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Winners & Losers

Winners & Losers

winlose

winlose

 

While many euphoric Packers fans already have the team going to the Super Bowl based only on two preseason games, I am trying to keep a level head.

 

 

 

 

There are some great signs, to be sure, but let's not assume anything. Just ask the 0-16 Lions that were 4-0 in preseason last year. So, in the spirit of keeping things at a "McCarthy-like" even keel, let's take a calm, rational look at this past week's winners and losers.

Winners:

The "Ones"

The No. 1 defense forced three turnovers in four Buffalo drives, and the No. 1 offense scored three touchdowns in four possessions. But before anyone gets overly exuberant, lets watch this week's game against the Arizona Cardinals. If the Packers "Ones" repeat their dominant play, then I'll personally jump to the front of the bandwagon.

 

Aaron Rodgers

He finished 8-of-9 for 98 yards and two TD passes for a gaudy 151.6 quarterback rating. Rodgers completed passes to six different receivers and hasn't been sacked or even knocked down yet in preseason. That's a wonderful thing to see, as holding onto the ball too long was one of the few things you could justly criticize Rodgers for last season.

 

Jermichael Finley

"A completely different person and player this year" is how Mike McCarthy has described him. It is showing with remarkable results on the field. While we all have witnessed his athleticism and pass-catching ability, he has worked hard on his attitude, his blocking and his route running. The results so far have been impressive. Along with the reliable Donald Lee, when the Packers go to a 2 tight end formation, there are now more options that the defense has to worry about. In this game, the Packers went with two tight ends on 13 of of the first 23 plays, when the "ones" were in the game.

 

Johnny Jolly

Despite seeing limited action due to an ongoing ankle injury, Jolly recorded two sacks and a forced fumble in just 12 plays from scrimmage. What will he do when his ankle is OK? Jolly is another guy that looks like a completely different player out there. I have been critical of Jolly in the past for taking too many plays off. Lets hope he has found himself in this, his 4th NFL season.

 

Desmond "The Destroyer" Bishop

If you ever run into Desmond Bishop, just step out of his way. Packer fans have seen flashes of Desmond Bishop's talent the last two seasons, but there were also a plethora of mental mistakes to offset the big plays. As he starts his third season, it seems his mental game has caught up with his physical game. He has made an inarguable case for more playing time at linebacker, in addition to his role on special teams. I see a nice 4-man ILB rotation developing between Hawk, Barnett Bishop and Chillar, with Bishop earning more time as the season progresses.

 

Tyrell Sutton

In my mind, I think he has already made the team. The Packers coaches like the different look he presents to defenses. Sutton seems very comfortable with the zone blocking scheme, picks his holes quickly and seems to always be getting positive yardage. He's one of those guys that doesn't fit your perfect mold for a running back, but he just makes plays.

Brian Brohm

Hey, he improved his quarterback rating from 0 to 51 in just one week. What's not to like about that, right?

 

Losers:

Kregg Lumpkin

Besides the rantings of some lunatic blogger (yours truly) that insisted Lumpkin could be the Packers best running back, he has shown little this preseason. Yet prior to the Buffalo game, he was listed as third on the depth chart at RB, ahead of Deshawn Wynn.. That would probably be surprising to many Packers fans, but not to me. I think the Packers coaches see a lot of things they like in Kregg Lumpkin. Unfortunately, he had an awful day against Buffalo. He better turn it around next week or the practice squad will be looming.

 

Breno Giacomini

Anytime you let your opponent sack your quarterback, and it results in your quarterback getting hurt, you wear the big L on your forehead. After the game, Coach McCarthy stated that he will look at the OL closely on film. He hopes to pick his starting offensive line before Friday's game against the Cardinals and let them play together for 3 quarters. Once he sees the films, look for McCarthy to name Alan Barbe as the starter.

 

Jeremy Kapinos

Is there anyone on this team with less apparent competition in camp that has such an insecure grip on a job? The Packers worked out four punters during the week before the Cleveland game but kept none of them. Durant Brooks was scratched for the Buffalo game with a hip flexor injury. Kapinos is the #1 punter on the depth chart. And yet, the odds are pretty good that the Packers punter in 2009 is probably on someone else's roster right now. Of course, if the offense continues to play like it did against the Bills, who needs a punter, anyway?  I'm just being facetious there, I happen to be a big believer that winning the field position battle leads to consistent success in the NFL. I've watched the Giants do it for years.

 

Bob Sanders

There was a mini-reunion after the game between some of the Packers players and  former Packer defensive coordinator and current Buffalo defensive line coach Bob Sanders. There were smiles and hugs everywhere, and all the right things were said. Yet one has to feel sorry for Bob Sanders. If Dom Capers' amazing transformation of the Packers defense continues, with basically the same players Bob Sanders had, then what picture does that paint of Bob Sanders? How about a loser with a "kick me" sign on his back. I'm not saying it's right, just that it will happen. Even though he deserves better, many Packer fans will turn Bob Sanders into the second-most disrespected ex-Packer still in the NFL.

 

You can find more of Jersey Al Bracco’s articles on several sports websites: Jersey Al’s Blog, Packers Lounge, NFL Touchdown and Bleacher Report.

You can also follow Jersey Al on twitter.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Franklin Hillside's picture

Winner: BJ Raji's self-esteem, Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon talked about him like he was the second coming. It was over-the-top....but it was fun to hear and see.

Jersey Al's picture

Well it does look like it will take two guys, minimum to block him.

PackersRS's picture

Talking about Gannon... Why is he the color commentator for the packers tv??? Don't get me wrong, I think he is a great commentator, he did a very nice job at the game. But he has zero identity with the Packers. The closest thing he has with the packers is that he's a friend of McCarthy...

Greg C.'s picture

Raji looked good. I don't think the announcers overhyped him at all. Rich Gannon does a pretty good job calling the preseason games, except I want to throw something at the TV every time he says the word "ath-a-letic" or "ath-a-leticism." People who are paid to talk into microphones should know how to speak the English language.

MrBacon's picture

Desmond Bishop reminds me of "Terrible" Terry Tate, the greatest office linebacker that ever played the game. And to quote Doctor Alan Grant...

"And that's when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side."

I love Tyrell Sutton, the problem is he is to small to see in the valley of giants, until he comes out on the other end.

A-rod was sharp, especially the pass to Driver, thrown behind him on purpose.

Caper's 3-4 system made Brady Poppinga look like a All-Pro linebacker, and you know what, I bet even Jarrett Bush couldn't screw up this team.

PackersRS's picture

Don't bet it. Please.

Jersey Al's picture

Sutton is also "too small" for the defenders to find him behind the lead blockers. And he's no wimpy little guy. He's a rock at 5' 8" (maybe) and 213 lbs.

MrBacon's picture

Sort of embaressing for the opposing def, that they cannot find Sutton.

I mean he has the ball in his hands.

Lace's picture

Here comes the PAIN TRAIN!

WOOWOOOOO!

Lace's picture

I largely agree with this article. It's hard to not get excited, but good to remember that it's just the preseason. Check back in week 5 or 6 of the reg. season, then we can start projecting.

As for Raji, he damn near is the second coming. The guy takes up two blocks and makes them lose, bad. If he is able to do that for an entire game, our D-line is going to embarrass offensive lines. Or he could be more like a Gilbert Brown and be fantastic in the first half and start breathing hard in the 3rd and 4th quarters. But Raji looks more athletic than that.

Jersey Al's picture

Although from a very small sample, Raji looks like the real deal. He gets penetration whenever he wants to.

Franklin Hillside's picture

Wow, that last sentence can go so many ways....

PackersRS's picture

He's like Bigby. He gets hoes.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

LMAO at this thread.

Jersey Al's picture

It was an innocent comment - you guys dirtied it up...

PackersRS's picture

Here's another loser, the biggest one: Duke Preston.
http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/54805377.html

Jersey Al's picture

Thank goodness...

MrBacon's picture

Wells-Favrego is mad.

"We'll have some of Wells' comments shortly.

He didn't appear to be real happy with the Packers' decision. Wells would say that's my opinion because he didn't say that. Yes, yes it is.

And when asked if he would for a trade, Wells said, "No comment.""

Also from http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/54805377.html

IronMan's picture

Yeah I don't even care about Brohm. The 3rd string qb is SUPPOSED to suck.

Complaining about the 3rd string qb, is like eating at McDonald's and complaining that you have the shits after wards. What did you expect?

Greg C.'s picture

Good call on Bob Sanders, Al. He is clearly the biggest loser. As Mike Vandermause of the GB Press Gazette pointed out, the starting defensive lineup against the Bills was exactly the same as the starting lineup at the beginning of last season, with the exception of Brandon Chillar replacing Nick Barnett--yet the defense was way better.

That Bates scheme, as run by Sanders, was really starting to look outdated last year. Now that Jim Bates is back in the league as Tampa Bay's DC, it will be interesting to see how he does.

I don't know what happened to Lumpkin. He looks like our fifth-best RB right now.

I think the punter, Kapinos, will be okay. I wish we could have a good punter, but I'll settle for okay.

Jersey Al's picture

Lumpy has really let me down...

Aaron's picture

Greg C. - Bates' scheme, while indeed outdated, is fine, IF run with competence. Remember, Bates was the one who came up with the blueprint on how to stop Michael Vick when the Packers went 4-12. The man is a good coordinator.

Bob Sanders as a coordinator is a hell of a defensive line coach. ;)

Ruppert's picture

Al, I agree with you about Sutton. I think he's in. The only question I still have regarding the RBs is whether they keep 3 or 4. Whaddya think?

Jersey Al's picture

I'm going with four. The decision is Wynn or Lumpy.

Ruppert's picture

Honestly, I would love to see them be able to keep 3 and fill that extra roster spot with some other area of weakness or need, like OL or defensive front 7. But it won't break my heart either way. Lumpy better pick it up some if he wants to stick around. Let's hope Sutton continues to do what he does against some better competition. It'll be fun to hear announcers say "...it's Sutton behind Sitton."

Jersey Al's picture

I really want to see them use Sutton in the screen game.

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