There was some high anxiety over the Packers backup quarterback position all summer but Graham Harrell eased a lot of concerns with a masterful performance in Green Bay's 24-3 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the Pre-Season finale before 67.999 fans at steamy Lambeau Field Thursday night. Harrell dialed in a passer rating of 158.3, as good as it gets on a 13 for 15 night good for 223 yards and two touchdowns without a mistake. He took over for Aaron Rodgers who got in two series and threw only two passes. Kansas City opened the game with a serious running game, handing off on all nine plays on the first series which ended with a missed field goal. Getting it back after a three and out against the Pack's starting offense, they ran it again, leading to Ryan Succop's 26 yard field goal and a 3-0 lead. Rodgers left after another three and out and the Chiefs second string kept moving the ball behind Brady Quinn. But on 2nd and goal from the five, Quinn made a mistake, throwing late over the middle in the end zone and Sam Shields came up with his second interception in as many weeks in his bid to win the starting corner job. Harrell entered the game but faced third and 12 when he found Jermichael Finley over the middle for an acrobatic 27 yard gain. On the next snap, Graham went deep to a wide open Tori Gurley for 54 yards to the one. Two plays later, Alex Green barrelled in from the two and the Packers grabbed the lead for good. Harrell converted two more third downs on the next series, ending with a 17 yard screen pass to Green for a touchdown. He opened the third quarter with a 77 yard drive capped by Jarret Boykin's 12 yard touchdown catch on a post pattern. Third stringer B.J. Coleman led the Pack on a drive which ended with Mason Crosby's 37 yard field goal to cap the scoring. The offense put up 258 yards passing on just 16 completions. It was a struggle running the ball all night. Cedric Benson fumbled on his first carry but T.J. Lang recovered. The Packers gained only 46 yards on 24 carries, a 1.9 average, led by Marc Tyler's 12 rushes for 21 yards. The Chiefs meanwhile, pounded out a gaudy 247 yards of 44 carries, a 5.6 average. Head coach Romeo Crennel said they worked on the ground game all week in practice and he wanted to see what it could do. They did move the chains, but couldn't score. In the air, KC quarterbacks collectively had a passer rating of just 49.1. Boykin wound up as the top Packers receiver with five catches for 82 yards. No one else had more than two grabs. There were some other sore spots, the kickoff cover team allowed an average return of 37.8 yards on 4 runbacks. Tim Masthay had a punt blocked when Jerron McMillian missed a block but the rookie made a heads up play by chasing down the ball, still behinid the line of scrimmage, and running 17 yards for a first down. The only injury of note was a slight ankle sprain suffered by B.J. Raji on the first snap of the game but the Packers think he'll be OK. The replacement officials flagged both teams 22 times for 182 yards, Kansas City had 14 penalties for 126 yards. These crews will be working at least through the first week of the regular season. Now comes the hard part, cutting the roster to 53 players. That must be done by 8:00 PM Friday night. On the link below, post game comments from Mike McCarthy, Harrell and several other Packers who helped the team finish 2-2 in the games that don't count, they start counting next Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers open up the campaign at Lambeau.
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