And it isn't even debatable.
When one goes back and re-watches the Bengals game, the evidence is there, screaming out from the broadcast film. The Packers were manhandled on every level. It didn't matter what personnel was in the game - the Bengals were quicker to the punch and that punch was harder than anything the Packers had.
And that's not even the worst part when it comes to the defense. No, the worst part is that, for all the noise about how physical their training camp was, about how observers hadn't seen 'hitting like that' in a Packers training camp in decades, for all of that - the Packers still can't tackle. Anyone.
So much for getting a more physical team. So much for hitting teams in the mouth. Thompson has assembled a fast, athletic group. That's great. But when they meet a team dead-set on pounding the ball, with a bruising back that is patient and can always find four or more yards on almost every carry, it's all over.
Maybe the addition of B.J. Raji will make a transformational difference. Maybe the coaching staff will finally give Desmond Bishop a real look rather than paying the idea lip service. Who knows what the team can do at this point. But I cringed while re-watching this game and seeing the likes of A.J. Hawk and Brandon Chillar get completely over matched in the running game. And what in the world happened to Johnny Jolly? After a stellar preseason and a fantastic opening game, Jolly was invisible. Simply washed out of almost every running play. Cullen Jenkins still did some nice things, but as was my fear this summer, was not up for doing the heavy lifting required in stopping the run on a full-time basis. I've also noticed one or two negative comments about Ryan Pickett around the Blogosphere and I'm here to tell you - Pickett was the only defensive lineman worth a damn yesterday. No, he wasn't Casey Hampton in his prime, but he was very good at attacking his gaps and he more than held his own.
And don't get me started on Aaron Kampman.
I just kept thinking, and I'm sure there are several of you reading this that were thinking the same thing, that if this is what they looked like against Benson and the Bengals, it will be an absolute bloody massacre when the Packers visit the Metrodome...
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