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Green Bay sends Raiders packing

GB RB James Starks converts this run for two-points in the third NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field Friday night against the Oakland Raiders.
GB RB James Starks converts this run for two-points in the third NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field Friday night against the Oakland Raiders.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Watching NFL preseason football can be like a wasted trip to Baskin-Robbins 31 flavors.

Free-agent defensive lineman Julius Peppers hopes to a make a splash as a member of the Green Bay Packers this season. The Pack hosted the Oakland Raiders in the third preseason game at Lambeau Field Friday night.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After poring over the menu for an hour, you end up choosing vanilla every time.

Which is to say that on both sides of the ball, coaches do whatever it takes to disguise what it is they’re going to do when it counts in the standings.

Green Bay Packer head coach Mike McCarthy is no exception.

The successful top kick for the Pack uses whatever sleight-of-hand he can come up with to addle opponents for 16 games.

Such was the case at Lambeau Field on Friday night when the Oakland Raiders came to town for the third of four exercises in banality.

For the record, as meaningless as it may be, Green Bay handled ‘Da Raiduhz’

first-teamers, building a 22-7 lead by the time QB Aaron Rodgers left the game with 4:42 to go in the first half.

The opening drive was a thing of beauty.

It went for 73 yards in seven plays culminating in an Eddie Lacy one-yard plunge for a TD.

Lacy had six carries racking up 36 yards in the three minutes and change.

Opting to practice two-point conversions, A-Rod threw a dart to Jordy Nelson for an 8-0 lead.

The Green Bay Packers offense went from supreme to sluggish after that.

Chalk that up to the smoke and mirrors used to obfuscate and befuddle defensive coordinators.

What we all learned is that The Turk is lurking about as teams need to pare down rosters to 75 by Monday.

The offensive line is still in a bit of disarray looking for a replacement for the oh, so steady Don Barclay.

Derek Sherrod may be the answer there.

But he hasn’t gone out and grabbed the reins as a starter.

Rookie tight end Richard Rodgers, has emerged as a to go-to guy at that position thus far.

He has the size and a combination of speed and power that, with a little bit of seasoning and his namesake on the throwing end, can be a force in this league.

He has a similar skill-set of the fallen Jermichael Finley without the boneheaded attitude that J-Mike showed early on.

Brandon Bostick’s fractured fibula is the opportunity knocking for the Cal man.

The other tidbit that we can glean from the Raider game is whether it is Lacy, James Starks or DuJuan Harris, the Packers have one of the best rushing offenses in the league.

That is bad news for the NFC North and the NFL as a whole.

General Manager Ted Thompson has not been the biggest wheeler-dealer in free agency.

But he may have made the biggest splash since Reggie White came to town 20 years ago.

Julius Peppers appears to not only have something left in the tank, the needle is to the right of the ‘F.’

He is the perfect complement to Clay Matthews.

The more snaps that the two of them are on the field together, the better the Pack will do.

The merciful final preseason game stays at Lambeau Field for a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

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