Game Balls and Lame Calls: Chargers 21, Packers 13

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers and the first team offense had a rough day in limited action against the Chargers

First things first: the sky is NOT falling.

Despite losing 21-13 last night to the San Diego Chargers in their exhibition opener, the Green Bay Packers are not doomed.  Some fans have a tendency to put way too much stock in the first preseason game.

Still there was some good, some not-so-good and some downright awful things to take from the defeat.

Here’s a look at some of the good and the bad.

Game Balls

Nick Perry

A nonsense excessive celebration penalty notwithstanding, Perry made a great first impression right out of the blocks with a sack on Philip Rivers.  As the game went on, Perry showed flashes of ability in the pass rush that the Packers hoped he had when they selected him the first round of the draft.

In the words of Mike McCarthy, it’s definitely an experience Perry can grow from. While it’s silly to draw conclusions from one preseason game, Perry has gotten off to a solid start in his rookie season.

Davon House

What else is there to say? The man made plays.  House showed hustle and playmaking ability in breaking up multiple passes.  Wherever the ball was, #31 seemed to be close by.  He definitely outperformed Jarrett Bush, who basically was named the starter for the game by default.

Secondary depth was a big concern for the Packers going into training camp.  House injured his shoulder during the game, and if he’s out for any extended period of time the Packers may be in trouble.  Jarrett Bush looked sloppy and House probably would get the start ahead of him should the season start tomorrow.  Here’s hoping House is back in the house very soon.

Tramon Williams

Speaking of Williams, he flashed some of his 2010 form in his limited playing time against the Chargers.  Again, we shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from a single preseason game but when Williams jumped the route to intercept Philip Rivers, it looked like Williams was back in top form after a shoulder injury nagged him for most of 2011.

If Williams returns to form, that is only going to help the Packers’ secondary as Charles Woodson moves to safety and with an unproven (yet promising) House next to him (assuming his shoulder injury is not severe)



Packers vs. Chargers – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: SD 21 GB 13

Green Bay Packers vs. San Diego Chargers:

Here is my unfitered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.


Inactive for Packers today:

It’s a long list:

S/CB Charles Woodson, RB Du’ane Bennett, RB Brandon Saine, FB Jon Hoese, CB Sam Shields, TE Eric Lair, OLB Frank Zombo, T Mike McCabe (injured reserve), G Jaymes Brooks (PUP), G Ray Dominguez, T Marshall Newhouse, DT Mike Daniels, T Derek Sherrod, TE Andrew Quarless, TE Ryan Taylor, WR Greg Jennings, WR Tori Gurley and TE Jermichael Finley.


Notes: Shannon Eastin makes history this evening as the first female to ever referee an NFL game. Eastin will be the line judge.


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:


Anxious?: Our players and coaches look forward to the first game, get out of installation mode.

First-string plans: First offense will go 20-25 plays, complete the first quarter. Probably the same for the defense.

Main goal: You want to make sure you come out of this game with information on each and every player.

First NFL game for MM (vs San Diego): I remember it very clearly – it was exciting. Hopefully we’ll compete in tonight’s contest better than we did that particular night. (SD won 17-3)

Overall camp eval:  It’s been a good camp. We were able to really have quality practice every single day. I feel like pawsitives have come out of every practice.

Hope for tonight: The thing I’m looking for tonight is to finish every play and play with a lot of energy.

Graham Harrell: Like anyone, he’s competing for a spot on the 53.

Alex Green: Alex will play in the secind quarter. We’ll be smart with the number of plays he plays in.

Herb Taylor: A great opportunity for Herb – we have to be smart and be sure he’s ready and prepared. We’re confident in his ability – this is a big night for him.



Packers vs. Chargers – First Impressions – First Half:

Nick Perry gets his first NFL sack on the second play of the game and then gets called for a ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Perry did nothing to warrant that.



Packers vs. Chargers – Unfiltered Game Day Commentary and First Impressions: GB 45 SD 38

AP Photo from Packers.com

Green Bay Packers vs. San Diego Chargers:

It seems like forever since the Packers last played – I guess that’s to be expected when your team is 7-o.  The Packers travel to normally sunny (but rainy today) San Diego today hoping to stay on their roll and keep the “what’s wrong?” questions about Philip Rivers and the Chargers going.


Inactive for the Packers today are:

CB House, LB Francois, LB Lattimore, G/T Dominguez, T Clifton, DE Neal, LB So’oto.

Sam Shields returns to the active roster after his silly end zone antics against the Rams that earned him a concussion.

It’s a bit unusual to see 3 linebackers inactive, given their special teams contributions. Also make you wonder if Dom Capers game plan lessens the need for linebacker depth.



Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Bye week: We focused on getting back to schedule. Important to get back into that work week routine. I feel good about the quality of the preparation that went into this week. Important for us to be ready and get off to a fast start.

5 straight days off -reward?: Combination of things. When you’ve had this kind of success, it should be recognized in some way, but we also wanted to take the opportunities to let guys rest.

Injuries: This is as healthy as we’ve been this year.  Anytime you have 3-4 healthy inactives on game day, it’s a good sign.

Zombo: He’ll definitely go in. Frank and Erik do very well when they split the reps, keeps them fresh. I really like it when we have both of those guys up.

Chargers: Big part of our message: We’re dealing with a wounded animal and it’s in their house. We know it’s going to be a tough game and it’s important we play this game the right way.

Rivers: very productive – he’s had some tough days, but one of the better offenses we’ll play

Chargers tall receivers: Some big targets – they have a big receiving radius and that helps them when they bget into the red zone.

Weather: you definitely have a weather plan – we knew to expect rain today and we’re ready for it.



Packers vs. Chargers Week 9 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

Week 9: Green Bay Packers vs. San Diego Chargers
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 7-0 Green Bay Packers 35-31
I still think all the talk about Rivers being hurt is overblown. He is going to be better this game against a leaky Packers defense. Still, the Chargers won’t be able to stop Rodgers and company so the Packers win a squeaker.
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“Jersey” Al Bracco 7-0 Green Bay Packers 31-21
When I made my pre-season predictions on CheeseheadRadio, I did have the Packers at 7-0 at this point, but then losing their first game to these Chargers… To hell with that, I say now. Packers roll to 8-0.
Adam Czech 6-1 Green Bay Packers 27-24
I want to see Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers execute a two-minute drill with the game on the line. I think we might see it Sunday and I think the Packers prevail.
Thomas Hobbes 7-0 Green Bay Packers 24-13
Are the Packers going to see Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? I have no idea what’s going on with the Chargers but whatever it is, I don’t think its been fixed yet. Either way, I don’t think the Packers are going to be rusty from the bye, so while the Chargers might not show up, the Packers certainly will
Zach Kruse 5-2 Green Bay Packers 34-16
On paper, the Chargers are the best team the Packers have faced since Week 1. In reality, this is a banged up roster with a quarterback that has been a shell of his former self. A healing Packers defense will continue the tough start for Philip Rivers, and Aaron Rodgers and Co. will take advantage of an extremely undisciplined defense. Packers cruise to 8-0 on the road.
Chad Toporski 7-0 Green Bay Packers 31-27
How can anyone possibly pick the Chargers over the Packers this week? Mike McCarthy is 4-1 in games after the bye, and Aaron Rodgers is going back to his California stomping grounds. It could get tense towards the end, but the Packers will stay patient and find the way to win.


Know Your Packers Enemy: Previewing Packers-Chargers With John Gennaro of Bolts From the Blue

In this week’s installment of “Know Your Packers Enemy,” I talked with John Gennaro, the managing editor of Bolts From the Blue. It’s hands down the best Chargers blog I found in my search and John does a fantastic job ruling over it. You can follow John and the blog on Twitter (@BFTB_Chargers) as well.

Enough with the intros, let’s talk some Packers-Chargers.

ZACH KRUSE: First things first. What’s the vibe around San Diego right now? The Chargers still find themselves atop of the AFC West at 4-3, but is this a dejected fan base after the OT loss? What about Norv Turner? Are you as down on him as the head coach moving forward in San Diego as some of the other Chargers fans I’ve talked with?

JOHN GENNARO: Yes, yes, yes. Not just the loss to the Chiefs, but the loss against the Jets has also left a bad taste in the mouths of Chargers fans. With no wins over teams with winning records, and the Chargers constantly playing against themselves (due to turnovers and penalties) as much as they’re playing against an opposing NFL team, it’s hard to imagine this team going anywhere.

I’ve jumped off the bandwagon that typically supports Norv, although I’m not ready to fire him just yet, for one reason. Norv is here to make sure that the offense and Philip Rivers plays well. Those things are not happening.
ZK: I’d like to hear your take on Philip Rivers. Obviously, the numbers in 2011 are far off what we’ve seen from him during his career. What’s the issue? Is there an injury he’s covering up? I obviously haven’t watched Rivers at length like you have, but the tape I’ve seen from this season suggests a more labored motion than usual that could be hiding a deeper structural issue, possibly in the shoulder. That’s just my take. What’s yours?

JG: Football Outsiders did a great job of running through the theories (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/extra-points/2011/what-wrong-philip-rivers) as well as looking over the tape, and came to the same conclusion that everyone else has: We don’t know. It’s obvious that his footwork is messier than usual, but there’s no real reason why. He’s throwing off of his backfoot and falling away instead of stepping into his throws, but again this seems to be more by choice and panic than anything else. Outside of a possible personal problem (that I won’t speculate on), there’s no easy explanation as to why Rivers is playing so much worse than what we’ve come to expect from him.