Packers vs. Bengals – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 27 CIN 13 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Terrell Manning Packers Bengals
Terrell Manning

Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals:

My unfitered game day recap and blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today:

Shaky Smithson, Du ‘ane Bennett, Davon House, Brandon Saine, Jon Hoese, James Starks, DeMarco Cosby, Desmond Bishop, Frank Zombo, Johnny Jones, Ray Dominguez, Andrew Datko, Derek Sherrod, Andrew Quarless, DJ Williams, Jermichael Finley


The Packers travel to Cincinnati for the first time since 2006; Mike McCarthy’s first season as Packers’ head coach.

Most memorable game in this series was 1992, when Brett Favre came in for an injured Don Majkowski and led the Packers to a 24-23 comeback win. Favre completed a 35yd TD pass to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds left to earn the win.


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:


Dress rehearsal game:  It’s not just the game, it’s really the whole week leading up to the game. You have a set schedule, how you breakdown your opponent, run meetings…    The actual game, you have objectives to hit… play first group for a half and then let the competition begin in the second half.

Getting first team reps:  Hopefully we can six possession in the first half. Finley is not with us…   This is a chance for us to get in a rythm and practice the things we want to do when the season starts.

Cedric Benson: Our offense isn’t going to change. He gives us another weapon. He’s been a productive player in the NFL. I’ve been impressed with his inside running ability and instincts.

Greg Jennings:  He looks good. We have to be smart with Greg tonight. We’ll watch him throughout the half. I don’t see him getting a ton of reps, but he will take the lion’s share.

Dalton/AJ Green: One of the more exciting young QB/receiver duos in the league. Great test for our defense tonight.

Cinci defense: Marvin Lewis is an outstanding coach. Fundamentally sound defense, you’re not going to get too many big plays.

Roster Decisions: This is getting down to where you have to make hard decisions. Injuries have affected the evaluation process. Important for those players who haven’t had a lot of evaluation time to do well tonight.



Packers vs. Bengals – First Impressions – First Half:

Even holding couldn’t help Marshall Newhouse. Beaten badly with an inside move.

Three and out for the first team defense – more of that please…

What an awful angle by the Bengals DB on the Rodgers TD run. No way that should have happened…

Getting tired of seeing BJ Raji getting knocked backward…

I’m imagining a #Packers play action where the defense really thinks they may actually run. Could have that this year with Cedric Benson.

The only problem I have with the Taylor Mays hit on Crabtree is he didn’t wrap up with his arms…

On the Rodgers interception, if the first guy didn’t get it, there was another DB waiting. I’m  wondering if it may have been a blown route…

Tramon Williams looking like his old self – AJ Green has not been able to shake him.

Starting to see those glimpses of DL pressure we’ve been waiting not so patiently

Cedric Benson has still got it. He’s your starter, Alex Green is your 3rd down back and receiver out of the backfield.

Anybody still calling for Ryan Grant over Cedric Benson?

Marshall Newhouse struggling with speed rush again. Michael Johnson  is a 6’7″, 270lb DE who runs  the 40 in the 4.7s.

Packers win the first half… on the ground. Packers with 100 yards rushing in the first half. 52 by Rodgers

Packers 17 Bengals 6

Packers vs. Bengals – First Impressions – Second Half:

Mason Crosby doing what he does best – tackling…

Has Herb Taylor blocked anyone yet? I’m officially feeling sorry for Graham Harrell…

Jerron McMillian sure can hit, but can he cover on the NFL level? Big question right now…

Great to see  Greg Van Roten has moved up to the second unit. In at left guard. Liked what I saw of him on tape when the Packers signed him.

Hayward beaten for a TD. It will take a while for him to learn to cover that back shoulder route – so tough for a DB.

Is it my imagination or has there been an unblocked Bengal in the backfield on almost every play this half?

Great coverage by Terrell Manning on a punt return. And then he just misses a sack on a blitz.  Glad to “Mr. Invisible” doing something noticeable.

And Van Roten misses a blitz pickup and gets Harrell sacked. Caught by surprise by the speed of the blitzing linebacker. Yes, this isn’t the Ivy League, Greg.

Borel getting lots of chances tonight and blowing it. Gurley not getting any chances – can he not get open?

Don’t know if we can read anything into this, but Philip Merling was in with the twos, ahead of Muir, now in with the threes in the 4th quarter.

BJ Coleman, in with 5:55 to play. Bad overthrow on third down…

Hayward shows textbook tackling form out in the flat and causes a fumble.

Jamari Lattimore flashes that speed once again. Comes out of nowhere to step in front of a receiver and take home a pick six souvenir. He’s a keeper.

Coleman in again – handing off a lot. You can’t tell me the Packers aren’t trying to hide him from other NFL teams. I don’t care what Ted Thompson says.

Exhale, Packer Nation – the Packers have won a game…

Packers 27, Bengals 13





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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


30 thoughts on “Packers vs. Bengals – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 27 CIN 13

  1. Nowhere near being alarmed, but I’ve been really underwhelmed by the Packer interior offensive line through 3 pre-season games. Saturday is what I though he would be, very much like Clifton he’s a reliable technician in pass-pro but can barely get in the way for the running game.

    Lang and Sitton have had some really pedestrian if not bad moments in each game. Chalking it up to ‘pre-season’ cobwebs at this point but they’ve shown some really poor technique in pass-pro and occasionally beat of the snap in the run game and easily moved.

    They flash dominance, I’m just a bit surprised at how average that unit has looked on the inside.

    1. I was concerned watching Bulaga last night.. He was having a lot of difficulties, and was very fortunate to have just “squeaked by” on a number of protections.. Things could have easily turned ugly on the right edge last night.

      Very uncharacteristic.

  2. I thought Van Roten letting the blitzer through was more of a blown assignment. He went to help out the left tackle, but the center (who did the line call) double teamed the DT with the RG. That left a huge hole in the middle of the line, and Van Roten was way out of position.

    Don’t want to excuse Van Roten — he needs to understand and execute each call — but he has only been with the team 3 weeks or so.

    1. That’s a basic concept in pass protection- you protect from the inside out.

      The most direct path to the QB is up the middle. Van Roten has to identify the pressure and disengage from helping the tackle and AT LEAST get a chip on the inside pressure.

      I like Van Roten, but that’s a cardinal sin he committed. He’ll get chewed out, and then they’ll make sure it never happens again.

  3. poor performances across the OL do not surprise me.

    OL is built, step by step and our OL coach, James Campen, is just not a good OL coach.

    He is a really bright guyand Im certain that his wife and dog love him, but he has simply NOT developed a single lineman.

    The only guys we have that perform well either came ready made or are named Josh Sitton.

    I challenge anyone to name an OL that came into Packers camp and was improved by what Campen did.

    1. “I challenge anyone to name an OL that came into Packers camp and was improved by what Campen did.”

      How does any casual fan either confirm or deny this? A person could point out that Bulaga went from promising to all-pro caliber in a one-year span; Sitton went from solid/dependable early in his career to peer recognition voting him the best in the game during 2010; Wells was an undersized technician (previously undrafted) that just didn’t get beat; Lang decided to take the game seriously and has solid feet and good technique after not even playing guard in college; Newhouse, while still needing work, is leaps and bounds better than what he was as a 5th round pick.

      Would you just counter by saying it’s all ‘god given talent’ and none of the growth could be attributed to coaching?

      Personally, I’ve never seen what Campen drills, teaches during film-study or corrects during walk-throughs so there’s no way I could make a blanketed statement that he’s not good.

  4. 1. The talent on D is much better than last year (post Nick/Tramon injury).
    2. A pass rush – from both OLB spots and some DL??? Nice!
    3. Benson is going to be a nice addition for this offense. Already looks like the best RB we’ve had since Ahman.
    4. I liked what I saw from Hayward and the other young guys in the secondary too. When House comes back, this will be a good pass defense.
    5. Rodgers is sick. That is all.

  5. Newhouse has not resolved the speed rusher problem. This needs to be resolved.

    The oline backups are, let’s be honest, CRAP. TT and MM start to analyze the waiver wite in depth Monday.

    How do you spell Van Roten? I think it should be Van Rotten.

    Any Injury to the starting Oline could be a disaster.

    The D fianlly showed some creativity in the rush packages. Not a lot,but some. More of that please.

    The DB’s showed a whole lot of enthusiasm. A couple of glaring “rookie” erorrs, but over all much better tackling and coverage led by Tramon (awesome against Green).

    Walden is waking up and realising that he needs to stuff the run too. I think he is doing enough right now to stay on the 53.

    Liking the young DB’s enthusiastic play. As a result, Sam Shields may be looking for work. He can’t cover because he keeps tripping over his own feet. Maybe some new shoes are in order. That said – nice INT.

    Wilson filling in for Bishop very well. Who cares if he is 5’11”.

    AR and the receivers are not in sync yet. Lacking real practice because of the CBA could be the problem. Not concerned.

    Glad DD is still around. Borel and Gurley are nowhere.

    Overall, much better than the first two games. Looking like MM and DC were just doing much more evaluation than competing.

  6. Maybe a little sigh of relief but still think this team has a loooooong way to go. If this was the 1st preseason game I would say ok that looks good. We are close to the real season and I see lots of issues yet. With the strength of our division a slow start is not going to cut it folks. Coach you need to light a fire under their azzes.

  7. Hope Crabtree is okay, but it’s great he was the only injuried. Let’s keep it that way.

    Knocks on wood 3 times.

          1. Where did you hear he’s confirmed for surgery? I just read a an article dated today that said they don’t know if he needs it or not, but that so far all indications coming from the trainers was that his rehab is progressing well..?

            This is not good news.

  8. The first team offense will be in for a long day in week 1 if this is how they come out period…’No Excuses’..Rodgers will get hammered against the Niners if has to run like that last night.

    1. You’re right, the line needs to gel quickly. That being said, Rodgers has little motivation to stay in the pocket if teams keep playing man coverage with two safeties deep. The Packers are getting 7 guys cleared out of the box, at least 10-15 yards deep. Only one linebacker.

      If more teams choose to play man with two safeties deep Rodgers is going to tuck and run almost every time. Calling it now, Rodgers has one 100 yard rushing game this year and at approaches 50 yards another 3-5 times.

      I don’t like seeing him run, but how can’t he with that coverage.

      1. Yes,I get that…but I really don’t want to see a steady ‘tuck and run’ from Rodgers no matter how often it’s warranty…sooner or later he will get the ‘hit’ no one wants to see.

  9. I hope Walden continues to play the run well. Call me skeptical, but it’s rare for a full grown pro athlete to go from complete liability to non-issue, especially in one season. Hope for the best, though.

    I like Cedric Benson’s quote:

    “I’m like a kid in the candy store. All I have to do is press the hole and let the linemen get their head on one side and explode through the hole on the backside.”

    Let me take some liberties and translate:

    ‘Wow, Green Bay’s running backs don’t know how good they have had it- if they just did what the coaches are telling them to do, or if they had any talent, they should be racking up the easiest yardage they’ll ever encounter in pro game.. Dude, just be decisive and GO, the yards are there practically BEGGING you to take them!”

    Very disappointed with Green’s showing tonight. He was close to breaking one, but again- any hesitation is too much.

    Nick Perry’s ability to seemingly collapse any OT that lines up across from him at will is going to make scenes like the Raji/Matthews sack a weekly occurrence. Once he learns the position more intimately and develops his hand use and a few inside pass rush moves, we can start seeing his blazing-fo-a-big-man speed come into play, and it’s going to be glorious.

    1. “Nick Perry’s ability to seemingly collapse any OT that lines up across from him at will is going to make scenes like the Raji/Matthews sack a weekly occurrence”
      This is why I say put Perry at End and Moses at OLB. Let them do what they do best.

      1. Whoops, OT is supposed to be TE. My bad.

        I don’t know that at 267 lbs Perry would be nearly as effective as a DE as he is at OLB. Plus, putting him at DE negates all of his athleticism and speed that he possesses- those natural gifts will come to the forefront as Perry gains experience. He’s a 4.64 speed guy with a 38″ vert and 10’4″ broad jump at 267 lbs.. That’s a guy you want at LB, not DE.

        I like Moses as well; but the Packers have Perry where he should be. Just be patient.

  10. Saw a better prepared, inspired defensive performance against Bengals. Too bad offensive line forgot to show up, even Aaron Rodgers was a little rusty on throws to Jennings and Driver. Can’t ignore Walden and Moses play–I had preferreed Pack let Walden go but he’s making a case along with Moses for a spot on roster. Secondary is playing better with Woodson at safety, with Davon House on the field this team is immensely improved especially in the tackling. C’MON McCarthy, let’s get the Packers Express ready for prime time.

  11. I’m not going to panic because I’ve seen some great Packer teams block poorly in the preseason and then dominate. However,if Benson is for real ,and I have no reason to think differently, this offense with a running attack would be a wonderful thing to behold. I’m a suffering Mets fan and can’t wait for football to finally start.

  12. I wonder how Herb Taylor feels when an orange cone is higher on the depth chart than he is.

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