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Lackluster Debut For Packers in Preseason Opener

The Packers lost 17-0 to Arizona in Week 1 of the NFL Preseason Friday night
(WFRV-TV) - The Green Bay Packers scuffled in their preseason opener, losing 17-0 to the Arizona Cardinals Friday.  According to ESPN.com, it's the first time the Packers have been shut out in a full preseason game since August 22, 1987.

The Packers made it interesting on their first drive, the only on featuring QB Aaron Rodgers, getting all the way down to the 2-yard line before failing to convert a 4th and goal when RB James Starks was stuffed just short of the goal line by the Cardinals defense.  On the drive, Rodgers connected with James Jones on a 50-yard completion, but the starters on offense were unable to convert the good field position into points.

Graham Harrell took over for Rodgers in the first quarter and threw an interception on his second pass attempt.  Harrell was looking to Jeremy Ross but was picked off by former first-round pick Patrick Peterson.  On the very next play new Cardinals QB Carson Palmer connected on a 38-yard touchdown to Andre Roberts, who beat Davon House for the score to make it 7-0.

Harrell led a 10-play drive the next time out, but on the 11th play Marshall Newhouse was beat badly by John Abraham who sacked and stripped the Packers backup QB for the second turnover in as many possessions.  The Cardinals charged down the field and Drew Stanton tossed a touchdown to Jaron Brown on a fade over the coverage of Micah Hyde making it 14-0. 

Arizona would add a field goal in the second half, and their defense blanked Green Bay for four quarters.

The Packers were able to play all four quarterbacks like Head Coach Mike McCarthy had hoped.  Vince Young got his opportunity before B.J. Coleman, who took over only for the final two minutes of the game.  Young finished the game 1/3 for 7 yards, and added 12 yards on the ground.  Coleman finished 2/7 for 15 yards.  Harrell was 12/19, for 76 and an interception while Aaron Rodgers finished 3/5 for 62 yards.

The Packers but an emphasis in the running game Friday, but came away with little success totaling 89 yards on 29 carries (3.1 average).  James Starks got the start and ran it 12-times for 38 yards.  One rookie who stood out offensively was undrafted free agent WR Tyrone Walker (Illinois State) who finished the night with a team-high 5 receptions for 41 yards.

Rookie RB Eddie Lacy (hamstring) and WR Randall Cobb (biceps) were among the 17 Packers who didn't play due to injury.


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