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Harrell stars in win over Chiefs

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on August 30, 2012 – 9:04 pm

The Packers concluded their preseason with a 24-3 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs that left the Packers at 2-2 and their fans feeling a whole lot better about backup quarterback Graham Harrell.

Harrell rebounded from a slow start to the preseason by completing 13 of 15 passes for 223 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He relieved Aaron Rodgers with the Chiefs leading, 3-0.

Rodgers and the Packers No. 1 offense played briefly, as Rodgers threw only two passes, completing one for five yards. Cedric Benson was the Packers starting running back and he rushed four times for 11 yards.

It was the Packers No. 2 offense that turned the game into the home team’s favor. Harrell teamed with second-year wide receiver Tori Gurley on a deep pass to the one-yard line, and Alex Green scored on a two-yard run.

Later in the second quarter, Green scored on a perfectly executed screen play that covered 17 yards and gave the Packers a 14-3 lead at halftime.

A 12-yard Harrell to Jarrett Boykin touchdown pass in the third quarter gave the Packers a comfortable 21-3 lead and capped Harrell’s night. He celebrated his performance with a fist pump following the touchdown pass to Boykin. It was a gesture that released a lot of frustration that had built up through the first three preseason games.

Several players considered to be on the roster bubble played well for the Packers, which will further complicate General Manager Ted Thompson’s decisions on Friday, when Thompson must reduce the roster from 75 to 53.

The rookie Boykin led the Packers with five receptions, but Gurley and Diondre Borel, holdovers from last year’s practice squad, each caught two passes and made moves on earning a roster spot.

Defensively, the Packers allowed more than 200 yards rushing, but they made two goal-line stands, one resulting in a Sam Shields interception, and pressured Chiefs quarterbacks. Erik Walden capped a great preseason with a sack.


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