Our weekly "Chips Report" will always include two blue chippers (outstanding, exceptional play), two red chippers (good, though maybe not great) and two cow chips (dud performances). From the final preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs...
- Wide receiver Jordy Nelson––For a player that missed most of training camp following minor knee surgery, Nelson sure didn't show any ill effects in the Packers' season opener. The highlight of the day was an outstretched, tip-toe, 37-yard catch on the sideline in the fourth quarter that set up Green Bay's go-ahead touchdown to make it 28-24. On the day, Nelson had seven receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown, good for 18.6 yards per catch. He was only outdone by Anquan Boldin.
- Packers run defense––The Green Bay running game may have went nowhere, but the 49ers run game was even worse. San Francisco gained 90 yards on 34 carries, an average of only 2.6 yards per attempt. The entire Packers front seven did yeoman's work against the run almost to a man. B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly, Mike Neal, C.J. Wilson, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk. The read-option, which got so much offseason attention, was nearly a non-factor as the Packers shut down both Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore.
- Wide receiver Randall Cobb––Cobb had seven catches for 108 yards, an average of 15.4 yards per reception. His highlight came on the Packers' first score of the game when he took a pass out in the flat from Aaron Rodgers, put a spin move on the Niners defender and stretched for the goal line to knot the game at 7-7 in the first quarter. Cobb also had 16 yards on his only punt return of the game and showed that he might be the better option than Jeremy Ross, who made multiple questionable decisions taking the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs.
- Cornerback Tramon Williams––Whereas the rest of the secondary got torched by Colin Kaepernick and Boldin, in particular, Williams returned from a training camp knee injury to effectively shut down his side of the field. He wasn't perfect, every cornerback in the league will give up a few completions, but Williams was head and shoulders above the rest of the defensive backfield. He also chipped in a three-yard tackle for a loss on Colin Kaepernick in the fourth quarter with the Packers down 24-21 to help force a three-and-out.
- Packers safeties––The loss of Morgan Burnett was easily apparent in the Green Bay secondary when M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian were victimized at several points throughout the afternoon. The safeties got off on the wrong foot when Jennings was beat by 49ers tight end Vernon Davis on a 20-yard touchdown pass for the first score of the game that put that put San Francisco up 7-0 in the first quarter. McMillian was also routinely targeted in pass coverage by Kaepernick and missed more than one tackle as well.
- Guard Josh Sitton––Sitton wasn't the only offensive lineman to blame for a dreadful Packers running game on Sunday, but he was the only one to get flagged for three penalties, each of the 10-yard variety. For the day, the Packers rushed for only 63 yards on 19 carries, an average of 3.3 yards per attempt. At halftime, the Packers had only 10 rushing yards on seven carries, and couldn't get the 49ers to respect the Green Bay ground game despite the presence of Eddie Lacy.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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