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Colts Notebook: All Quarterbacks With Outstanding Play

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Colts Notebook: All Quarterbacks With Outstanding Play

Each of Green Bay's three quarterbacks performed at a near-perfect level in Thursday's 59-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field.

For the third consecutive preseason game, Aaron Rodgers looked every bit like an MVP candidate. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 195 yards and 3 touchdowns with 0 interceptions.

The starting quarterback staked the Packers a 28-17 lead before giving way to the second-team at the beginning of the second half. He exited the game with a 141.2 quarterback rating.

Backup Matt Flynn did almost as well going 8 of 13 for 80 yards with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Perhaps most impressive was his ability to sustain time-consuming drives.

On the their first possession of the second half, Flynn led the Packers on a 15-play drive that ate 6:39 off the clock and extended their lead 31-17 after a Mason Crosby field goal.

Flynn later connected with John Kuhn for a touchdown following a fumble of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and recovered by Robert Francois down to the 3-yard line.

One more time, Flynn led a 7 play, 42 yard drive lasting 2:53 culminating with a touchdown toss to rookie tight end Andrew Quarless to put the Packers up 45-28.

Graham Harrell didn't get the opportunities afforded Rodgers or Flynn but played well in limited playing time. Harrell finished the game hitting 4 of 5 passes for 62 yards and probably had his best game of the three the Packers have played.

Special teams with special night: For a unit that finished 31 out of 32 teams in the Dallas Morning News' annual special teams rankings and 32nd by Football Outsiders, the Green Bay Packers special teams had a very positive showing on Thursday's

The beleaguered unit led by special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum had two touchdowns, the types of plays that could be game changing in the regular season.

Back when they were still down 14-17 and punting from their own 47-yard line, Tim Masthay boomed a 53-yard punt with superb hangtime that resulted in a muff by Colts return man Brandon James and recovered in the end zone by Korey Hall. The Packers would go on to maintain their lead for the rest of the game, outscoring the Colts 45-7 the rest of the way.

In the fourth quarter with only 4:54 left in the game, Packers punt returner Jason Chery contributed to the scoring when he returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown.

With the exception of a 58 yard kickoff return on the ensuing kickoff, the special teams had an overall solid night including their coverage units.

Up and coming: Rookies on the defensive side of the football had an impressive night for the Green Bay Packers.

Having perhaps the biggest impact, Zombo forced fumble on Peyton Manning that was returned all the way down to the Colts' 3-yard line, which led to a Packers touchdown.

Second-round draft choice, making his first start in place of the injured Cullen Jenkins, also had a big impact, especially against the run. Playing a lot of the first half, Neal was part of a unit that held the Colts to 81 yards rushing an 18 first downs, which paled in comparison to the Packers' 33.

In the secondary, third-round draft choice Morgan Burnett displayed the big play ability for which he was so highly touted coming out of college.

Burnett jumped a pass in the right flat thrown by Manning and intended for Pierre Garcon. The ball was returned all the way into the red zone at the Colts' 18-yard line, but unfortunately the Packers turned the ball back over to Indianapolis on a fumble by running back Brandon Jackson a mere two player later.

Finally, undrafted rookie Sam Shields came up with an interception of his own in the fourth quarter. In a battle to win the fifth, nickel back job if the regular season were held today, Shields notched his second interception of the preseason.

Shields is competing with Brandon Underwood and Pat Lee to play in the Packers' first-string nickel defense.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Doug in Sandpoint's picture

Great night. Carry it through to the regular season! TT is looking pretty fine with his 2010 draft so far.

nerdmann's picture

Great night for Burnett, Cheri, Zombo, Shields, Neal, Flynn and even guys like Quarless and Lumpkin.
I want to see more of Cheri returning punts.

Erik's picture

All the abs were on fire. Matt Flynn look good against the colt 1st string D.

Tommyboy's picture

Loved what we saw tonight. I've been saying for weeks that Shields was making this team as a corner and that special teams play will be icing on the cake. I LOVE that he got his shot.

...can't wait to get my Zombo jersey :). Seriously, I know he's a rookie, but he's been outstanding. The pass rush and even solid coverage when he's needed it have been great. The regular season always takes the competition up a notch, so I'm eager to see him there, but this guy is going to not just make the team, but will hopefully contribute this year as well.

Aaron Rodgers - not sure this guy's gonna make the cut.

dilligaff's picture

It is still a preseason game, it is what it is. The Packers have something to prove, the Colts where AFC Champions last year, kind of hard for the colts to be motivated for a preseason game.

I have this feeling that our defense is going to be night and day this year yet will win the turnover battle and it will be up to our offense to score 30 + points a game to win.

thepretzelhead's picture

Nothing to prove? Packers have nothing to prove 'cept for some pad level and special teams elements...McCarthy and THompson's development systems are in place and working. Sign them both for ten years and be done with it.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Let's all officially welcome Tim Masthay to the Green Bay Packers. Welcome Tim! Thanks for your effort Chris, good luck to you.

GBP 4 LIFE

PackersRS's picture

Agreed. They were close, but last night he won the spot. And I'm kinda comfortable with him, believe it or not.

aussiepacker's picture

I think i agree but i really wanted the Aussie on the team.

DBH's picture

A lot of young quarterbacks (think David Carr) have folded when taking too many hits and working behind weak o-lines. Rodgers played through it last year as if the constant pressure didn't rattle him, and now the o-line is holding up and giving him time and security. Rodgers will be DEADLY now that defenses know it is harder to get to him, and that he won't be rattled even if they do.

Oppy's picture

To be fair, David Carr was a rookie starter who didn't even have the chance to develop at all before being stuck behind a lousy O line that allowed opposing defenses to ravage him.. Which continued for his entire career, pretty much.

Aaron Rodgers was in his fourth NFL season and was fed to the lions for about 7 games, where he took 37 sacks, finishing off the rest of the season with 13 more.

David Carr's -Rookie- season of '02, he was sacked 76 times (Yes, Seventy-six) , and went on to rack up a total of 249....249 sacks over his first five years in the NFL.

I agree with what you're basically saying, but Carr is a really, really poor comparison for what Rodgers 'endured'. Rodgers did shrug it off, and he should be acknowledged for it.. But Carr? That kid had all the talent in the world, but was subjected to the equivalent of extended bombing raids nightly.. Completely shell-shocked and a husk after his experiences.

Ryeguy812's picture

Thought Rodgers was on the ground a little too much last night, but he's tough.

This team is going to be tough to run on.

Wish the D-line would finish when they get pressure and not let the QB slip by

Hello Shields and Zombo
Byebye Brenno, Bryan, Pat Lee

Seriously, Pat Lee looked terrible. Got beat on several passes and was weak on run support

Aaron Rogders's picture

Remember Anthony Smith looked good in preseason too with 2 picks... so I don't think you can say 100% Shields made the 53.

PackersRS's picture

BIG difference bewteen a gambler veteran S that was cut from his original team, and an extremely raw CB with amazing potential, but that has already shown great awareness for the position, with a phrase like this: "The route that they ran, they ran it three times in a row. The first time they threw it, it got batted, so he ran it again, and I got my head around me, and the ball was right there."

Aaron Rogders's picture

Not sure I would call Smith a veteran.. but I am just saying.. it was kind of a surprise when he was released. It just reminds me of the play making Shields is doing this preseason.

Michael Neelsen's picture

You wouldn't call him a veteran? He was heading into his fourth NFL season last year when he was with us. At what point does someone graduate to veteran in your eyes?

nerdmann's picture

They also tried to resign him later in the year though. I think Shields makes the team.

PresidentRaygun's picture

Chery's got some speed, a few of my friends are Colts fans and even they were in awe.

lebowski's picture

I'd like to see a breakdown on how Marshall Newhouse did at left tackle the whole second half, watched him on a few plays and he looked solid. Loving this depth on the O line.

WayneF's picture

Bad News: A number of very good players will not make the team.

Good news for them: There will be 31 wavier request filed for many of them.

RtheDane's picture

Absolutely correct. There is so much talent on the roster right now, it's a luxury problem really.

nerdmann's picture

They could package some players to trade for a position of need. Such as OLB.

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