GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — With a stable of running backs now complementing quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers offense could be as potent as ever this season.
Rodgers threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Lacy rumbled for a 1-yard score on the Packers’ opening drive and prized free agent acquisition Julius Peppers recorded his first sack of the preseason in the Packers’ 31-21 victory Friday night over the Oakland Raiders.
The game was stopped for several minutes in the second quarter after Raiders linebacker Sio Moore was taken off the field with a neck injury. He gave a thumb-up sign while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Moore was taken to a hospital.
The Raiders also lost two other defensive starters to head injuries in cornerback Tarell Brown and linebacker Nick Roach.
A first-team defense that allowed three touchdown drives in four possessions in the first two preseason games had its ups and down against Rodgers, who finished 9 of 20 for 139 yards playing into the second quarter.
Matt Schaub played into the third, finishing 13 of 27 for 110 yards for Oakland. Backup Matt McGloin threw for two fourth-quarter touchdowns to Brice Butler, from 19 and 28 yards. McGloin finished 10 of 17 for 162 yards.
Lacy just played in the first series, but the 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year had the Raiders on their heels. He finished with six rushes for 36 yards and the touchdown.
Backup running back DuJuan Harris added 56 yards on 12 carries, and added 42 yards on two catches. ARaiders defense that allowed an average of 89.5 yards over the first weeks allowed 78 in the first half.
The game inched along slowly by the middle of the third quarter with the Packers up by three scores and backups competing littering both lineups.
The Raiders‘ first touchdown came on their second series of the first half after a handful of missed tackles helped Maurice Jones-Drew dart 40 yards for a score to tie it at 7.
The Packers first-team defense, getting its more extensive playing time of the preseason, held Oakland scoreless from there.
Besides the sack, Peppers also stood up Raiders running back Darren McFadden in traffic for a short gain around the left end. It was just the kind of big-play production coach Mike McCarthy was hoping to get from Peppers when the Packers signed the former Chicago Bear as a free agent.
Green Bay did lose defensive lineman B.J. Raji to an arm injury. He remained on the sideline for much of the game with a black sleeve on his arm.
The Raiders again struggled to produce under Schaub, who was signed as a free agent from the Houston Texans. Oakland had four straight three-and-outs at one point in the first half, then turned the ball over at the Packers 26 late in the second quarter after Schaub fumbled on a sack by Nick Perry.
Schaub’s best chance for a touchdown pass came in the third quarter, but backpedaling fullback Marcel Reese bobbled one pass away in the end zone before Jones’ scoring grab was overturned.
Both Jones and safety Charles Woodson got ovations when the former Packers were shown on the video boards.
Jones, though, no longer has Rodgers throwing him the ball.
The 2011 NFL MVP’s completion rate would have been higher if not for a handful of drops. He connected on touchdowns to tight end Andrew Quarless and receiver Jordy Nelson.
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