Green Bay Packers

Preseason Recap Week 1: Green Bay Packers lackluster in loss

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In Jordan Love’s much anticipated debut, the Green Bay Packers were lucky that nothing was at stake. The Packers didn’t play horribly, but they certainly didn’t look ready for the regular season. Thankfully, there are three more weeks for them to fine tune things before they open on the road against the New Orleans Saints on September 12.

Green Bay Packers Offense

All eyes were on Love during a beautiful Saturday night at Lambeau Field. The second-year quarterback out of Utah State displayed his first-round talent — moving in the pocket, off-balance/laser throws into tight windows — but he failed to dominate as the Packers scored just seven points in the first half. The Green Bay Packers’ offensive struggles were a product of lackluster blocking, particularly in the run game. The Packers had just three rushing yards at halftime, which put Love into a lot of long-distance third downs.

The 2020 first-round pick has had trouble securing the ball during training camp and that issue reared its ugly head again as Love fumbled on the first play of the Green Bay Packers two-minute drill. However, during his post-halftime interview, head coach Matt Lafleur defended his quarterback and said that play was not on him as the blocking broke down way too quickly. Nevertheless, Love still needs to show some progress in the turnover department as the preseason progresses.

In case you didn’t know, there were also a few offensive players NOT named Jordan Love that took the field for the Green Bay Packers against the Texans. Kylin Hill delivered the best play of the night for the green and gold by catching a screen pass and accelerating through his blockers — led by rookie Josh Myers — en route to the lone touchdown of the game. Jace Sternberger streaked through deep over the middle of a zone defense, and Love zipped a pass to him for a huge gain on third down.

Devin Funchess made a case for a roster spot by bringing an energy that seemed missing from the rest of the squad. He made a spectacular one-handed catch over the middle of the field on a laser from Love and played deep into the second half.

Green Bay Packers Defense

Joe Barry’s defense allowed a few long drives, but for the most part, they locked down in the red zone and allowed just one touchdown in each half. Oren Burks certainly turned the most heads as Barry sent him crashing through the middle on multiple occasions. The former third-round pick registered seven tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack in the first half.

Henry Black and Vernon Scott also displayed some playmaking ability by flying around and being aggressive at the point of attack. Black totaled five tackles in the first half, while Scott recorded three tackles and one pass deflection.

Kabion Ento made a splash by securing an interception at the end of the first half — the Packers only forced turnover of the game. Another bright spot was the play of Jack Heflin. The ex-Hawkeye played the part of a stout, early-down run stuffer, but he also had an incredible play chasing down a screen and making a shoestring tackle.

Josh Jackson had a huge opportunity to step up with Jaire Alexander and Kevin King both inactive, but he faltered and may have played his way off the roster. Time after time, Jackson was beat on short, intermediate and deep routes as the likes of Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills torched the Green Bay Packers secondary.

Shemar Jean-Charles also struggled in limited action as the fifth-round pick appeared a step behind on numerous occasions. He also was the culprit of a fairly obvious pass interference call on a third down play.

Green Bay Packer Special Teams

JK Scott was subbed out for one punt early in the first quarter, and Ryan Winslow, his replacement, sent a low line drive that allowed a 43-yard return as the Green Bay’s coverage team appeared out of position. Special Teams were a major issue last year, and Maurice Dayton looks like he will experience some growing pains as he tries to correct the problems before the regular season begins.

Amari Rodgers also had a fumbled punt return on a play that ended up being negated by illegal motion from the Texans punt team. While the rookie had his struggles, he had a 15-yard return in the first half — the longest punt return for the Packers since 2019.

Overall, the Green Bay Packers put some good — and a lot of bad — onto tape and will use that to get better as the regular season inches closer.

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[…] Green Bay Packers responded with a more aggressive approach against the New York Jets after a lackluster performance against the Texans in Week 1 of the preseason. In a game that featured Kurt Benkert at quarterback […]

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