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Game notes: Defense makes big plays but gets banged up

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 24, 2013 – 12:39 am

For the broader overviews of Friday night’s game, check out the game recap and the locker room report. Here are some additional game notes:

–Defense makes high-impact plays, but at a cost: Seattle QB Russell Wilson isn’t easy to get to, but the Packers defense made several big plays against him, recording three sacks and two interceptions of Wilson, who played the entire first half and the first series of the second half.

LB Clay Matthews

LB Clay Matthews

Unfortunately, some of those players making the big plays also left the game with injuries.

Wilson started hot, converting a pair of third downs with long pass plays on the opening drive, but LB Clay Matthews sacked him for a 12-yard loss in the red zone, leading to a field goal.

“He’s going to make his plays, but for the most part, we got after him, got our hands on him and got him down,” Matthews said of Wilson.

The defense opened the second drive with another sack, this one by LB Brad Jones, before getting a pair of interceptions on the Seahawks’ last two drives of the first half. The first was by CB Casey Hayward, who was making his preseason debut, off a double deflection by LBs Nick Perry and Robert Francois.

“Obviously he’s continuing his playmaking ability from last year,” Matthews said of Hayward, who led all NFL rookies in 2012 with six interceptions. “It was good to have him back out there, good to see what he’s capable of, and we’re going to need it this year.”

Hayward may have come back from his hamstring injury too soon, however. He re-aggravated the hamstring in the game. Jones and S Morgan Burnett also were mentioned by Mike McCarthy after the game as having hamstring injuries.

The second interception came from S Jerron McMillian, who made a diving grab of an overthrown ball at midfield.

The defense got one more sack of Wilson on the opening drive of the second half, as backup DL Jordan Miller brought him down. Another sack by DE C.J. Wilson three plays later was negated by an offensive holding penalty, which the Packers accepted for the additional lost yardage.

Rookie LB Nate Palmer added a sack of backup QB Brady Quinn in the second half, and another sack of Quinn by DL Mike Daniels was nullified by an offsides call on linemate Datone Jones.

“From what I understand, our sack numbers jumped dramatically from 2011 to 2012, so I think we were pretty good last year, and I think we’re improving this year,” Daniels said.

–Harris limps off: Another notable injury was to RB DuJuan Harris, who got his first preseason action and had three carries for two yards, plus one reception for 11 yards. But after the 11-yard catch, Harris was slow to get up and said afterward his knee was bothering him, the same knee that kept him out of the first two weeks of training camp.

“I’m all right,” he said. “I walked off. Everything will be good.

“It felt like it’s been forever since I took a carry. I feel like I could have done a little more on some of those, but we’ll see when we look at the film.”

–Crosby makes it count: K Mason Crosby bounced back from his three-miss practice on Wednesday to convert his only FG try on the night, from 38 yards in the first quarter.

“Whatever happens during the week, I need to have a good game,” Crosby said. “I felt good on that field goal.”

–Finding daylight: In what could be shaping up as a battle for the last RB spot on the roster, third-year pro Alex Green found some daylight on a wide toss play, cutting upfield for 31 yards, more than double the longest rush by a Packers back in this preseason.

“It’s very important to go out and show at least a little bit of what you can do,” Green said. “Hopefully it’s enough for the coaches to like.”

Assuming Harris plus draft picks Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin make the team, a final RB spot could come down to Green or James Starks, who didn’t get any carries Friday night and was unable to make up for a fumble in last week’s game in St. Louis that led to his removal from the contest.

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Posted in Packers.com Blog | 46 Comments »

46 Responses to “Game notes: Defense makes big plays but gets banged up”

  1. By Kris on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Would like to see more of Jonathan Franklin getting carries. He’s nimble enough to find holes in that zone blacking scheme.

  2. By jT on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    I’ve seen enough, fire everyone from TT all the way down to the janitor!

  3. By chris leonard on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t have the same confidence in Graham Harrel as I did Matt Flynn regarding backing up Rodgers.

  4. By MN.PkrBkr on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Looks to me like the same old Fumble Fingers Finley.

  5. By billfromcville on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    We still can’t block for the running backs and the defense still gives up the big play. Where are the improvements? Don’t we need to win in preseason to build some morale? What is with all the hamstring injuries anyway?

  6. By AL NEUBAUER on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    BAD PLAY ALL THE WAY. BACKUP QB’s didn’t show up and rogers should have player more.

  7. By Paul on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    billfromcville winning doesn’t mean anything in the preseason, by the time week 1 comes around and we are in San Fran none of the Preseason will matter. Everyone just needs to calm down. The year the Lions went 0-16 they were 4-0 in the Preseason. The defense wasn’t all bad, they sacked Wilson three times plus two takeaways. The ones didn’t lose this game the twos and threes did. Preseason is all about individual play not winning games. All the plays and schemes are vanilla. Coach MM even said he doesn’t believe in showing his schemes in Preseason. You guys don’t know anything about football of the NFL

  8. By sonny113006 on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t care who’s blocking, with Harrell at the controls and no Nelson and Cobb, Lacy never had a chance. They had 10 in the box and weren’t a bit concerned with the Packers receivers in the game with Harrell out there.

  9. By sonny113006 on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    It’s also very concerning that Hayward re-injured his hammy. Do the coaches on the Packers know ANYTHING about stretching? Hamstrings and Quads, every week it’s some one with those types of injuries. The Packers need Hayward, especially against the Redskins and Bengals in weeks 2 and 3.

  10. By Mikey lukey on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Looks like another soft defense. Never heard Perry name! Datone Jones didn’t scare anyone. More hamstring injuries, I blame the players union. Only 1 padded practice per week, the coaches are limited on how hard they can push a player. Patsies!

  11. By guy_who_made_a_comment on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Crosby felt good on a 38 yard field goal? We should all get up and dance a jig. Newsflash, Crosby – 38 yard FGs in benign weather conditions should be all but automatic if you’re an NFL kicker. Please cut this basket case.

  12. By Chris on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    JT doesn’t understand preseason or maybe football at all. The starting defense was solid. Allowing only 3 pts is a win. The way the packers cling to their Harrell hopes remind me of The Tebow nuts saying he’s great despite all evidence. Vince young has showed he’s the backup and it took less than3 weeks as oppose to this three year Harrell project. They had good intensity and hung with the seahawks feisty trash talkin style, but there were too many penalties. No we didn’t win, but it doesn’t matter, we fought till the end in a close game. Can’t wait for the season. Games will look way different when Rodgers is out there for more than 15 snaps.

  13. By Eric on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    The Packers offensive line is offensive! They can’t block anyone, the running backs had no room to run anywhere and the defensive front of Seattle got there before the running back could even touched the ball. Horrible job by the line!

  14. By Luis on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Defense looked great! Matthews got to the quarterback as usual, Micah Hyde continued to shine in coverage and on blitzes, and the defensive line showed improvement on the run! Hope Morgan Burnett and Hayward are alright though!

  15. By AL NEUBAUER on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply


  16. By Smokeyjoe on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Just wondering how long TT is going to wait to go get some talent for the O-line. It’s been four years already. It’s obvious that his plan of building an offensive line through the draft isn’t working. No 100 yard rush game for anyone in that time frame is a VERY telling fact. They keep drafting these running backs like that is the problem. It’s not. You could have a running back like Walter Peyton but if the line can’t block he won’t go anywhere. Don’t get me wrong the Packers will win probably 10 games this year. They will never advance in the play-offs until they dump this line and go get a different one. I can’t wait to read these comment boards when they start the season 0-2 all because the O-line can’t hold up against a stiff breeze. SF defensive linemen can’t wait to pad their stats in the first game of the season. They are drooling already.

  17. By Smokeyjoe on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    So frustrating to have the league’s best quarterback and a management who will do NOTHING to protect him and help him. Squandering the years away because of managements GIGANTIC ego.

  18. By cheesediaspora on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    “NOTHING”? Really?

    If you draft O lineman in the first round two years in a row and continue drafting jars on the shelf in later rounds every year, that seems to be some sort of committment. When you’re drafting toward the back every year, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

    Maybe you’d prefer to blow up the cap for a retread like Bryant McKinnie or Jake Long? Or maybe you think the easiest solution is finish as one of the worst teams in the NFL and get a top-grade, plug and play left tackle in a good draft year. Except you still might end up with a Mandarich or Jason Smith or you’ve got the great Joe Thomas but the rest of your team is horrible.

    I trust this management team and I think they’ve had a record of success that should speak for itself.

  19. By Iowa Packman on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    After watching last night’s game it looks like another year of improved defense (but still not in the awesome category)and average AT BEST o line play. I understand we have two first round picks out with injury but give me a break if anyone including TT thinks we can continue to progress with low end draft picks and undrafted FA starters on the o line year after year. I feel very strongly that we are living on borrowed time with Aaron Rodger’s health. An amateur can see Bachtiari (low round draft pick) is NOT ready for primetime LT. Tough time to find help now but this problem is entering into the years category now. Love my Packers but please stay healthy AR and please get healthy receiving corps. GO PACK!!

  20. By Iowa Packman on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Agreed that management is certainly doing more than nothing but NOT ENOUGH. This is the NFL and we have the league’s best QB and management is paid to get it done. Aaron Rodgers has made an average at best o line look good for three years minimum now and we all know it. As I stated WE ARE ON SERIOUS BORROWED TIME WITH HIS HEALTH. GO PACK!

  21. By Dan on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t feel secure within this pre-season with our entire team’s ability to score, and have as many questions remaining about the players I’ve seen within our system as I did before. Did this pre-season definitively answer the questions about our QB and kicker position?

  22. By Brian P. Mc Carthy on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    I agree with Smoky Joe for the offense to be able to run the ball the O-Line needs to get a lot better. 3 preseason games without a TD is pathetic whether it is 1st or 4th team. Defense seems to be doing better that the Big O so far, but it is only pre-season!

  23. By Start Barr on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Pack was outhit..still look soft to me.

    Oline doesn’t come off the ball, they stand up run sideways..there is no surge/there are no holes.

    Yeah pre-season games mean nothing- we’ll just hit the switch in San Francisco..and pull a few more hammies.

  24. By Don on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    The problem is the injuries at receiver coupled with the TE position. Finley has been average in his career to date and there is nothing behind him at TE. Bad job in all these drafts (nine drafts now) by TT at both the TE and OL position.

    I did not like them letting Jennings go either and said so at the time. Nelson was foolish to wait until camp to have elective surgery as the problem existed for some time.

    I wonder what if. What if Aaron Rodgers had not fallen to TT, who would be in charge today. Because let’s be honest, that made TT’s career. It wasn’t as if he went out and traded up to grab Rodgers (as Ron Wolf traded a 1st round pick to the Falcons for Favre), he just kept falling, right into our laps. Beyond that I see Ted as above average GM but not great as too many make him out to be. What if indeed.

  25. By DaGrise on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Ah yes. The usual post-loss internet dimwits are right on queue.

    Packers looked fine last night. Their defense is improved and their offense will be more diverse and explosive.

    Do any of you idiots understand that the Packers WILL lose at least 4-6 games this year? Go watch soccer.

  26. By DaGrise on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply


  27. By DaGrise on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    @Mikey Lurkey: “Never heard Perry’s name.”

    You must have had the volume down. He had three tackles, two of which he made nice plays to hold runner to no gain. He deflected the ball on Hayward’s interception.

  28. By ilndr71 on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    yes Dagrise..finally.someone is actually paying attention..the packers will be fine,cant show too much in preseason..the rest of you idiots need to stay away from madden.its fryin ur brains.

  29. By Jaye on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Zone Blocking scheme is a load of Kaa Kaa. Also the Packers nagging injuries I think is overdramatized by MM. Anyone that squeals is automatically pulled and evaluated. Too bad Brett Favre wasnt around the locker room to inspire this ladies how to be men.

  30. By Jaye on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    @ By DaGrise
    “Ah yes. The usual post-loss internet dimwits are right on queue.
    Do any of you idiots understand that the Packers WILL lose at least 4-6 games this year? Go watch soccer.”

    “Show me someone who is OK with losing and I will show you a Loser”

    ___Vince Lombardi

  31. By DaGrise on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    @ilndr: These are the same clowns that were calling for MM/TT/DC heads after the losses to Miami and Washington in 2010.

    I think a lot of theses insufferable whiners (especially the “Fire TT” types) still wear their #4 jammies to bed at night. Or they are just pimply adolescent hermaphrodites from the Twin Cities or Chicago trolling the board.

    Packers are 10-1 to 12-1 odds to win Super Bowl. They are viewed, by those who pay attention to these things for a living, to be in the echelon of SF, NE, Denver, Atlanta and Seattle as elite in the 32 team NFL.

    If these people can’t be happy with where the Packers are at and trustful of their operational approach they should follow something less complex such as “Real Housewives of New Jersey” or “South Beach Towing”

  32. By Celevan on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Just heard on NFL network that the Pack is going to release Harrell. Anyone else hear this?

  33. By Ted on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    The DL has improved but the secondary lacks consistency. If push comes to shove on the offense, the pack must find a way to move the ball on the ground and/or pick up first downs via the running game which will give the receivers a chance in play-actions.

  34. By Jon on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    It’s kind of hilarious how agitated some of you are. Calm down and wait for the regular season. I bet your angry, desperate emails will be the death of Vic.

  35. By ilndr71 on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    celevan..wont be a surprise to me if harrell is cut..4 yrs in the system,and nothing to show for…young comes in 3-4 weeks with limited plays,and performs..yeah harrell is done.

  36. By Jaye on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Irony is whining about whniners. Anyways Harrell couldnt cut it. I wonder if Vinces read option talent will be used strategically or if he is just going to fill garbage time. Clay looks ready, The D reminds me of the 2010 D. I really hope this running game gets momentum, if it does this team may be special.

  37. By bigDaddy on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Channeling Zeke Bratkowski for back up QB might be the answer.
    Does anyone honestly think that should Aaron go down, (God forbid!)
    that confetti would be dropping on Graham, or, Vince following a super bowl win?.

  38. By Ryan on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    I think Young is the way to go at backup QB, maybe slip BJ to practice squad if that is an option. Not great options but Young is better than Harrell or BJ.

  39. By Kevin on Aug 25, 2013 | Reply

    How is Harrell the #2? How about cut him, save a spot for a special teams player.

    If Young and Rodgers both go down you might as well have saved the money for a season down the toilet.

  40. By Scrubus on Aug 25, 2013 | Reply

    I wonder if Mike McCarthy will ever come to the realization the James Campen can’t coach!!

  41. By northerner on Aug 25, 2013 | Reply

    Preseason games are a waste of time and for you ticket holders a waste of some serious cash. Thats right the games don’t count for anything just read the lines above. Why even have the games have preseason practice for a couple of weeks and then move right into the regular season. Less play exposure for players to get hurt before the season starts and less boredom watching the subs try to make the team. How simple and we could eliminate a lot of hot air also.

  42. By walter on Aug 25, 2013 | Reply

    defense is still the same as last year .lot of holes .over pursuing .hope we can score 35 + a game

  43. By walter on Aug 25, 2013 | Reply

    I see finley is still dropping balls. and then dancing when he does catch 1. just act like u have been there before. McCarthy has lost this team .good thing were in the division were in .another 11&5 season losing in the 1st round

  44. By Robert Ossig on Aug 26, 2013 | Reply

    Last year all over again !!!! NO RUNNING GAME,…..AGAIN !!! Defense gives up big plays !!!!! I agree with JT, …but keep the janitor, the locker room looked good during interviews !!!!

  45. By shavager on Aug 26, 2013 | Reply

    IF it’s a choice between Starks and Green, my money’s on Starks as the better producer at RB, he finishes runs with more power than Green. Think jury’s out on starting defense right now, gashed several times in run game. It’s obvious this Packers secondary can’t cover man to man like the ‘Hawks can, Capers will opt for zone defense and leave holes open for yardage reminiscent of ’12. GB’s success will be determined by Rodgers and offense controlling the ball in 4th qtr with leads, not defense. Looking for Jordan Miller, Moses, Brandon Smith, Tavecchio,Loyce Means,Green, Amosa,Donte Savage, Jordan Reed,Mason Crosby, Patrick Lewis,Van Roten,Fulton, Richardson as some of the next cuts. Haven’t seen much from them and Crosby gets cut unless he outperforms Ramirez.

  46. By Biggfootz on Aug 27, 2013 | Reply

    The arm chair qbs are out in full force again like a pack of mad, bath salt zombies. Must be why they get paid slightly less then TT and co.

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