Plenty of positives in Packers' preseason win over Rams
Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
If anybody had any doubts about the Green Bay Packers after their first preseason game debacle at home against the Arizona Cardinals, they can rest assured the team is OK.
Just ask Johnny Jolly, Micah Hyde, Eddie Lacy, Aaron Rodgers and even Jermichael Finley.
All of them made major contributions to the Packers' 19-7 win last night against the St. Louis Rams.
Jolly was consistently roughing up the middle of the field and even came away with a goal line interception that killed a second half scoring threat by the Rams.
Not only did Jolly intercept the bouncing ball, but he showed a nifty spin move on his short return that must have been his impersonation of Eddie Lacy.
But Jolly wasn't the only defender who showed up last night.
The Packers defense stuffed a first half scoring threat by the Rams after Hyde's only big gaffe of the night.
The Rams hit big on a bomb down the middle of the field with Hyde in coverage. However, his alert tackle inside the 10-yard line was his saving grace.
Hyde was targeted twice more on the next four plays as the Packers' first goal line stand turned out to be a thing of beauty.
On first and goal, Hyde covered rookie sensation Tavon Austin in the right flat. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford overthrew him.
Bradford then went right back to Austin with a pass at the same spot, but Hyde was all over Austin, stuffing him at the line of scrimmage.
The Packers held on third down, and on fourth down current Rams (and former Packers) center Scott Wells and Bradford messed up the snap and the Packers recovered. It turned out to be the stand of the game.
Hyde continued to show up all night long. He stuffed runners in the backfield (recording two tackles for a loss), blanketed receivers, and even had a sack last night. Not to be outdone, he also showed some moves on a punt return.
Hyde has arrived.
On the offensive side of the ball, how can you not be excited about Eddie Lacy?
On 8 carries, he picked up 40 yards, but they were not easy yards.
He bounced and spun around tacklers, he broke arm tackles, he carried Rams for yards after contact.
He even effortlessly caught a checkdown pass out of the backfield, broke a tackle and motored for close to a first down.
He's a keeper.
And what about Aaron Rodgers and Jermichael Finley? Despite past personal issues, the two connected four times for 78 yards last night.
Rodgers' arm was alive as he zipped pass after pass accurately around the field. Finley caught everything thrown his way, and he appeared fresh and fast as he picked up extensive yards after the catch.
The team looked revived and energetic on both sides of the ball.
They were well-prepared and it seems they are in good position to head into next Friday night's showdown with the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field - the first meeting between the two teams since last year's famed "Fail Mary."
Yes it's only preseason, but the positives at this point are surely outweighing the negatives.