The Green Bay Packers lost to the Denver Broncos tonight 20 -17 in a mostly uninteresting affair.
If you had even medium hopes due to the fact that it was Week 3 of the preseason and both teams were allegedly playing their starters for an extended time, then you should have known better. The Packers risked Aaron Rodgers for a whole two series, one of which was a three and out, before resuming the quest to drive up Brett Hundley’s trade value. Amazingly, Hundley took over in the 1st quarter and played for the entire remainder of the game. Not sure why Joe Callahan or Taysom Hill were even dressed. Someone throw those poor guys a bone and give them the night off.
In 2015, the Bronco’s pass defense completely throttled the passing offense of the Packers. It was no contest, like the Packers brought harsh language to a gunfight. The excuse back then was that the Packers didn’t have Jordy Nelson. Well, the Packers got a rematch tonight with Nelson in the game, and the result was the same. Aaron Rodgers finished his two series with a whopping 12 passing yards. Rodgers did have a drive for a FG, though that was mostly thanks to Ty Montgomery breaking a 25 yard run on the first play of the second drive.
Brett Hundley came in and got a series with the rest of the starting offensive unit. Unfortunately for him, the Broncos also left their starting defense on the field, and the Packers promptly went three and out again.
The Packers were able to take a quick 10-0 lead when pressure by Mike Daniels and tight coverage by Damarious Randall helped force an overthrown pass, which hit Kentrell Brice right in the hands. Brice weaved through traffic in returning the ball to the Bronco 2 yard line. Montgomery pushed it in on the very next play. That would be the end of the Packer scoring though until early in the 4th quarter. The Broncos would rattle off 20 straight points and hang on for the win.
I was mildly surprised that Aaron Rodgers played all of two series and then bounced. You can forget about the mid-week articles about the Packers wanting to start fast and realizing that Rodgers needs more snaps in the preseason to be ready. I am not going to vent any more frustration over the subject than I have already. I think we can all agree that come Week 1, Aaron Rodgers will be one of the last of our worries. I will, however, point out that while Rodgers was playing two series and then hanging it up, the 4o year old and 5 time Super Bowl champ Tom Brady played the entire first half of his Week 3 game. Personally, I don’t need to see Rodgers play an entire half, but it obviously doesn’t bother Brady.
Ever notice that in every game our opponent plays their offensive starters much longer than we do? I mean, every fricking game. It is kind of bizarre. And yet, our injury list is just as long as anyone else’s.
If you wanted to see the defensive starters, then there you weren’t disappointed. Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark and the starting defensive backfield of Kevin King, Quentin Rollins and Damarious Randall all played the entire first half. Mike Daniels was without question the Packers best player and pretty much terrorized the Broncos on every snap he was out there. Damarious Randall also had an excellent game, showing tight coverage and some tackling skills. He appears to have jumped back in front of Rollins for the outside corner spot that will be opposite either Kevin King or Davon House.
Clay Matthews called it a night after a couple series. Nick Perry, for whatever reason, played one more series than Clay and ended that series by limping off the field with a hurt ankle. It didn’t look too serious as he sat the bench without anyone looking at it, but with Perry’s history, obviously we have reasons to be nervous. If Perry were to miss any time, the Packers seem especially weak in back ups at that position. Jayrone Elliot has been battling back spasms and Kyler Fackrell has had a rough camp, though he at least flashes his edge rush some in the games.
A lot of eyes were on Jason Spriggs, who played about as much as Brett Hundley. He gave up a sack to Von Miller on an inside move (but who hasn’t?) and probably more concerning he gave up a sack on that exact move by a back up later in the game. You can also throw a holding call on Spriggs in there. All that being said, Spriggs wasn’t as bad as I thought he would be. There was one notable play during the second drive where he blocked Von Miller for seven seconds, giving Aaron Rodgers all the time in the world. So, all in all, it was an up-and-down night for Spriggs, who at least showed me it isn’t all down.
Since it was Brett Hundley’s night, let’s throw it out there that he was 20/30 for 186 yards. He also ran for 14 yards, including a touchdown in the second half. The TD run was probably his best play in the game. Though the final stats are fine, I would say it was a mediocre showing at best for Hundley. He continues to look poised, have command of the offense, throw tight spirals, and show some athleticism when he needs to. As far as his raw tools and decision-making goes, I think he is worth a 2nd round pick or getting there. But to be expected from a pupil in the school of Rodgers and McCarthy, Hundley’s play seems overly cautious and buttoned-down. This was especially obvious at the end of the game, when Hundley kept throwing dinks-and-dunks while the clock ran out.
Trevor Davis’s rollercoaster preseason continued as he got a lot of snaps and made some plays both as a returner and a receiver. Meanwhile, Jeff Janis couldn’t get on the field as a receiver.
As far as a new guy standing out, Aaron Jones had himself a game while Jamal Williams continues to go nowhere. Jones showed some explosiveness and ended up with 43 yards on 6 carries. Williams caught a couple passes out of the backfield, and you can tell that the Packers feel he is the more reliable guy. However, Jones definitely threw his hat in the ring tonight.
As far as poor showings go, the new punt guy – Justin Vogel – didn’t manage a single punt over 47 yards even though he was punting in Denver. He netted 38 yards with zero kicks inside the 20. Just when you thought the Packers long punting nightmare was over…
Jeff Triplett’s referee crew was also in fine midseason form, calling a holding penalty on nearly every punt in the game. Someone tell these assholes that kicks aren’t their special opportunity for face time.
Anyway, the Packers will finish out their preseason in LA against the Rams next week. Heck, maybe Monty will even be there.