Johnny Jolly helped the Green Bay Packers shake the shadows of their terrible performance in their first preseason game last week by clogging the middle of the defensive line, batting down passes and coming up with an interception tonight against the St. Louis Rams as Green Bay got its first win of the preseason, 19-7.
While Jolly was probably the player of the game in this one, there were other stars.
Consider rookie Eddie Lacy. He showed why the Packers are so high on him as he blew through the Rams defense, spun around tacklers and even caught a pass out of the backfield and broke a tackle to rumble for a first down. In all, he carried eight times for 40 yards
Consider Aaron Rodgers. He was 10-12 for 134 yards in his short stint. His arm was alive tonight as he zipped passes around the field looking as sharp as ever.
Consider Jermichael Finley. He caught the ball effortlessly and rumbled for yards after the catch – showing everyone that he is serious about having a strong contract year. He caught 4 passes for 78 yards.
Consider Micah Hyde. The guy was all over the field. He had five tackles, one sack, and two tackles for loss. He was stuffing runners in the backfield; he was blanketing rookie Tavon Austin, the speedster who many felt would run by the Packers defender. Though Hyde was beaten deep on the one big pass play by Rams, he made the tackle inside the 10 – a tackle that turned out to be huge when the Packers defense stuffed the Rams offense on a beautiful goal line stand.
Consider Mason Crosby. He made three field goals tonight – one of them which was tipped at the line of scrimmage but still spun through the uprights. His perfect night placed him, at least in appearances, ahead of Giorgio Tavecchio in the battle for the place kicking job.
The Packers certainly played a much better game than they did in their opener last week, but still have miles to go before they make their first cuts which come at the end of this month. At that time, the Packers will trim from 90 players down to 75. The following week the team will then trim down to their 53-man roster.
With this win behind them, the Packers will look toward their matchup next weekend against the Seattle Seahawks – the first time the two teams will have met since the “Fail Mary” game last fall.
This will be an interesting matchup for both teams. The third preseason game will feature the starters well into the second half, so it will be a definite test for the Packers.
Stay tuned …