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Packers put up 59 points against Colts

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Associated Press
August 27, 2010
— Aaron Rodgers extended his sizzling start to the preseason, throwing three touchdowns before halftime.

The points just kept coming after that for the Green Bay Packers (2-1), who scored six offensive touchdowns and twice on special teams on their way to a 59-24 preseason rout of the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field on Thursday night.


Expectations are high in Green Bay this season, and Rodgers has shown every indication that he is ready to lead a deep playoff run.


“When we get into a rhythm like we have this preseason on offense, we’re going to be tough to stop,” Rodgers said. “It’s fun.”


For the Colts (0-3), the biggest worry wasn’t the final score.


Running back Joseph Addai left the game in the third quarter with a concussion and linebacker Gary Brackett hurt his right hand. Addai said he “just got a little dizzy” but was fine after that.


“Really, they didn’t do any tests, they didn’t need to,” Addai said. “I was fine. If I needed to go back in, I could’ve.”


Colts coach Jim Caldwell didn’t have an immediate update on injuries, and wasn’t overly concerned about the lopsided final score.


“It wasn’t 59 points against our starters, it was 59 points overall,” Caldwell said.


Rodgers threw for 195 yards in the first half Thursday. In three preseason games, he has completed 77.4 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and no interceptions.


Peyton Manning made plenty of big plays against a porous Packers pass defense early on, but Rodgers was up for an offensive exhibition against one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. Trailing 17-7 early in the second quarter, Rodgers rallied the Packers to a 28-17 halftime lead—including a masterful touchdown drive in the two-minute drill just before halftime.


Adding to the injury problems for Indianapolis, cornerback Jacob Lacey left the game with a concussion, offensive tackle Tony Ugoh hurt his toe and defensive tackle Antonio Johnson sustained a groin injury.


“Obviously the score got away at the end, which is certainly possible in the preseason; you’re playing a lot of young guys,” Manning said. “Offensively, some things that we did well, but as with most preseason games, some things that we can certainly improve on.”


Manning threw for 214 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He stayed in the game for one series after halftime, only to have things turn ugly.


Manning was hit and stripped of the ball by outside linebacker Frank Zombo, an undrafted free agent making a bid for a roster spot, and it was scooped up by linebacker Robert Francois—who delivered a hard hit Addai when the running back tried to tackle him, leaving him woozy on the sideline.


The Packers’ offensive and special teams success was tempered by another shaky preseason performance from the first-team defense, although rookie safety Morgan Burnett pounced on a Manning pass for an impressive interception late in the second quarter.


Green Bay’s defense has struggled in its first three preseason games. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers is keeping his scheme fairly vanilla until the games count—although he did dial up pressure at times Thursday—and a few key players are out injured.


Green Bay was without cornerback Al Harris, outside linebacker Clay Matthews, defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins and safety Atari Bigby.


“Defensively, we haven’t played a game yet with all of our players on the field,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “So the continuity is probably not where we’d like it to be right now.”


The Colts played without center Jeff Saturday and tight end Dallas Clark.


Packers running back Ryan Grant got his first extensive preseason action, with mixed results. Grant rushed for 36 yards on eight carries, but lost control of the ball before teammate Scott Wells recovered. Packers backup running back Brandon Jackson lost a fumble.


“We had the ball on the ground too many times,” McCarthy said. “We need to eliminate that from our play.”


Packer notes


-- The Packers lost cornerback Brandon Underwood to a shoulder injury, defensive lineman Jarius Wynn to a concussion and linebacker Desmond Bishop to a hamstring injury.


-- Packers TE Jermichael Finley caught 6 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.


-- Colts WR Reggie Wayne caught 7 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.


-- Tara Greene, wife of Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene, sang the national anthem.



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