Breaking Down the Good and Bad from Green Bay Packers' Preseason Finale
The Green Bay Packers closed their 2012 preseason schedule with a 24-3 win over the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night.
The fourth and final preseason game featured the starting offense for two series, but it was the backup players who took over this game once the important names were wearing ball caps on the sidelines.
Here is a run down of the good and bad from Thursday night's finale:
After three frustratingly disappointing preseason appearances in 2012, Harrell finally answered the call Thursday night.
Harrell, who was wildly inaccurate to begin the preseason, completed 13-of-15 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating ended at a perfect 158.3.
The performance was impressive deeper than just the numbers, however. Harrell showed confidence and accuracy throwing the football down field, and he ate up the Chiefs cornerbacks on intermediate slant routes all night.
Barring some huge upset, Harrell will be the Packers' backup quarterback in 2012.
It may not have mattered in making the Packers' final roster, but three young receivers—Tori Gurley, Jarrett Boykin and Diondre Borel—all played well in the preseason finale Thursday.
Boykin led all receivers with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown, and Gurley caught an early 54-yard bomb that set up the team's first touchdown. Borel had two catches for 27 yards and looked shifty in the open field.
All three receivers have shown enough to warrant consideration for a spot on an NFL's teams 53-man roster.
Green didn't do a whole lot running the football, carrying six times for eight yards and one score. But it was a screen pass he took for a touchdown that caught the eye of most. Harrell made a nice throw and Green looked explosive in getting to the end zone.
Judging by the last couple of preseason games, Green looks like he'll play a major role in the Packers' screen game. That part of the offense hasn't been used much the past two years, but Green can handle it.
Shields looked a little hesitant early in the game, playing soft coverage on a number of underneath routes that went for first downs. But once he got comfortable, glimpses of the old Shields started popping up.
He made a smart interception in the end zone when he undercut a drag route. Later on, Shields made a number of sure tackles, including chasing down a running back in the backfield for a loss.
Overall, it was a performance Shields needed after an up-and-down camp.
Dezman Moses/Erik Walden
Both backup outside linebackers were all over the film for the Packers' defense.
Walden has surprisingly had a very strong camp and preseason, especially after so many wrote him off after a poor 2011. He had one sack but nearly had two more.
Moses has been an offseason darling since minicamp, and he certainly transitioned well into live games. He had a sack nullified by a penalty. Expect him to already be locked into the Packers' final roster.
One could argue Thursday night's showing from Neal was his best since early in 2010. He appeared quick and explosive off the line on several occasions.
Neal will miss the first four games of 2012 due to suspension. He's still a good bet to make the team, but losing those first four games hurts his potential impact.
The game still looks like it is moving too fast for Coleman, a seventh-round rookie. He completed just 2-of-7 passes for 33 yards and one sack. He'll benefit from a year on the team's practice squad.
Hard to nitpick a defensive performance that gave up just three points, but the Packers did allow a whopping 247 yards rushing Thursday night.
Early on, the Chiefs had their way with the defensive line of Green Bay, and it rarely let up. Four different rushers had 20 or more yards on the ground.
Benson arrived in Green Bay with a history of fumbling problems, and he put his first carry on the ground Thursday night.
Packers' coach Mike McCarthy won't stand for ball security issues, so it's something to watch moving forward. Benson is still the likely starter, but that won't last long if he's putting the ball on the ground.
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