Lacking a Charge: San Diego - 21 Green Bay 13
Calling last night's performace a "mixed bag" would be quite optimistic, I think, since most of the contents of that bag would be pretty underwhelming, disappointing, or just plain gross.
I only got to see about two and a half quarters of the game yesterday, but what I did see wasn't all that great. However, it also wasn't the apocalyptic event that some people are making it out to be. Consider:
- Charles Woodson, Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley, and Marshall Newhouse didn't play. That group represents the team's biggest defensive playmaker, two of the top three pass catchers, and the most important offensive lineman. Clay Matthews was also barely on the field. If five of your best players barely have a chance to break a sweat, I think a less than sharp performance is okay.
- Herb Taylor will likely never see the field again, especially considering that the Packers this week signed Reggie Wells, a lineman with starting experience at both tackle spots and left guard. I have to think that if Marshall Newhouse was going to be out for any extended amount of time, there would be some shuffling up front likely involving T.J. Lang and a second string guard, possibly Wells. There's no chance that they'll risk having someone of Taylor's dubious skill level guarding Aaron Rodgers' blind side long term.
- Tim Masthay was awesome, so no matter what you can't call last night a total loss. Did you see him yesterday? He belted eight punts with an average of over 44 yards per kick, including a 62 yard monster. And yes, you're darn right I'm excited about a punter.
So what should we worry about? Well, how about that picture up there? Yikes. In the post-game presser, Mike McCarthy called Desmond Bishop's injury a "knee sprain," but to my extremely untrained eyes it looked worse than that. At any rate, Bishop figures to be out for a while, and for a defense that's almost certainly going to need all hands on deck to be successful, this can't help at all. Second year inside linebacker D.J. Smith was projected to get quite a bit of playing time this year, but he was supposed to be taking playing time from A.J. Hawk, not Bishop.
I hope to have more on last night's happenings by tomorrow. For right now, step off the ledge and remember that this is only preseason game number one. There's a long way to go, boys and girls.