The best thing about Pre-Season openers is the final gun. The Packers launched the 2012 exhibition schedule with a 21-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers on a warm, humid evening at Qualcomm Stadium. The game was awfully sloppy, there were seven turnovers, four of them in a three minute span of the opening quarter when both teams had their starters playing. A coach's biggest fear in the Pre-Season is injury, we had that too. On his first carry, Chargers number one running back Ryan Matthews broke his clavicle and he'll be out 4-6 weeks. On the first snap of Green Bay's second defensive series, starting linebacker Desmond Bishop had to be helped off the field after suffering a knee injury that Mike McCarthy admitted after the game, "didn't look good.". In the second half, Davon House, who opened the game at cornerback, injured his shoulder covering a punt and he didn't return. Good thing the Packers left 18 injured players back home. Save them for another day.
Phillip Rivers connected with Antonio Gates on a 23 yard touchdown two snaps after James Starks started the turnover parade with a fumble. Gates got a clean release between A.J. Hawk and D.J. Smith and turned M.D. Jennings around as he neared the goal line for the catch. After Diondre Borel fumbled away the next kickoff, the Chargers were primed to pad the lead but Tramon Williams picked off Rivers with a nice play. Aaron Rodgers ran three series, which produced two first downs and his night ended when under heavy pressure from San Diego's number one pick Melvin Ingram who beat left tackle Herb Taylor, he was intercepted. San Diego's Nick Novak had a 35 yard field goal bounce off the left upright but on the next series, Jarrett Lee, subbing for Rivers, found Vincent Brown over the middle for a 27 yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Jerron McMillan missed a tackle at the 7 yard line on the play. Backup quarterback Graham Harrell went almost the rest of the night for Green Bay and it took a couple of series to get going. He directed a decent two minute drill featuring Randall Cobb who caught passes of 28 and 23 yards leading up to his three yard touchdown grab with :32 left in the half. Neither team moved the ball until late in the third when Harrell engineered a 14 play, 68 yard drive. Marc Tyler ran hard on the series and finished it with a one yard touchdown run. McCarthy went for two just to avoid a tie score and potential overtime with a red eye flight home waiting. Just like a practice last week when the Packers worked on the two point play and failed five out of six times, this one didn't work either as Harrell missed Jarrett Boykin on a back shoulder throw. Otis Merrill got burned in coverage for a 37 yard gain which lead to a short touchown run by the Chargers with 1:56 to play. Rookie B.J. Coleman came on for the final two minutes drive and after picking up two first downs, a screen to Tyler ended the Packer night when last year's Green Bay draft choice, linebacker Ricky Elmore, punched the ball out and the 7th and final turnover led to a San Diego kneel down and the victory.
On the link below, some comments from Mike McCarthy and a couple of players in the locker room.