Packers-Cardinals: First half thoughts
Welcome to the preseason and if we've learned one thing one half into the August slate it that's no matter what month it is Aaron Rodgers is always in mid-season form. A-Rodg lasted just 12 plays but finished 3-5 for 62 yards including a 50 yard bomb to James Jones.
However the drive didn't produce any points because the Packers elected to go for it on 4th and goal from the 2. Heck, why not? That's what preseason is for. Next month that's a field goal all the way.
Graham Harrell took over and didn't help his cause with a telegraphed interception thrown to Patrick Peterson. Harrell settled in after that but did not lead the Packers on any scoring drives. Overall, not an impressive first half.
James Starks got all the carries early on. He ran with purpose in training camp and ran with purpose tonight. Another way to put that is Starks is a man playing for his job. Again, it's unlikely the Packers carry five backs so between DuJuan Harris (who is listed #1 on the depth chart), Alex Green and Starks somebody will be on the outside looking in.
Ty Walker continues to have a good camp with a pair of first half receptions. Randall Cobb is out tonight and Jordy Nelson will miss the rest of preseason so opportunity is knocking for the young wideouts.
Jeremy Ross handled kick return duties in the first half and came away with a 22.0 yard average on his two returns. He showed explosiveness late last year when filling in for Cobb but ultimately his fumble against the 49ers in the playoffs cost him a permanent spot on special teams. With Cobb out again Ross can re-solidify himself as the return man.
Davon House had an ugly first half. Not what you want to see with two of the top cornerbacks out tonight. This is supposed to be a competitive position and House did himself no favors. Micah Hyde showed good instincts and run support but was lost in coverage, most notably on the touchdown to Jaron Brown.
Where was the pass rush? Sure, you won't see a lot of blitzing or exotic looks in preseason but there wasn't much resistance up front. Linebacker Robert Francois had a couple of pressures but otherwise the rush just hasn't been there.