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A fine tuned final tune up

by Mark Daniels

It played out like a playground cat call. "Our backups are better than your backups!". Even having 20 players in sweats, 17 of them starters, the Green Bay Packers emphatically closed out a 3-1 Preseason by overwhelming the visiting Kansas City Chiefs 34-14 before 74,059 at Lambeau Field in the 54th annual Bishop's Charities game.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy didn't even bother with big name players like Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, the entire offensive line, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and most of the starting defense. And it didn't matter. Matt Flynn led the Pack to a pair of scores on the first two possessions, a 22 yard strike to a wide open Davante Adams to cap and 86 yard opening drive, and a Mason Crosby 29 yard field goal. Scott Tolzien matched that with 10 points on two series, finding a streaking Jeff Janis behind the defense for a 33 yard scoring play and Crosby's 42 yard field goal after a Jarrett Bush interception. The choice for number two behind Rodgers will be a tough one. Combined, the QB's went 19 of 31 for 241 yards and four scores with a passer rating of 120.1. Tolzien was slightly better, 12 of 18 and 126.9 while Flynn was 7 of 15 and 108.9.

Also finding the end zone were LaDarius Perkins on an 11 yard screen from Flynn in the third quarter and Myles White snared a six yard bullett from Tolzien to close out the scoring in the 4th. Perkins also led the team in rushing with 45 yards, Michael Hill added 40 on 13 carries but both probably can't crack the top three of Lacy, James Starks and DuJuan Harris.

Janis also helped himself on special teams, handling three punts for returns of 7, 9 and 10 yards in the first half and then busting off a 62 yard kickoff return in the second. I can't see how he won't be around after Saturday.

On defense, several kids showed up. Carl Bradford, moved to inside linebacker just this week, led the team in tackles with six. Jayrone Elliott did it again, picking his 5th sack in three weeks. He also had a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hurry.

The game got bogged down by a light rain in the third quarter and a boat load of penalties throughout. The Packers were flagged 9 times for 81 yards, most in the second half while Kansas City was guilty of 14 infractions for 131 yards. 50 of those yards came on two defensive calls on the Packers' third touchdown drive.

A couple of players left the game with injuries although McCarthy did not have any more information afterwards. Aaron Adams left with a knee injury suffered on the team's first offensive play of the night. Khyri Thornton was carted to the locker room just before halftime and Nate Palmer suffered a knee injury in the second half.

At the post game press conference, it was pretty obvious, Mikey liked it. "That's exactly how you want to finish the Preseason.", he said but cautioned, the hardest 48 hours of the job await.

Now the dirty work. 22 cuts need to be made by Saturday afternoon at 3:00 PM. By Sunday, 10 players can be brought back to the practice squad. Sunday it's the game plan installation practice for an epic battle to open the 2014 season against the Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle. So much for the preliminaries, the Green Bay Packers are ready for some football.