POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 31, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 2:10 a.m. HST, Aug 31, 2012
GREEN BAY, Wis. » Graham Harrell finally showed why the Green Bay Packers believed he could be Aaron Rodgers' primary backup.
Brushing off a shaky preseason, Harrell drove the offense for touchdowns on all three of his possessions — two of which were scored by University of Hawaii alum Alex Green — and the Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 24-3 Thursday night.
Harrell completed 13 of 15 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns in both teams' final preseason tuneup.
"It was just doing what we've done all year, just more consistently," Harrell said. "When things are going well, I think all of the guys start to feel it — you get some momentum, you get more emotion — and I thought the tempo was up just a little bit. When things are going well, you kind of start rolling." Harrell's play has been scrutinized by fans and the media, and Packers coach Mike McCarthy said handling that was part of his maturation process.
"We talk about it all the time: It's nice when people say nice things about you and it's not so nice when they don't," McCarthy said. "And it's one extreme to the other, particularly at that position. That's part of the deal. I think he handled it very well." But with the final round of roster decisions looming Friday, McCarthy stopped short of making a definitive declaration when asked if he was comfortable going into the season with Harrell as the backup.
"I think he definitely grew through the preseason, topped it off with an excellent performance tonight," McCarthy said. "But we're not going to make any roster selections here tonight." Alex Green, a second-year running back, had touchdowns rushing and receiving, and Jarrett Boykin caught a touchdown for the Packers.
Green finished with six carries for eight yards and two receptions for 15 yards.
Rookie running back Nate Eachus had 21 carries for 99 yards for the Chiefs.
Greg McElroy became the first quarterback to lead the New York Jets into the end zone this preseason in a loss to host Philadelphia.
Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and most of the Jets starters didn't play in this battle between backups and guys fighting for roster spots.
McElroy finished 12 of 17 for 90 yards and one TD. He rushed for 33 yards.
Former UH receiver Royce Pollard had two catches for 14 yards and two kickoff returns for 40 for the Jets.
Charlie Batch completed 11 of 14 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown to bolster his hopes of playing a 15th NFL season and host Pittsburgh beat Carolina.
Carolina's Kealoha Pilares, a UH alum, had two receptions for 24 yards and a kickoff return for 32 yards.
Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes in 11/2 quarters, giving host St. Louis a win over Baltimore.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher, taking over a franchise that has totaled 15 wins in the past five seasons, used virtually all of his starters until the score was 21-0 on a 9-yard catch by Mike Hoomanawanui with 6:59 to go in the half.
Rams receiver and UH alum Greg Salas did not have a catch.
Quarterback Colt McCoy did little to solidify winning Cleveland's backup job — or impress any other NFL team — and Chicago's Josh McCown threw two touchdown passes in the first half, leading the visiting Bears over the Browns.
McCoy, who lost his starting job in training camp to rookie Brandon Weeden, is battling Seneca Wallace to be Cleveland's No. 2 QB. McCoy went 2-for-5 for 16 yards and an interception.
Matthew Stafford threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson and host Detroit beat Buffalo.
Stafford and Johnson left the game after their only drive. Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed all five of his passes, including a 4-yard TD pass to Stevie Johnson, on his first and last possession.
Chandler Harnish threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dominique Jones, leading host Indianapolis over Cincinnati.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton left with a bruised right arm after just six plays. Coach Marvin Lewis later said Dalton would have returned had it been a regular-season game.
New Orleans rested all its starters, as well as its top three running backs, in a loss to host Tennessee.
Trindon Holliday had his third kick return for a touchdown of the preseason and Justin Forsett rushed for 114 yards and two more scores in host Houston's win over Minnesota.
Delanie Walker caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith handed off five times before calling it a night and host San Francisco wrapped up the preseason with a win over San Diego.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson played just one quarter in his final tuneup before the regular season, so high-priced backup Matt Flynn led host Seattle on three scoring drives.
While Peyton Manning watched, Denver's reserves pulled out a wild one in the desert when Matt Prater kicked a 44-yard field goal as the game ended.
Kevin Elliott had a 77-yard touchdown reception, likely solidifying his spot on the regular-season roster, and host Jacksonville beat Atlanta.