Packers rally falls short in San Diego

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on August 9, 2012 – 10:12 pm

SAN DIEGO—The Packers opened their preseason with a 21-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers in Qualcomm Stadium on Thursday night, in a performance that was considerably different than last year’s script.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the first-team offense was held scoreless, as the Chargers built a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. Rodgers played just three series, completing two of eight passes for 16 yards; he was intercepted once. Rodgers was under a heavy blindside rush and his interception was the result of being hit as he released the pass.

It wasn’t until late in the first half that the Packers came to life offensively.  After a slow start, backup quarterback Graham Harrell completed a 28-yard strike to Randall Cobb. Harrell followed that with passes of nine yards to Diondre Borel and 23 yards to Cobb, and then tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to Cobb that capped an eight-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. The Chargers led at halftime, 14-7.

Harrell moved the Packers 68 yards in 14 plays to a touchdown in the fourth quarter, as rookie running back Marc Tyler scored from a yard out. Harrell’s pass for the two-point conversion was incomplete, and the Chargers then put the game out of reach with a time-consuming, 76-yard touchdown drive.

Running back James Starks had a tough start to the preseason. He dropped a pass that might’ve resulted in a big gain on the Packers’ opening drive, and then fumbled the ball away to the Chargers six plays later.

The highlight of the first quarter for the Packers was a sack by first-round draft Nick Perry. Cornerback Tramon Williams intercepted a Philip Rivers pass and cornerback Davon House successfully a deep pass attempt and flashed his tackling skills in run-support. House left the game with a shoulder injury in the second half.

Seemingly of greatest concern to the Packers is a leg injury sustained by starting linebacker Desmond Bishop. He had to be assisted from the field. Bishop suffered the injury while making a tackle.

Harrell finished the game having completed 15 of 27 passes for 135 yards and one touchdown.

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