Green Bay Packers Preseason Game #3: A Mixed Bag of Emotions

After getting trounced by the Philadelphia Eagles 39-26 in preseason game #3 the Green Bay Packers walked back to the locker room icing their injuries and counting their blessings.

Packer Nation walked away from the game not knowing what to think, given the Green Bay Packers recent rash of injuries, coupled with inconsistencies and sloppy play, especially by the 1st team defense and special teams.

For example, Packers fans were full of beans at the start of the game, but their bliss subsided as they watched the Eagles march down the field and score a TD with relative ease on the very first drive.

In another example, Packers fans clapped with joy when Rajon Neal had a nice kick return and a second later were hissing naughty words when it was called back on a Chris Banjo penalty.

The Eagles and their hurry up no-huddle offense looked like it drank Reliant Recovery Water before the game, while Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and the Green Bay Packers 1st team defense played like they were sucking water from a garden hose coming straight out of the Fox River.

The Packers “D” was torched by Eagles starting quarterback Sam Bradford. He was 10 for 10 in passing attempts because he had all day in the pocket, and not once had to test his surgically repaired knee—leaving Packers fans wondering if applying pressure on the quarterback is going to be an issue again this season.

Then, just when Packers fans thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse this preseason, it did.

At first it didn’t seem like a big deal, but as soon as Randall Cobb popped up cradling his right arm after landing hard on the turf there was instant concern on the part of Packer Nation. A short time later Packers fans became downright petrified when the injury was described as a shoulder injury.

However, a day later there would be a collective sigh of Cheesehead relief when they learned that Cobb’s injury was just a “minor shoulder sprain” and he would neither be out for a long period of time or for the rest of the season.

Yet for Packers fans the feeling of despair didn’t end there.

Bryan Bulaga sustained an ankle sprain and Micah Hyde was carted off the field with neck spasms during the exhibition game. Key players getting hurt during a preseason game leaves all stakeholders with a nervous feeling.

The first half was so stomach-churning that some Packers fans started eating Rolaids and Tums like salted peanuts and pretzels. The second half of the game though, would be a different story.

Green Bay Packers fans were feeling nothing but elation for Brent Hundley after the game. After a somewhat shaky 1st quarter start he finally found his rhythm, looking confident and poised, even when on the scramble. That disposition would continue throughout the game until he was relieved by Matt Blanchard.

Packer Nation would be the first to admit that Jeff Janis is no Jordy Nelson—even though they do kind of look alike. On the upside, he does make Packers fans feel like there’s at least a tad bit of hope after watching him catch a TD pass on Saturday night. Janis has height, speed and vertical jumping ability. Now, he just needs to run his pass routes with more consistency.

WR Ty Montgomery continues to impress Packer Nation. He made some great catches in the game and showed everyone that he has a firm grip and soft hands. In other words, whether Aaron Rodgers is throwing him a cannonball or a cotton ball Montgomery will catch it. He has also proved himself in the kickoff return game.

TE Kennard Backman finally made Packers fans smile on Saturday night. He scored a touchdown and also made a nice reception to keep his chances of making the 53 man roster alive. Now that his club cast has been removed he might have a better chance to shine.

Yet, as soon as you think the sun will shine on Packer Land, old things like penalties and special team’s gaffs pop up on the horizon. These mental issues make Packers fans downright dizzy.

Finally, late in the 4th quarter with 5:35 left to play #50 LG Vince Kowalski showed why he should be a consideration. While pass blocking for Blanchard he looked like a “Rock’em Sock’em Robot,” hitting an Eagles DT so hard the “D” linemen went backwards by nearly two yards.

Despite some of the current blues that Packers fans may be feeling, there is hope. It is still the preseason.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only NFL team to go an entire regular season undefeated and win a Super Bowl were 3 and 3 during their preseason—and they accomplished this feat with their back-up quarterback at the helm most of the season.

So I’m not here to tell you to R-E-L-A-X or to stay C-A-L-M. I get it.

What I am trying to say to Packer Nation is to sit back, be cool and take a few deep breaths.

If that trick doesn’t work, crack open a bottle of Reliant Recovery Water. I heard the other day it does wonders and, who knows, maybe it can cure those Green Bay Packers preseason blues and hangovers.

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Todd Stelzel, a loyal Packers fan since 1966, is a contributing writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @ToddStelzel for more Packer news.

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16 thoughts on “Green Bay Packers Preseason Game #3: A Mixed Bag of Emotions

  1. It’s pre-season so it really doesn’t count, what does matter is the foolishness of McCarthy to put a starting WR, who has to take up majority of slack from the team’s best receiver sitting out entire season with an injury. WHY chance your second best WR going down? As for “bright spots”, Hundley was playing against college level backups by the time Packers were scoring points, he did squat against the Eagles’ starting defense. As for Pack’s defense–do YOU really think they will get much better under Dom Capers? The opportunity for a SB run this season again goes through the DEFENSE, or lack of it. I would say out-loud–LOSE this opportunity, thanks again to an inept defense means Capers gets walking papers and the door, or maybe it’s time for his BOSS to get the ax.

    1. Thanks for the reply.

      No question by the time Hundley got his act together it was against 2’s and 3’s.

      Even though I know squat, he showed me some things.

      Didn’t really view him as a “bright spot.”

      I was just happy to see the 3rd stringer have some success in the game.

      Finally, I agree with your take on the “D”….check my post above. It’s titled: “SB 50 Fate in Hands of “D”

      I think the “D” will improve, but as it looks right now…I wouldn’t bet on “6-0 out of the gate.”

      1. Haha, I wouldn’t count on 6-0 either, this team has Hawks-itis like they’ve had Niner-itis. They’ve lost 3 consecutive games vs. Hawks including title game last year–4 in a row vs. Niners including two playoff games, one which Kaepernick made’em look like high-schoolers. It’s easy to expect a win vs. Niners this year with so much turnover on that team, the Hawks aren’t the same defense they were last year either but Capers defense continues to find some way to fall apart especially when it’s playoff time. Despite the success of Rodgers’ offense, this line just does NOT get enough daylight for the run game–Lacy’s production is more LACY than the O-line, he’s getting more yards AFTER pounding defenders than what the line gives him in openings. The Pack looks as it has since the ’10 SB title–THE offense to win it all, a defense that can’t shut down opponents in crunch time, hopefully Raji’s return and some “improvement” at MLB will help cover the weak spots in secondary with inexperience and make just enough difference to win SB 50!

        1. Been teaching high school for 30 yrs and PA guy for area high school football team for 20. I think you give Packers’ “D” a little too much credit. They looked more like “Webelos” from Ashwaubenon when they have played Kaepernick and Wilson.

          1. Haha, you’re right about the first couple of games vs. Kaepernick–and what burns my butt the most–the playoff game when Kaepernick ran for RECORD yds against Pack’s defense—Dom Capers saw Kaepernick come in against Packers in very first game of season vs. Niners–Kaepernick was in the game TO RUN THE BALL AT QB! And they had a full season’s games to study his tendencies and Capers acted like he’d NEVER seen this guy play that season. POOR preparation, POOR leadership from a DC who should’ve expected the RUN game from Kaepernick. They pretty well boxed up Wilson last year, I fault McCarthy for the loss–this Packers team has NOT had that killer instinct they did in SB XLV when Cullen Jenkins, Nick Collins and Charles Woodsen were playing. With exception of Clay Matthews, this defense just does NOT have that fire in the belly to seal big wins–they laid down in the NFC title game in 4th quarter. I KNEW Packers were in trouble when Burnett took a knee with the Wilson INT and he had at least another 20-30 yds open for a return, only real opposition to running it all the way was Wilson himself, Burnett should’ve just ran over him. And then McCarthy runs Lacy 3 consecutive runs for -4 yds–he made no attempt to even move closer for FG opportunity–IF Mason Crosby had knocked in a FG right there, his final FG kick to send it to overtime would’ve been a GAME WINNING KICK instead. You could tell McCarthy just didn’t have control of team early in first when Mike Daniels got the taunting penalty after Pack recovered the kickoff at the 11 yd line and that 15 yds. pushed them back to the Hawks 26 and a FG instead of a TD opportunity from the 11. It played out almost as IF IT WAS INTENDED TO AS A SCRIPTED FINISH.

            1. We knew it was coming. We saw it coming and yet Packers couldn’t stop the San Fran QB from running wild. Still haunts me like it does you. But no longer fear 49ers like I used too.

              Seattle on the other hand concerns me a great deal.

            2. You know what bubba? The Packers saw it too, yet Capers had NO answers at halftime and did little to stop it. Yeah, I’m with ya’, the Niners are a rebuilding team and a bunch of those players that made them good aren’t there and their talent level isn’t even close to Packers. As for the Hawks, I think they’ve lost enough players to make them have to fight harder to be successful. I don’t look for defense to be as dominant without Maxwell and safety Johnson in secondary, their offensive line may not be as good without Unger on O-line and several others who’ve been situational players that are gone. And we all know, Lynch at RB gets injured, that offense is in big trouble. Their key addition was Jimmy Graham at TE, keeping him under control forces Wilson to wait for routes.

  2. Same problems keep on cropping up year after year. No special team improvements as it’s disarray in that camp. McCarthy should have gotten a real pro coach for special team improvement instead of placing Zook, his old bud from way back. I’m frankly not expecting any great surprises for year ’15.

  3. Todd , …Ha’ Ha Clinton Dix performed great in the 1st 2 Quarters he played in the game and may have been the brightest Spot on the Defense….Using Ha’ Ha Clinton Dix was in poor taste, as well a misnomer as a lead in to describing how poorly the Defense performed overall…
    Ha’ Ha Clinton Dix didn’t play a Perfect game but he played Great.. I believe he had 6 or 7 Tackles one for a loss during the 2 quarters he played….In other Todd..writing a lengthy article and Using Clinton Dix’ s name negativly as a lead-in and a half truth when speaking as a “Team my get you hits ..but not respect as factual Contributing Writer..
    The Green Bay Packers won’t be just OK this Season…as a matterof fact they will be Great this Season….The Defense as Well as the Offense will get off to a great start with their 1st Home Game vs Seattle ….Green Bay will beat Seattle “going away”….The several Packers mistakes which Occured in the Playoff Game during the final few minutes won’t be Seattle’s saviour in September…
    More facts please….try actually watching the Game…

      1. Jersey Al… why attack the truth messenger? ..I happen to be one who will call it like it is…there are too many people like you who believe anything they read is the truth.
        …I guess you prefer to continue being as a Sheep ,being led blindly by the Power of the written word…I say to You wake up and smell the Roses…It would have been smart to commend my article instead of your failed attempt at being a Comedian….I could very well write a reply on most comments you make on this board that you have a hidden agenda
        But I would never stoop to that level…….You should also remember ” in a discussion one attacks the problem as oppose to attacking the person ”

    1. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

      Looking back at the post and my notes I did use the word “played” in my post instead of “looked” which was in my notes. My mistake! Changes intonation completely and can see were you are coming from.

      So…Please know that in my eyes Ha Ha played really well during the 1st 1/2 against the Eagles, but when I was watching the game Ha Ha and the Packers’ defense “looked tired and out of shape” at one point midway through 2nd qtr.

      Finally, not looking for hits…I’m striving to become a better contributing writer. Will make a better effort to weigh my words more carefully to the nearest gram the next time.

      1. Now this is Good ! I like writers willing to take time to clarify their statements….as we all know writers often imply & the naturally the readers infer….and weighing to the nearest gram isn’t necessary ; however, as a contributing Writer Poofreading before publishing should be a prerequisite on all your articles ..

        1. Appreciate the comment. Please know that proofreading is a prerequisite of mine. However, in this post I didn’t do an “A+” job. First to admit that….but on the other hand, “all articles?” “All” is an awfully big word. What other articles did I not meet proofreading expectations? Just curious so that I can learn.

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