Pluses, minuses

Who took steps ahead, backward in exhibition opener

I saw a lot of good things overall from the Green Bay Packers Monday night in their 20-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. However, I did see some negative issues as well. Here is my overall scorecard:

PLUSES

Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers was exceptional overall. He looked like he was very comfortable in processing the game plan. He would have had an even bigger night had the offensive line (Brandon Jackson also missed a blitz pick up) and his receivers helped out a little more.

Ruvell Martin
Martin showed that he has a real connection with Rodgers and he uses his size very well. Although Martin went out of the game after a vicious hit, he showed that he probably has a place on the roster.

James Jones
Jones proved once again that he can really be a physical receiver after he took a double team smack and lost his helmet, but he still scored on a 30 yard TD reception. Jones has very strong hands as well as he also showed last night with a couple of his catches.

Donald Driver
Driver looked like he was in midseason form. He was breaking tackles and looking very quick, plus he delivered a potent forearm shiver as he was heading out of bounds.

Brandon Jackson
Jackson showed that all that time in the weight room this offseason paid off, as he broke some tackles and kept his legs churning on a couple of long runs. He solidified his status as Ryan Grant's main back up. However, his missed block of a blitzing defensive back showed some chinks in his armor.

Kregg Lumpkin
Lumpkin looked very good, both running the ball and as a receiver. His fumble at the end of the game took some luster off a very nice evening. But Lumpkin proved that he could be someone who might make it as the third HB, or certainly the practice squad.

Jordy Nelson
Nelson showed the ability he had in college as both a receiver and a returner. He didn't break a big one, but he showed glimpses that he could.

Matt Flynn
Flynn outshined Brian Brohm as the best back up QB on the Packers roster right now. Flynn looked like he has a better understanding of the Mike McCarthy offense right now, compared to Brohm. Just like he did several times at LSU, Flynn almost brought the Packers back late in the game.

Abdul Hodge
Hodge proved that his biggest nemesis last year were his bad knees. After corrective surgery on both knees, Hodge was flying around the field making multiple tackles. Hodge and Desmond Bishop should have an interesting battle as they try to be the main back up to Nick Barnett at MLB.

Aaron Rouse
Rouse once again showed his knack for getting turnovers as he intercepted a pass. Neither Nick Collins or Atari Bigby should get too comfortable being a starter with Rouse lurking in the background with his ability.

MINUSES

Chris Francies
Francies had a bad night. Rodgers' only interception was caused by Francies losing control of a perfectly thrown football. Francies had other miscues as well. Look out for the turk, especially with all the depth the team has at WR.

Tory Humphrey
Brohm's interception was set up by Humphrey not running his pattern. Humphries needed a big night in his battle against rookie Jermichael Finley, but Finley showed more promise at TE.

Offensive line
The offense had a big night gaining over 380 yards, but the QBs had too much pressure when passing, and some of the best running plays were set up by breaking tackles as opposed to getting good blocks.

Defensive line
After the first unit came off the field, the defensive line had issues creating pressure and stopping the run. Jason Hunter did look good for the most part, but overall, the defensive line showed that it had depth problems.


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