  5. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Preseason Packers vs Jaguars Game: Reviews

    http://www.bratsandbeer.com/posts/2007/08/528

    Loss To The Jags Leaves Packers And Fans Wondering

    Watching Green Bay fall to Jacksonville 21-13 in their third pre-season game leaves me wondering, “Were the Seahawks really that bad, or did the Packers take a big step backwards?” I didn’t think the Green & Gold would have a repeat performance of their huge win over Seattle but this was a pretty disappointing game overall.

    On the plus side, Brett Favre and Aaron Rogers had fairly solid performances, James Jones had six catches for 80 yards and the defense managed to pitch a shutout in the first half. On the down side, the offensive line allowed five sacks, the running game was stuck in neutral and Donald Driver got hurt in the second quarter.

    The running game also made me wince in pain. Now the Jaguars are good, but to have ten yards on eight carries in the first half, that’s just unacceptable. And I’m not so sure it was all the fault of Brandon Jackson. It just looked like the offensive line got manhandled and there wasn’t anywhere for the back to go. But Jackson did look a little tentative at times and didn’t seem to always know where the play was going to go. Anyone know of a veteran back on the bubble to get cut on Tuesday?

    This game sure didn’t make the job of making roster cuts any easier. A lot of guys stumbled through the game and had their ups and downs. A couple players, though, really didn’t do themselves any favors: Abdul Hodge and Ingle Martin. Hodge got shown up by Desmond Bishop, who laid a wicked hit on Reggie Williams, and then whiffed trying take down D.D. Terry and allowed a 29-yard gain. Martin completed two of three passes for six yards and an interception that Jacksonville took in for another score. I hope both those guys were renting because they may be looking for a new place to live after the weekend.
     
  6. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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  7. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Preseason Packers vs Jaguars Game: Reviews

    http://packers.scout.com/2/671755.html

    Johnnie Gray: Post-game review:Thoughts on ailing Driver, analysis of offense and defense against Jaguars

    When receiver Donald Driver went down with the ankle injury, I felt like I was the only one watching that didn’t flinch. Obviously, I’m concerned but not entirely freaked out. Driver has proven many times that he is a fast healer....

    OFFENSE

    The running game has suffered, but don’t blame it on the system. The Packers have five running backs and five fullbacks. Fullback Brandon Miree, who has been battling a neck stinger injury, was back on the field Thursday night after practicing a couple times this week. A good thing because there was a play when he pointed to Brandon Jackson to go in motion. When Brett Favre looked back at him he pointed to the man he was going to block and did. vre talked recently about having all the talent in the world, but if you don’t have chemistry, you can’t win. mes Jones has been fantastic during the preseason. He and Favre misfired on a crossing pattern that they have been running all summer. These days communication is the buzz word of the locker room as the coaching staff shuffles the lineup to get the best athletes with the best chemistry on the field at the same time.

    DEFENSE

    The phrase on defense is “hit somebody” and somebody they did. You can’t teach linebacker Desmond Bishop to hit the way he did against the Jaguars. You have to want it. Another player would have come up and just tackled wide receiver Reggie Williams, but not Bishop. He crushed him. If it was me, I would have buried him by putting my head across his chest, wrap my arms around him, lift him up and plant him into the ground. Form tackle. Safety Atari Bigby tried to do what Bishop did in the Steelers game and the receiver bounced off and scored on the play. Williams is the Jaguars’ third string receiver. There were many hits like Bishop’s all night long by the linebackers, and it all started with the defensive line. We didn’t hear their names because they were too busy sucking up the blockers, allowing the linebackers to utilize their speed to roam and fill the gaps. The safeties did a better job of sealing the edge and forcing the running back to cut up inside. This Packers defense can be one of the best in the league because of its aggressive play, and it could be average due to the little things.

    Last week, I talked about the safeties not giving up their body on the force and this week, they came up, but had their head down. A much better force, but when ‘LT’ from San Diego sees that on tape he will dip to make you commit and then be around the corner before you can say “my bad.” A player to watch in the final preseason game is cornerback Will Blackmon. He has shown that he can handle the return duties, but his corner skills are at a lull. A ten-yard cushion is too excessive on mediocre receivers and with Jarrett Bush, (wearing my number) getting the nod in nickel, I guess that answers my question. Blackmon has a boatload of talent, but he needs to trust it. The little things.
     
  8. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    Preseason Packers vs Jaguars Game: Reviews

    PIB's review:


    Defense was bringin it on both sides of the ball. Both teams have stellar to near stellar D-lines, both like to lay the wood, and the first half reflected that.

    If Barnett continues his level of play into the regular season, he's in the Pro Bowl. Move over, Urlacher, welcome to Honolulu, here's your spot on the bench.

    Loved that we had decent pass rush against a considerably strong, run-based offensive line. Although pressures were fewer than against Seattle, I didn't notice more than one or two blitzes the entire game. Not bad for four guys to cause scrambles against 5-6 blockers.

    Al Harris. Had a bad game. Maybe he's getting used to Bigby talking to him, but he looked a little behind last night. Hopefully he's just gettin the bad ones outta the way when they don't count.

    No KGB last night, which I think contributed to our lack of sackness on third and longs. On a sidenote, I'd never actually heard his voice til his interview. Sounds.... different than I expected.

    No huge gaffes in the secondary, but the Jags have an awful passing game.

    Bishop, Rouse, way to stick those guys across the middle. You never like to see a player get hurt, and concussions are bad, but Wiggins got JACKED UP!!!

    Offense:
    Favre looked really good on drive #2. I mean, more encouraged that he can still get it done than I have been the last 2 years. Accurate, good decisions, checkdowns, etc.

    Receivers need to improve. Fast. The talent is there, but with DD down indefinitely, they need to solidfy those skills.

    Run game was non-existent, although Corey White looked like a good option for simultaneous RB/FB backup. The o-line has to make effective cut blocks to succeed, and once those work, the rest of the running will fall into place.

    Rodgers looked good again, made his first noticable mistakes on two near-picks in the third, but looked great otherwise.

    Play-calling seemed pretty close to vanilla, let's hope that's just the coaching staff keeping their aces in their sleeves for when it matters.
     
  9. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Preseason Packers vs Jaguars Game: Reviews

    http://packers.scout.com/a.z?s=61&p=2&c=671848

    Driver Update: Driver feeling better.

    ...Wide receiver Donald Driver, who sustained a sprained right foot during Thursday night's preseason game against Jacksonville, could be ready to play in time or the regular season opener on Sept. 9 against Philadelphia.

    Driver was injured late in the second quarter as he was tackled by safety Sammy Knight. He was carted off the field and had ice on his wounded foot after the game. Upon initial tests by team physicians, it was determined that Driver suffered a foot sprain.

    "We're going to do some additional scans to make certain, but he was feeling better today in terms of pain and all that," said Thompson. "He thinks it goes along with what he thought last night, and it's 'we dodged something.'"
     
  10. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Pics

    http://www.packersnews.com

    [​IMG]
    BARNETT, KAMPMAN, & WOODSON STOPPING RUN

    [​IMG]
    JENNINGS STRETCHING FOR YARDS

    [​IMG]
    DRIVER'S INJURY CATCH

    [​IMG]
    JACKSON CELEBRATING TD RUN: LAMBEAU LEAP
     
  11. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    OL: EVALUATION & REVIEW

    http://packers.scout.com/2/671784.html

    Line's struggles ground rushing attack

    From missed blocks to simply being overpowered, PackerReport.com's Steve Lawrence saw an offensive line Thursday night that was dominated by Jacksonville's front seven. Three yards and a cloud of dust.
    The Green Bay Packers can only wish their rushing attack was that good. Facing the kind of test they’ll have against NFC North rivals Chicago and Minnesota, Green Bay’s running game failed miserably during Thursday night’s preseason loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. If you’re looking for blame, there’s plenty to go around.

    Start with the No. 1 offensive line, which was supposed to be the strength of a suspect offense entering this season. You heard the offseason spin coming out of 1265 Lombardi Ave. Young guards Jason Spitz and Daryn Colledge and center Scott Wells were more experienced. They were more powerful, thanks to a year in Rock Gullickson’s strength-training regimen. They were no longer neophytes in coach Mike McCarthy’s zone-blocking scheme. I bought into the hype, too. It all seemed so logical. So what happened on Thursday? The Packers rushed nine times for 10 yards during the first half, when it was starters vs. starters.

    To be fair, injuries have slowed the development during training camp. With the Packers thin in the backfield, McCarthy admittedly has called more pass plays during preseason games than he would have liked. In the first half on Thursday, the Packers ran 28 passing plays (27 attempts and one sack) and just nine runs. On top of that, Spitz left the game in the first quarter after aggravating a calf injury. Still, the on-the-field work offered plenty of reason for pessimism with little time to get the errors corrected.

    On the first play of the game, for instance, dependable left tackle Chad Clifton badly missed his block against right defensive end Reggie Hayward. That forced fullback Korey Hall to pick up Hayward, leaving linebacker Clint Ingram free to force the play outside to cornerback Brian Williams, who easily beat the block of receiver Greg Jennings and stopped Brandon Jackson for a 1-yard gain. On other occasions, the Packers’ blockers whiffed in their attempts to block linebackers. On the opening possession, after four consecutive passes, Colledge and Spitz both missed their blocks against Jaguars linebackers, limiting Jackson to 2 yards. Later, when the Packers actually won at the line of scrimmage, Spitz’s replacement, Junius Coston, missed linebacker Mike Peterson, who limited Jackson to a 2-yard gain.

    When Jackson fumbled in the first quarter, it was because Spitz failed to cut off defensive tackle Marcus Stroud. Stroud simply beat Spitz down the line of scrimmage and blew up the play. It was a tough block for Spitz — Stroud was lined up to Spitz’s left on a running play to the left — but those blocks are critical in the zone scheme. Too frequently, the Packers missed their backside blocks, so when Jackson cut back to daylight, he was swallowed up. On one play, right tackle Mark Tauscher didn’t block anyone. When Jackson cut back to the right to what should have been alley, he was brought down for a 1-yard gain.

    Other times, the line was simply overpowered. On a second-and-6 toss late in the first quarter, no fewer than seven Jaguars defenders had penetrated the Packers’ side of the line of scrimmage before Jackson even had time to think about making a move. He gained 1 yard. The Jaguars, with massive and talented tackles Stroud and John Henderson anchoring last year’s second-ranked defense, provide a perfect test for a Packers team that will play four games against the mighty defensive tackle tandems the Bears and Vikings put on the field. On Thursday, the Packers’ blockers simply weren’t up to the task.

    The line wasn’t always to blame, though. On that toss I just described, the play might have worked anyway had Donald Driver, who was lined up in a tight slot to the right, not been pushed 4 yards into the backfield, causing a pileup at the point of attack. Neither of the fullbacks, Brandon Miree or Hall, did anything to warrant being the opening-day starter. Jackson’s inexperience doesn’t help, either. Once, it looked like he might have had some space, but instead of following Hall to the outside, he cut back inside and was tackled for a minimal gain. Then, there was the play-calling. Perhaps it was McCarthy being cautious due to the injury situation, but he called back-to-back runs only once in the first half. It’s tough to get into a groove as a run blocker when you’re a passive pass blocker on three out of every four plays.
     
  12. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    REVIEW

    http://www.packerupdate.com/packer_update/2007/08/review-jacksonv.html

    REVIEW: JACKSONVILLE AT GREEN BAY

    THE GOOD - James Jones is for real. That doesn’t mean the rookie wide receiver is headed to the Pro Bowl next February, but the way he effortlessly plucks balls out of the air and makes people miss after the catch is very impressive....

    THE BAD - The Jags have one of the best defenses in football, but Green Bay’s ground game was anemic. While rookie Brandon Jackson tries hard, he’s simply not ready to be a starter in the NFL. The Packers better hope that veteran Vernand Morency is ready for the season opener. Of course, improved blocking up front wouldn’t hurt either.

    THE REST -...the entire second-string offensive line really struggled..... Defensive end Jason Hunter played his best game of the preseason...active against the run and flashed some new moves as a pass rusher..... Safety Atari Bigby and corner Jarrett Bush did nothing to make the coaches question their recent promotions. Bigby was aggressive and physical as the starting strong safety and Bush was solid as the nickel back..... Rookie linebacker Desmond Bishop locked down a roster spot with a very good performance....

    WHAT WE LEARNED - Veteran offensive tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are still struggling to adapt to the zone blocking scheme....execute the backside block too often gets overlooked.
     
  13. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Thanks for all the info, TOPHAT. It was a good game overall. That guy at bratsandbeer.com is overly worried, I think.

    I don't have much to add. Two of these analyses mention that Al Harris had a bad game, but they don't mention that Harris always has lapses in the preseason, but they disappear once the games start counting. He's about the last guy I'm worried about.

    Another thing: Although the first string defense played well, they got significant help from Jags QB Byron Leftwich, who has no mobility and misfired on several passes to open receivers. So the defensive performance in the first half, although good, was not as good as the goose egg on the scoreboard suggested.
     

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