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The Jeff Falconio Blog

Packers-Cardinals: Early analysis

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It's rare to see the Packers shut out in a preseason game.  You'd have to go back to the 2003 Hall of Fame Game when the Packers were shut out by Kansas City in a game shortened by rain and lightning.  We know wins and losses never matter in August but execution is certainly important and the Packers were short on execution tonight.

 

Graham Harrell spent most of the time at quarterback, going 12-19 for 76 yards with two sacks and two turnovers.  Underwhelming to say the least and judging by the boos heard at Lambeau Field Harrell won't be winning any popularity contests in the near future.  However, neither Vince Young nor B.J. Coleman did anything to distinguish themselves.  Young flashed the kind of mobility that made him famous at Texas but he only completed one pass in three attempts.  To be fair Young was going to be limited due to his unfamiliarity with the offense so at this point it looks like Harrell is still the #2 but that could change.

 

The player of the night would be wide receiver Ty Walker.  He hauled in a team-high five receptions for 41 yards.  Alex Gillett also had a decent night though he did have one drop late.  These are two guys that are on the bubble so anytime you can make the stat sheet like that you've done your job.

 

Arizona was short-handed at running back but the Cardinals ended up handing the ball off 32 times.  While it looked like the Packers defensive line couldn't hold up the Cardinals didn't do much damage on the ground, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry.

 

The shutout robbed us the chance to see Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio in field goal action.  So the kicker competition will have to wait until next week.

 

Johnathan Franklin, Jeremy Ross and Omarius Hines all handled kickoff returns.  Ross finished with the highest return average though there were no spectacular returns tonight.

 

Certainly there was a lot of talk about rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari heading into tonight and it looked like he held his own against a decent Cardinals front three.

 

Arizona enters this season with a whole new look.  New GM, new coach, new quarterback and a ton of roster turnover.  Usually in these situations the new regime wants to get a win in that first game.  So no need to worry yet about this team even though execution was not sharp.  We'll see if there's improvement next week in St. Louis.

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