Filling in for the usual post-game analysis, so I guess it is time to pull the autopsy slab out of the lab and dissect the third preseason game of the year. It’s always a special treat when it’s the 49ers that are getting the proverbial autopsy. We got our first look at a nearly-intact first team offense. No one left in a body bag, and there were no major injuries. Regardless of the score, I would definitely call that win.
- Guess who’s back? Back again. Aaron’s back. Tell a friend.
- Okay, we all got finally see Aaron Rodgers. Happy now? He looks like exactly who we expected him to be. Now can we put him back in bubble wrap so he doesn’t get broken between now and Week 1?
- That said, it took a little bit for Rodgers and the offense to find a rhythm. But once it happened, Rodgers proved he ain’t dead yet and is ready to take the helm with the opening snap of the season. Sharp, crisp. It doesn’t matter that Jordy Nelson was out there or not. They already have chemistry. He trusts him. Besides, I totally take Rodgers’ word when he says that timing and chemistry is formed in consistent practice and not in a quasi-meaningful preseason game.
- But speaking of chemistry, it looks like Rodgers and tight end Jared Cook are well on their way to scoring an A in that arena. Cook is that impact TE the Packers have lacked since Jermichael Finley was lost to a spinal cord injury in his neck. Rodgers is already trusting him with the long passes, and Cooks ready and capable of turning them into big time plays to move the sticks. He’s definitely going to be an asset in third down situations. At the least his presence will demand that coverage on the field, possibly freeing up Jordy Nelson do damage. But other times he will be the deep threat. Cook will force defense to gamble on him.
- How do you like that Portly Edward now? Lacy continues to show that he is not the chunky, uninspired RB that the Packer wound up with at the end of the 2015 season. Faster, more nimble, dare I say more confident. Didn’t even flinch when the Niners defense by his hair.
- Speaking of which, why on earth is tackling one’s hair still legal in the NFL? I know, it’s the law of natural consequences. But this isn’t some catfight where two middle school girls are scrapping it out where pulling hair is considered fair game.
- Did anyone else have a stroke thinking Bulaga was going to get his knee blown up? Good, I’m glad it’s not me. I don’t think my heart could handle yet another dead offensive lineman lost to injury.
- Clay Matthews is still scary fast from the OLB position. Like Rodgers, pack him back up for the next two weeks and make sure he doesn’t get hurt.
- Julius Peppers, on the other hand, did not look good. And he played like the same old Julius Peppers giving up the edge not once but twice. [Insert explicative exclamation here] Julius, you’ve been in the leave for what, 108 years and you’re still conceding the edge on plays. This is the last contract year for Peppers. Continued sloppy play like that will guarantee that this is his last year in the Green and Gold.
- As the Packers head toward the first cut down to 75 on the roster by next week, Marwin Evans, Oak Creek’s own cornerback is proving he’s not going down without a fight. Flying out of no where to grab an interception shows his determination and timing. He’s not going to go quietly into the night. At the least, he’s putting up a pretty good argument to make the practice squad. And if he makes it that far, chances are he will get called up to the big league after one of the Packers’ secondary goes down with an injury.
- Since we’re talking about interceptions, it’s not a football game until Christian Ponder lobs up a quacker for an INT.
- That said, I completely have a soft spot for local kids living the dream. I’m admittedly a huge Abbrederis fan, but I don’t see Green Bay Notre Dame Academy alum Peter Mortell making the team. Sure he’s had some competitive head-to-heads with the Ginger Wolverine during this training camp. But is hard to have a winning argument in the last stretch of the preseason if you’re going to punt for a net of 25 or so yards. Needless to say, he didn’t do himself any favors tonight.
- And how about that Jared Abbrederis? I’ve said it many times, but there is no question that Abby runs more precise routes than Jeff Janis. And with Janis out with a fracture in his hand, there’s no way Abby is going to let this opportunity to shine go to waste. He definitely helped his case tonight with that diving catch for a touchdown in the front corner of the end zone.
- Last but not least, let’s talk about Joe Callahan. The announcers for the Packers’ television feed named him the player of the game. Yes, he shows poise, guts and determination. Yes, he can scramble out of the pocket and find a man down field with a confidence that rivals Aaron Rodgers. But repeat after me: He’s no where near Rodgers’ skill set. While we’re at it, also repeat after me: No, he isn’t going to leap frog over Brett Hundley and claim the QB2 position. Not happening. Jeff Janis has a better shot at getting named the QB2 for the season. The drop off between Hundley and Callahan is huge. But Callahan could definitely grow by leaps and bound as the scout team QB. He will flourish under McCarthy’s offseason’s quarterback school. But he is still very much the QB3 on the depth chart.
Over all it was a great night for the Packers. Solid performance on the road against San Francisco. But there is always room for improvement between games 3 and 4 in the preseason, yet the team is well on its way to being a force to be reckoned with come opening week.--------------