Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pre-season Game Diary: Chargers/Packers

Since tonight kicks off the NFL preseason games, and the fact that I am currently staying with my parents during the week for work (long story), I thought tonight would be a good opportunity to break out another game diary.

My Dad is a life-long Packer fan, so I thought it would be fun to jot down what went on during the game.

Not in attendance tonight is my brother Chuck, who is also a Packers fanatic.  He is also a certified member of the "Mike McCarthy Haters Club".  I think McCarthy is a pretty solid coach, but then again my team is coached by Norv Turner, so I'm used to FB teams underachieving.  I'm expecting some texts from Chuck during the game... maybe I'll share a few.

The pregame show just confirmed that Keyshawn Johnson is the worst studio analyst on the network.  He mentioned that the Chargers let Mike Tolbert go (the didn't, he was a free agent who signed for less money in Carolina), and that Rivers likes to throw to tall WR's, and how are Robert Meachum and Eddie Royal going to fill the shoes of Vincent Jackson?  When everyone knows Antonio Gates is the primary target for San Diego's offense, and I'm pretty sure Rivers completed a few passes to Darren Sproles over the years, who isn't exactly very tall.

Breaking News:  espn reporting a Lakers trade for Dwight Howard is considered "imminent".  Very exciting news.

Also, the first female referee will work an NFL game tonight.

On a personal note, I'm looking forward for South Dakota State Jackrabbit Dale Moss to see his first NFL action tonight.  An undrafted free agent, Moss played 4 years of BB for SDSU before playing one year of FB.  I'll be pulling hard for him.

Also excited to see the Chargers first round draft pick Melvin Ingram.  Supposedly he's been playing great in camp.  Along with fellow rookie defensive player Kendall Reyes.  I'll be watching for those guys.

7:00 Welcome to Qualcomm stadium.

Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden are calling the game.  I like Gruden, but man, does that guy like him some quarterbacks.  He gushes about pretty much every one.  Wonder how much qb love he'll throw around tonight?

They mention the "replacement officials" due to the NFL officials lockout, and also mention the first female official, Shannon Eastin.  She is hoping she doesn't get noticed during the game.  That's probably the right mindset.

7:07 Mason Crosby kicks off, and preseason is underway!  Touchback.

Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense take the field. 
First play is a quick 6 yard pass to Antonio Gates.
The second play is a sack of Rivers by Packers Rookie Nick Perry.
Perry is flagged for "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" after the play.  On the replay, it didn't look like much, causing Gruden to say, "I'm not sure why the called that".  My Dad laughs at this.

Scifres punts, and the ball is downed inside the 5 yard line.
Dad:  "I can't See!"  (My Mom had walked into the room in front of him.)

7:16 MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers start on there own 3 yard line.
First play is a pass, Rodgers was flushed out of the pocket, and then James Starks drops an easy pass.
Gruden loves how Aaron Rodgers manipulates the snapcount.

3rd and long, and of course Green Bay converts.  The Chargers were the worst team in NFL history on 3rd down defense last season.  Ok, well not in history, but in 60 years.  It was bad.  Something they need to improve.

3rd and 5, and another conversion.

7:20 Starks fumbles the ball.  Looks like he didn't take the handoff cleanly.
Former Packer, and new Charger Atari Bigby recovers the fumble.
Dad:  He was an old Packer.  I don't remember much about him, but I remember he was a Packer.

7:23 Chargers take over on the GB 26 yard line

7:26 Rivers hits Antonio Gates down the seem for a pretty 23 yard Touchdown pass.  Kaeding kicks the extra point.

Chargers 7 Green Bay 0

7:30 Kaeding kicks off, and the Packers return man, Diondre Borel fumbles the return.  Chargers recover.

7:32 Philip Rivers throws a pass intended for Robert Meachum and is picked by Tremond Williams.  Terrible pass by Rivers.

This is ugly.  3 Turnovers with the starters playing.  6:31 to go in the first quarter.

The Head Referee in this game looks scared.

7:37 Packers go 3 and out, and have to punt.

7:39 Chargers rookie RB Michael Hayes loses a fumble, and the Packers AJ Hawk recovers.

4 Turnovers already.

Green Bay takes over at the San Diego 42 yard line.

On 3rd and 2, Rodgers just misses James Jones.
On 4th and 2, Rookie Linebacker Melvin Ingram gets pressure on Rodgers, forcing a bad pass that is intercepted by Antoine Cason.  Nice play by Ingram there.

5th Turnover.  We're still in the first quarter.

7:46  Jarrett Lee from LSU enters the game as the Chargers QB.  We'll see no Charlie Whitehurst tonight.  "Clipboard Jesus" has a slight knee injury and won't play.

Chargers have to punt and Packers punt returner, Shaky Smithson muffs the punt.  The Packers recover.  He lived up to his name on that play.  Shaky.

7:49 Graham Harrell enters the game as the QB for GB.
He promptly misses his first 2 throws.  3 and out, and the Packers punt.

7:53 1st Quarter ends.  7-0 Chargers up.

No texts from Chuck yet, but I gotta feeling they are coming.

This is when pre-season gets confusing, you don't know half the players.

The Chargers go 3 and out, and have to punt.

Dad:  Typical first game, it's a comedy of errors.

Packers go 3 and out, and have to punt.

This is pretty boring.

8:05 Jarrett Lee returns to lead the offense.
He makes a couple of first downs on passes.
Lee actually looks pretty good, better than Harrell anyway.

8:09 Time out called by Norv.

Drive stalls out on the 17 yard line.
Nick Novak promptly boinks the field goal of the left upright of the goalpost.  Somewhere, message boards are blowing up with the epic Kaeding/Novak debate.

Graham Harrell returns to the field and throws a couple inaccurate passes.  Then finally completes one, but for no gain.  He doesn't look very good to me.

Packers punt.

Curtis Brinkly gets a couple of runs for a first down.  He has a great story, I'm pulling for the him.

Lee throws a nice pass to WR Vincent Brown for a 36 yard gain, and then hits Brown for a 27 yard Touchdown.  Vincent Brown looks like a player.  Novak Makes the Extra Point! 

Chargers 14 Packers 0

Novak kicks off, and it's returned to the 30 yard line.

Graham Harrell actually completes a pass!  Of course it was on a 3rd down play.

2:00 warning

1st and goal, and Harrell is Sacked by Larry English.  Flag on the play however, as Melvin Ingram gets called for "Hands to the Face".  1st down again.

8:36  On second down Harrell completes a TD pass to Randall Cobb from 3 yards out.  Crosby kicks the extra point.

Chargers 14 Packers 7

8:39  Lee takes a knee, and its Halftime.  14-7 Chargers.

Text from Chuck:  Packers D still trying to prove who needs to know how to tackle?  We have a gimmick defense and a huge waste of talent.
(He hates the coaches)

Text from Chuck:  They were the worst defense in the league.  They had huge talent.  The gimmick wore out and that's all Capers had.  The Packers are in Trouble.
(He really hates the coaches)

Text from Chuck:  The pack has proven they can have success in spite of, not because of their $h!tty coaching staff.
(He really, really, hates the coaches)

Honestly, I think the Packers coaches are alright, but admittedly I don't watch all their games.  I just know they win alot.  And my team has Norval calling the shots.  And I will admit, Aaron Rodgers would make most Head Coaches look good.  He's phenomenal.

8:52 Tirico and Gruden return for a game of "Who's in that jersey?"

8:54 Harrell starts the 2nd half like he started the first, missing an open WR.
The Packers go 3 and out, and punt.

Jarrett Lee returns for the Chargers, he looks pretty good for a rookie in his first game action.

9:02 As I write that down, he fumbles a snap.
9:02 And then throws an interception.

9:06  Highlight reel on Melvin Ingram.  Showed college highlights, and clips from he first half.  I'm really excited about this kid. 
-fellow rookie Kendall Reyes gets a good pass rush, and forces another Packers punt.

9:14  Dale Moss is in the game!  Just went in motion.
Harrell misses Moss badly on 3rd down, and the Packers have to punt again.

9:19  Chargers take over.  Lee still at QB.  Thought that we might see Kevin O'Connell this drive.
On 3rd down and 10, Lee completes a short pass to Curtis Brinkley.

And the Puntfest continues...

9:22 Find myself hoping that Moss gets a reception.
9:24  And he does.
9:25 Harrell completes a 3rd down pass, and Gruden raves about him.  Guess he hasn't noticed all his other throws.
Thow the ball to Moss!

9:27 end of the 3rd quarter.  Chargers 14 Packers 7

9:31  Moss with a 7 yard catch

9:34 Moss with another catch, and gets some love from Tirico.

9:38 Green Bay running back Marc Tyler drives the ball in for a touchdown.
Green Bay goes for 2, and the pass attempt fails.  Should have thrown it to Moss.

9:53  Nothing of interest has happened on the field in the past 15 minutes.
-But, It sounds as if the Dwight Howard to the LA Lakers deal is official.  The Lakers will keep Pau Gasol.
-Nash, Kobe, Metta, Gasol, Howard = Wow!  This coming NBA season is going to be fun.

9:56 Lee completes a nice deep ball down the left sideline.  He doesn't look too bad.  He'll probably get plucked by another team if the Chargers try to sign him to the practice squad.

10:03 Curtis Brinkly jumps over the pile for a TD.  He's shown better than Hayes in this first pre-season game.  Still a longshot to make the roster though.
Chargers 21  Packers 13

10:07 QB change for the Packers, rookie BJ Coleman from UT Chattanooga.

10:13 Game Over

Thoughts?  Well, hard to tell.  Such a mixture of players and such, and with all the subbing, not a lot you can take away from a pre-season game.  Melvin Ingram does look promising though, and Jarrett Lee looked better than I thought he would.

For Green Bay, they better hope nothing happens to Aaron Rodgers.  Harrell wasn't getting it done tonight.  But again, it's just one game, and a preseason game at that, and the first one. 

These will definitely be two teams, I'l be keeping my eye on this season.

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