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Initial Reactions To Bills vs. Packers 9.19.10

September 19, 2010

After a shaky start, the Packers took over in the second half and cruised to an easy 34-7 victory.

The Good:

Clay Matthews is good. Real good. For the second straight game, he posted 3 sacks, and there’s a chance he’ll be awarded another half sack when the league reviews the game during the week. Aside from Aaron Rodgers, Matthews may turn out to be Ted Thompson’s best draft pick. The pick almost makes you forget about Justin Harrell. Almost.

Dom Capers. He mixes up his blitzes and personnel with the best of them. His defense applied pressure on Trent Edwards all day. Additionally, he made the proper adjustments at halftime to stop the three-pronged running attack of the Bills.

Special Teams. For the second straight week, Jordy Nelson looked good on kickoff returns. Also, the punt coverage team came close to getting a hand on a couple of punts. I can’t remember the last time the Packers blocked a punt, but maybe we’ll see them get one this year.

Sam Shields. Well, he wasn’t exactly “good” but after his poor performance last week, he looked a lot more comfortable in week two. The undrafted rookie still has a long way to go, but with a guy like Charles Woodson to emulate, Shields will improve this season.

Josh Sitton and Bryan Bulaga. Sitton continues to be this team’s quietest star. An offensive guard rarely gets praise, but the third-year player out of Central Florida dominates defensive lineman. Bryan Bulaga came in for an ineffective Chad Clifton early in the game and the rookie shined. He was good in pass protection and won the battle at the line of scrimmage in the run game. After signing a big contract this offseason, Clifton will have to fight to regain his starting job.

The Bad:

Will Mike McCarthy ever win a challenge? He needs better advice from his coaches up in the box; they can see the replays and they still tell him to challenge it. It doesn’t make sense.

The inside linebackers. A.J. Hawk and Nick Barnett both looked a step slow today. They were out of position on multiple plays, and a good quarterback would have capitalized on their weaknesses.

Other than allowing the Bills running game to get going in the second quarter, there really wasn’t a lot of bad aspects to the Packers’ game today. They let an inferior Bills team stick around too long but made their halftime adjustments and outplayed the Bills in the second half.

Overall:

The Packers proved they can win without Ryan Grant. Oddly enough, the Packers seemed to run the ball more than normal — especially on first down — with Ryan Grant out.

The biggest story of the day was the defense. Coming into the season, everyone thought the Packers would be playing in shootouts all year. If the first two games are any indication, the defense will be the strength of this team. It was a good win for the Packers today.

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