Man, that was excruciating to watch, but game four of the preseason always is. Regardless, the Green Bay Packers’ scrubs came away with a 34-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs’ scrubs.
No Packers starters played in the game with the exception of center Corey Linsley, who’s only a starter because J.C. Tretter is injured, rookie tight end Richard Rodgers and — for some reason — safety Micah Hyde.
What was impressive when the Packers trotted their starters out for this game was looking at the defense. That unit has some depth. Among the starters in this game were Casey Hayward, Davon House, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Nick Perry and Jamari Lattimore, all of whom are could probably start elsewhere in the league.
But on to the main event. In this game, that was the battle for the No. 2 quarterback job.
Matt Flynn vs. Scott Tolzien.
They alternated quarters with Flynn starting the game.
And who’s the winner?
Hard to say. With Flynn getting the first reps, it would seem the Packers favored him coming in. We thought Scooter Tolzien had established a lead in the competition last week and just had to play as well as Flynn to win the job.
Well, if you ask us, Scooter did that an more.
It’s the same story as it’s always been. Sure, Matt Flynn is good enough, but he’s not strong downfield. He missed a number of deep shots on Thursday night.
Tolzien is the opposite. Great arm and usually pretty accurate. Tolzien’s first touchdown, a 33-yarder to Jeff Janis on 4th-and-3, was a perfectly-placed throw. It wasn’t a catch-and-run either, as most of Flynn’s touchdowns seem to be. Tolzien’s second, a 6-yarder to Myles White, was a bullet through coverage.
Overall, Scoots was 12-of-18 for 139 yards and 2 TDs.
Flynn was 7-of-15 for 102 yards and 2 TDs of his own.
As far as we’re concerned, the job is Tolzien’s. The Packers may not agree.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to who helped themselves and who didn’t.
Chris Banjo — If two standout special teams tackles can get you a roster spot, then Banjo locked up one for himself Thursday night. Banjo had five tackles total. The guy deserves a roster spot, but he would be the fifth safety if he gets one.
Jayrone Elliott — The undrafted outside linebacker had another sack, giving him five in the last three games. He also added a pressure before leaving with an injury. If the injury isn’t serious, this guy has a roster spot locked up.
Jeff Janis — We figured he was making the roster, but Janis made certain of that with his TD catch and a 62-yard kickoff return. The rookie is better than both Kevin Dorsey and Myles White already. If the Packers go six receivers, White is probably the guy.
Carl Bradford — Bradford was moved to inside linebacker earlier this week. The fourth-round pick had been a total non-factor at outside linebacker. So much so that it looked like he wouldn’t even make the team. With six tackles in his first game at inside linebacker, he probably did enough to stick. As we’ve said all along, the Packers should have made this move from the start.
Jumal Rolle — Rolle has had a very solid camp and that continued Thursday night. He broke up a pass in the second quarter and had a nice pick in the third that was reversed because of a penalty. He’ll be the sixth cornerback, but the Packers have to keep Rolle.
Adrian Hubbard and LaDarius Perkins — Neither of these guys are making the roster, but they probably played themselves onto the practice squad on Thursday night. Hubbard had a sack before leaving with an injury and Perkins rushed for a team-high 45 yards on eight carries. He also caught an 11-yard touchdown.
That’s who we liked. Here’s who we didn’t.
Derek Sherrod — We noticed Sherrod and you know that’s bad. It was only one play, but the former first-round pick got mauled by someone and shoved right back into what was supposed to be the pocket. Sherrod should not be getting mauled by any team’s second string.
Andy Mulumba — Ah, Child Warrior Andy Mulumba, we’ll miss you. The Packers gave Mulumba plenty of playing time to do something, anything and he did nothing but fuck up. He got blown by on a 19-yard run midway through the second quarter and later committed a roughing the passer penalty that nullified Rolle’s interception. Those are the kind of plays that make a coach’s decision easy.
Khyri Thornton — The third-round pick is another guy who’s shown nothing all camp. He was given plenty of time to show something in this game. Nothing again. Perhaps the best thing that could have happened for the Packers did. Thornton suffered an injury that appeared to be somewhat severe. That might give them the option of putting Thornton on injured reserve instead of wasting a roster spot on a guy who’s not going to contribute this year.
Nate Palmer — We’re not going to say Palmer played poorly. He didn’t stick out at all, even though he made three tackles. Palmer also got injured, which is why we mention him. It looked bad. The Packers have plenty of linebackers without him, so he might be another candidate for injured reserve.
Guys getting injured makes trimming your roster fun and easy!
We’ll be back with our projected roster on Friday.
Great read and dead on.. Keep up the good work.
Geez, Thorton looked awful when he made no effort to tackle the runner after bursting into the backfield.
I’d slap the shit outta that lazy fucker.
I think Janis has it locked up — and that’s after missing part of camp and being a rookie. Dorsey looks like he’s a goner; Myles just doesn’t have enough and can’t return punts (hat tip to Janis); the other guys will be fine on the PS…
Gray & Robinson didn’t do shit; I think one got a penalty. Rolle looked like he screwed up coverage on one play — will have to wait for experts to report. But he also made a few plays.
Granted it’s the 4th game, but considering virtually the entire starting offense and defense didn’t play, not a bad way to finish pre-season. Seems like it’s been awhile since our 2nd teamers could dominate.
Tough to figure out who to cut for WR and DB. Feel bad for Banjo. He’s good but too crowded at safety. Richardson, HaHa, Hyde and Burnett are locks. Rolle is a tough cut too but House and Bush are in. Really like Gillete and white but we can’t keep them. I still like Flynn better than Tolzien because he manages the game better. Tolzien to PS. I don’t think other teams will bite because he’s only going to do well in GB.
gotta be Scooter Tolzein….Noodle arm has had enough chances in the NFl and don’t have it…his long ball sucks and i remember last year yelling at the T.V…”don’t have him try to throw the corner fade, HE CANT DO IT!!”” and he still can’t…
We need to stop playing preseason against the Chiefs. This was very reminiscent of the preseason game two years ago when Graham Harrell looked like a superstar tearing them up. Zero defense. Zero. Couldn’t stop the run. Couldn’t stop the pass, and the few times they did get stops, they committed penalties to keep the Packers going anyway.
Easy decision at QB. You keep all 3. I just did a 53 man roster, and I had no problem keeping both on the team. It is unjustifiable to me to let Flynn or Tolzien go just so you can keep Michael Hill or Carl Bradford or another OL on the team. It is the most important position on the team, and a concussion is just a hit away.
I get the excitement for Tolzien. He can make throws that Flynn can not. But Flynn has won NFL games. Tolzien has not. I have no clue how you can cut Flynn. The Packers don’t need a back up QB with upside who is going to be signed by another club when his contract is due. All they need is a guy who can sub for a few games and win. Flynn has already proven he can do that.
Mulumba and Palmer are gone. Clay, Peppers, Neal, Perry, and Elliot at OLB. Simple.
Janis is your 5th WR. Dorsey to the PS.
I don’t know how you cut Rolle. I have Tramon, Shields, Hayward, House, Bush and Rolle all making the team. I also have 5 safeties with Banjo making it. He not only made special teams plays tonight. He also looked good at safety.
Personally, I think Bradford and Thornton both deserve to be cut. Thornton’s injury might postpone that decision though. And the Pack might keep Bradford if they think he wouldn’t make it to the PS.
No one in the media has mentioned how thin the Packers are at DL. Daniels, Datone, Boyd, Guion and Pennel. That is IT. If Daniels or Datone go down, Peppers or Neal likely have to play DE, maybe even Perry. If Thornton goes on the PUP or the IR, then the Packers might have to consider picking up a DL who was released by another team.
“If Thornton goes on the PUP…” You DO know how PUP works right?
And you wanna ditch Carl Bradford and Thornton??? We just drafted those guys and you’re already giving up on them?
First of all, Bradford had six tackles and actually had a good night. He’s always been considered an ideal fit ILB in a 3-4, it just took the coaches a while to realize that. What if he gets picked up by another and turns into a capable ILB? That’s very possible.
We’ve hardly seen Thornton but you’re absolutely sure beyond a doubt that this guy is a bust and deserves to be cut? You do know that with his injury the Pack can just place him on IR without enabling the risk of him getting picked up by another team right?
Seriously, you make it look like you have no idea how roster changes work.
I watched the game, closely. I was not impressed by Bradford’s six tackles, most of which were made after giving up an easy catch in front of him. He appeared lost in space, about the same as he appears rushing the QB.
Frankly the guy has looked like he has been sleep-walking through camp and preseason. Maybe he thinks it is a given he will make the team, I don’t know.
I had high hopes for the guy when he was drafted, but I have seen nothing from him.
I was talking about who “deserves” to be cut, and in my opinion, Bradford and Thornton both deserve it with their no-shows in camp and the preseason. As we all know, that does not mean that they WILL be cut.
As I said, the Packers MAY keep Bradford if they don’t think he will make it to the PS, which he very well may not considering his high draft status. There is no question that the guy needs another offseason and training camp before he’s ready to play an NFL game, no matter what position he plays.
As for Thornton, what I should have said is the IR- the Packers may put him on the IR to stash him. That is exactly what I meant when I said his injury may postpone the Packers making a decision on him.
If he stays off the IR, then I actually had the Packers keeping him on my final 53, mainly because of how thin the Packers are at that position.
A guy who never played professional ILB didn’t do half bad for his first ever start there. The Packers have been developing him at the OLB position all summer, so of course he’s not gonna look like Desmond Bishop on his first start.
The Packers won’t get him back if he goes to the practice squad, and I think they know that therefore he stays on the roster. JUST MAYBE he develops enough to contribute something during the regular season too.
What I feel above all else is that long term he’s definitely worth the investment in the long term. A.J. Hawk will be gone within a year or two. That reason alone is enough for me and I say putting him on practice squad (and therefore losing him) is way too premature.
I’d have to disagree with you on Flynn. Detroit was not a fluke. He won tight games for us to get us into Post Season just several months ago. In fact he has put up starter numbers for all games he started for Packers dating back to Patriots game in 2010. Tolzien could not win for the Packers. I don’t think it matters how Flynn did with other teams. It’s how he does when he starts with the Packers. We are talking about Packers QB position here aren’t we? I’d like to keep Tolzien too but too many good receivers and DB’s to take up a roster position with Tolzien. I don’t think anybody is going to touch him since they know that he, like Flynn, is only servicable in GB. That’s what the Flynn failures on other teams have proven.
I remember specifically two touchdowns from that game that were backfield passes to Ryan Grant and Jordy Nelson. Both of them ran incredibly for a tremendous amount of yards after that catch. Nothing against Flynn, but that definitely inflated HIS stats.
Bogus, while he’s had his moments, he has NOT put up starter’s numbers in every game. In the time Flynn filled in for Rodgers last season, he put up 6 TD’s but turned the ball over 8 times (8 TD’s and 11 TO’s for his entire 2013 season).
Don’t forget that he plays with a system that has a deep receiving corps, and an ever improving running game, one that may even be the best in the NFL. To me, that’s the only reason he’s been as good as he has been.
Yes, he’s been serviceable, but nothing more and Tolzien has the potential to be even more than that. All preseason Tolzien has put up better numbers than Flynn, he’s shown a DRASTIC improvement from his play from last season, and he’s only going to get better.
I STRONGLY disagree that no one will pick Tolzien up. He’s still a very young QB with a lot of hidden potential, and teams will know that he trained under McCarthy/Rodgers, which only rises his stock. Flynn on the other hand actually has been on the free market, and nobody but the Packers were willing to pick him up. He’s already shown that he will likely be available if we somehow do need him.
My ideal situation would be to keep both of them, and play them just like they were played tonight. Split carries in every game, if Rodgers were to go down. But that likely won’t happen. I don’t mind if we keep Flynn, like I said he’s service-able. But one will get cut, and Tolzien is simply the better of the two.
1) Plenty of teams picked Flynn up-3-including GB-two of them didn’t give him a chance because a) he didn’t know the system and b) they’re just BAD franchises-the Bills and Raiders-and they’re BAD for a reason:Poor Talent Evaluation.
2)You really want to get rid of a proven backup? Did you forget last season? Who has more value to this team that you would you that roster spot to? Mulumba? Stoneburner? White? Some FA the Pack have already had a chance to pick up? A young, talented, unproven player who could be stashed on the PS? I’m curious.
3) Split QB time in-game? So that whenever the team gets in a rhythm it can be destroyed? In-game split QBs aren’t employed, even by bad teams, for a reason.
You first point is actually an argument for MY SIDE. Other teams don’t like Flynn. Whether they don’t like him for good reasons or bad reasons, they tend to either not pick him up or cut him almost immediately. He will be AVAILABLE if we do need him. This will not be the same for Tolzien.
My original point was that after Buffalo had cut him nobody even wanted him anymore. The only reason he was in Buffalo in the first place was because their starting QB was injured, and the moment he was healthy again, they cut Flynn.
Your second point, well have you been watching the preseason? We seem to have so many young and talented prospects that we would need 60 roster spots to properly evaluate them all! Quick example: Alex Gillette had 6 catches for 80 yards, and had a circus touchdown. QB’s had a passer rating 145 when throwing to him. He was the only receiver in camp to have zero drops.
Also, I’m not expecting Rodgers to get hurt again this year. You are assuming that our No.1 and No.2 QB will both go down because you are assuming last year to repeat itself. Teams never make roster decisions based on assumptions.
I admit the splitting idea isn’t so amazing anymore, I just thought the overall QB production against KC looked quite good and thought “why don’t we just split carries between these two every game”. After some thought I don’t know why I ever that would be a good idea in the regular season. My bad.
KT was a reach in the draft so not surprised there. Putting him on IR saves face for TT so it’s all good. Pennel surprise more than makes up for that reach. If injuries start to stack up on DL we can always call up Jolly. We know he’s a stud on our line and he’s going to be available. Bradford showed enough to be effective ILB. He’s not going to be Bishop but he’s not going to be any worse than Jones. R Rodgers was seemingly a reach but it turns out it was quite a brilliant pick by TT. Smart, discipline player with size, soft hands and character.
I really really hope he (Tedly) keeps the the best 53. But Banjo and Rolle are almost essential.
However, how many safeties does one keep???
Tolzien would be picked up so fast it would make your head spin. Thornton has underachieved all camp and is as good as gone. Book it. Bradford making 6 tackles in the last preseason game is not enough. Practice squad for Bradford AT BEST.
And Lundberg…why don’t you relax. In due time your incompetence will be revealed.
I’m shaking in my boots. Why don’t you run an NFL team since you know so much, all powerful wise master?