Game Review: Driver Injured In Loss To Jaguars

In the end, the 21-13 final score in favor of Jacksonville matters little, and not just because it was only a preseason game. What’s foremost on the minds of the Packers and their fans is the health of Pro Bowl receiver Donald Driver, who left Thursday night’s game with a foot sprain. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Jaguars Gameday


In the end, the 21-13 final score in favor of Jacksonville matters little, and not just because it was only a preseason game.

What's foremost on the minds of the Packers and their fans is the health of Pro Bowl wide receiver Donald Driver, who left Thursday night's game at Lambeau Field in the second quarter with a foot sprain.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy said after the game Driver was in good spirits, but a complete status report won't be known until Friday. Obviously, the team is hoping Driver will be out for only a limited period of time.

"That's part of the game," McCarthy said. "It's unfortunate (but) hopefully it's not serious."

Driver was injured on the Packers' lone touchdown drive of the game. On the second play of a nine-play drive late in the second quarter, Driver reached high to catch Aaron Rodgers' throw on a crossing route and then tried to shake a couple of tackles.

His foot appeared to get rolled on by a Jacksonville defender and Driver went down. He was carted off to the locker room for further evaluation for what was initially called an ankle injury, then changed to a foot sprain.

The injury was the biggest downer in a game that otherwise saw the Packers, now 2-1 in the preseason, lead by 10 points at halftime when both teams' starters were playing.

Early on the Packers' defense flexed its muscle, stopping Jacksonville three times in Green Bay territory in the first half to pitch a shutout through two quarters.

"They're a powerful team, they're a big football team," defensive end Aaron Kampman said. "You just have to look at the sideline and there's some big boys. I feel like we really matched their physicality. It would have been nice to see what would have happened if we had played the whole game. I think we have a couple things we can definitely build off of."

The first two stops in Green Bay territory ended with failed fourth downs for the Jaguars. Byron Leftwich threw an incomplete pass to Maurice Jones-Drew on fourth-and-4 from the 32, and the defensive front stuffed of Jones-Drew for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the 37.

That latter turnover on downs required back-to-back stops of Jones-Drew on short yardage. On third-and-1, Nick Barnett and Atari Bigby combined to stand up Jones-Drew, and then Barnett slipped through on fourth down, getting some late help from Aaron Kampman.

"Those are huge," Barnett said of the fourth-down stops. "Anytime you're out on defense and someone wants to challenge you on fourth down and you step up to the challenge, that's just as good as a turnover for us."

{sportsad300}Meanwhile the Packers' offense had crossed midfield on its opening drive but came up empty when Brett Favre's pass to Greg Jennings, on fourth-and-5 from the Jacksonville 40, fell incomplete.

But the Packers got points on their final two drives of the half. Favre directed a 12-play, 76-yard march, completing seven straight passes that included gains of 25 yards to Bubba Franks, 20 yards to Donald Lee and 14 yards to Jennings.

Favre nearly had a touchdown, but his third-and-goal pass to an open James Jones in the end zone was deflected at the line by Reggie Hayward, setting up a 22-yard field goal by Dave Rayner.

"We got in the red zone and had a chance for a touchdown on that last play," said Favre, who finished 14-of-20 for 130 yards. "The ball got tipped. We got ourselves in position to score. We made some plays but we still have a lot of work to do."

Rodgers took over at quarterback on the next drive and took the Packers 73 yards for a touchdown. Consecutive completions of 23, 11 and 14 yards to Jones (six catches, 80 yards) preceded a key 11-yard catch-and-run by Brandon Jackson to convert a third-and-10 and put the ball on the 1.

"It was a screen so we were letting the linemen go after the 2 count," said Rodgers, who was 6-for-9 for 82 yards on the night. "I was able to hold it and just barely get it off."

Jackson plunged in from there, and the Packers were ahead 10-0 with just 22 seconds left in the first half.

The third quarter was all Jacksonville, though. The Jaguars forced consecutive three-and-outs by the Packers and took advantage of a short field on offense. They drove 46 and 49 yards for a pair of touchdowns as backup quarterback David Garrard made some clutch throws.

On the first TD drive, Garrard found Matt Jones over the middle for 26 yards to convert a third-and-9 from the Green Bay 33. Three plays later, LaBrandon Toefield ran it in from 1 yard out.

Then on his next drive, Garrard fumbled shotgun snap that cost him 16 yards and gave the Jaguars a third-and-goal from the 25. But he recovered and, on the next snap, promptly found George Wrighster on a post route for the touchdown, putting Jacksonville ahead 14-10 late in the third.

"The most frustrating thing is we put together a really nice drive at the end of the half with the No. 1s, and with the No. 2s we weren't able to get a first down," said Rodgers, who was sacked three times. "The start of the problem is we just really didn't establish a run game, until really the fourth quarter when Corey White started breaking some runs."

That's when the No. 3 offense tried to rally, driving 62 yards for a Mason Crosby field goal midway through the fourth quarter. White rushed for 52 of the 62 yards on the march.

Then, after a defensive stop, the Packers had one last chance to rally in the final two minutes. But Ingle Martin's pass was intercepted by Brian Iwuh and returned 24 yards for a touchdown, sealing Jacksonville's win.

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