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Preseason – Week 3: Broncos 20, Packers 17

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.

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Shawn

Shawn Neuser attended UWGB and lives and works in Green Bay. He enjoys long walks on the beach and being intimate with game film.

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32 Comments

  1. Howard August 27, 2017

    Very good Shawn. I thought Jake Ryan has made his case for starting ILB. It looks like Joe Thomas has dropped down the ILB depth chart.

    You must have been seeing how many read the entire article. I’m fairly certain the Rams play in Lambeau.

    1. Shawn August 27, 2017

      Yes on both accounts. Jake Ryan is clearly the best linebacker against the run the Packers have, though Joe Thomas did blow up that 4th and 1 by getting into the backfield.
      And indeed, the game next week is in Green Bay. For some reason at 1:00 am last night, I could have sworn that game against the Redskins was at Lambeau, but of course it wasn’t. Maybe it was the Go Pack Go chants that even permeated the Denver crowd.

      1. PF4L August 27, 2017

        We all make mistakes Shawn, even Howard. Hell, i remember when i was wrong once back in 2006.

      2. The Packers are bringing in Ahmad Brooks who was recently released from the 40-whiners… they’re going to give him a look

        http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/246025/packers-taking-a-look-at-former-49ers-linebacker-ahmad-brooks

        1. Kato August 27, 2017

          Thank god

  2. mr August 27, 2017

    Not sure how this team has improved since the beginning of last season:

    QB – same
    RB/FB – worse (but MM doesn’t commit to the run anyways)
    WR – same (or slightly better due to depth)
    TE – much better
    OL – worse (no depth)

    CB – worse (Davon House #1 CB, really??)
    S – better (deepest position on roster along with WR)
    ILB – same (unfortunately still bad)
    OLB – worse (no depth and starters are injury prone)
    DL – slightly better (due to Clark’s development and Francois)

    Special teams – slightly better (addition by subtraction of Schum)

    1. Cheese August 27, 2017

      And who was the #1 CB last year after Shields got injured? Randall or Gunter? House may not be a shut down corner but he is definitely an upgrade, plus he adds depth. And they took Kevin King with their first pick of the draft. I don’t see how CB is worse.

      1. PF4L August 27, 2017

        I think Mr is commenting on what he see’s with the eye test to this point, i’m guessing. But i don’t want to speak for him.

        At the end of the day, i don’t believe a true comparison can be made until we get into the season, like week 8 -12. How many times are judgement’s made about players in the preseason, that was a false read when the real games began in the regular season….Thousands.

        Most teams play starters most of the games in the regular season, and the playbooks are opened up. Judging talent in pre-season is almost fools gold. Yes, you can see deficiencies and you also look for flashes of really good play. But the regular season is a different world. Nobody’s career was ever made in pre-season. Unless of course your name is Janis or Hundley.

        1. MMTTDCSUCK August 27, 2017

          Or, to be more succinct, Jayrone Elliot. Because Janis did have a monster game when the game REALLY MEANT something (the playoffs). Aaron Rodgers had no problem finding him then did he? Or how about that diving catch of a poorly overthrown ball that Janis caught from Rodgers in that same game that was intended for another WR?

          1. PF4L August 27, 2017

            And if i remember right, Rodgers gave him props after the game. But we don’t want to bring that up because it doesn’t mesh with the narrative that Rodgers doesn’t like Janis.

            Rodgers had a few nice catches in his career, that and a dollar will buy him a cookie.

          2. PF4L August 27, 2017

            *Janis

      2. mr August 27, 2017

        As I said “since the beginning of last season”…a healthy Shields going into week one of 2016 vs Davon House in 2017. Also in 2016 it appeared Randall was set as the other starting CB – this year we’re hoping King, Rollins, or Randall will step up. CB seemed solid a year ago but now there are too many questions marks IMO. I hope I’m wrong but I feel the Packers defense will be in the bottom 3rd of the league.

    2. PF4L August 27, 2017

      I agree with most of your assessment Mr.

      Other than the tight ends being much better. I’m not saying they aren’t. I’m saying i haven’t seen it.
      Bennett has had 1 catch in each game thus far, 1 for 13 yards, 7 yards, and 3 yards. But the big thing i’m missing, is his great blocking skills. In the Eagles game he just whiffed on a block. Last night he missed on a blocking assignment entirely allowing Hundley to get sacked. Kendricks finally caught his 1st pass as a Packer catching 2 passes for 8 yards. R. Rogers caught 1 pass for 15 yards. I think J. Cook was easily more productive in his pre-season games last year. So Bennett was supposed to be an upgrade in blocking, time will tell.

      As for as the running backs. They actually showed some life last night with decent runs by both Ty, and Jones. This was a welcome site knowing that in the 1st 2 games, the running backs ran for a dismal average of 2.2 ypc. Not sure why Fat Mike didn’t give Ty and Jones more attempts. Williams continued to underwhelm, but padded Hundley’s stats with some nice yards after the catch.

      Which leads me to the Packers marketing of Hundley, and the deep throating skills of Rich Gannon. Which i will get into more as time allows.

      Congrats to McGregor, hung with a undefeated World Class Boxing Champion for 10 rounds in his boxing debut. It should be noted that McGregor landed more punches and at a higher percentage than when Pacquiao fought Mayweather If Connor didn’t gas out. Most likely a different ending. Unlikely Mayweather makes it into the 2nd round in Connor’s world. Great sportsmanship at the end of the fight. Connor could of done without calling out the ref for ending it to early, it may have saved him from CTE.

      1. Kato August 27, 2017

        I was actually impressed with that fight last night. I fully expected McGregor to not make it past round 6. Kudos to him.

        1. MMTTDCSUCK August 27, 2017

          The guy is a psychotic cement head. He is a lunatic. By the time he is 50+ he will be suffering from CTE; that is, if his liver does not go sooner . . .

          1. Kato August 27, 2017

            LOL. I was waiting for someone to hand him a bottle of Jameson in breaks between rounds

          2. PF4L August 27, 2017

            There’s 2 things McGregor has going for him. He can fight. And he can market himself like no one is in MMA, he’s the master. Some other fighters don’t like McGregor because he’s cocky and brash, what they won’t admit is they admire him for the money he makes, as no other fighter has come close to marketing themselves like he can, They don’t have the personality, confidence, or the voice.

            McGregor is fully aware what he’s doing. In 2013 he was collecting welfare, Today he’s worth easily over 100 million. He manipulated his way in a win/win situation for that fight. Genius.

            Psychotic, or savvy?

          3. MMTTDCSUCK August 28, 2017

            Anyone who fights in the upper levels of the MMA is psychotic by default . . .

      2. mr August 27, 2017

        I think Cook is a good pass catching TE but feel Bennett is better when also factoring his blocking skills. IMO the TE position improved overall by signing Kendricks resulting in RR sliding down to TE3. As you said, time will tell.

    3. Deepsky August 28, 2017

      I understand the argument that the Packers were better at corner at the beginning of 2016, but with the loss of Shields, the corners took a big hit. Remember too going into 2016, the Packers let go Casey Hayward (who lead the NFL in interceptions in 2016). They went into the season with what they thought were 3 starter quality corners (Shields, Rollins, Randall) then a bunch of corners who were just bodies.

      Now the Packers have Randall, Rollins, House, 3 starter quality corners, but King and Hawkins are better than Goodson and Gunter. The Packers will fare better with the unavoidable injuries.

  3. MMTTDCSUCK August 27, 2017

    This game came as no surprise to me. Hundley playing the whole game was to be expected for two reasons:
    (1) The Packers were shamelessly trying to use him as trade bait because of their abysmal depth at needed positions, due to TT’s horrible drafting and Free Agency skills. They NEED better back ups (and in some cases much better starters) is anyone surprised?
    (2) As Shawn mentioned Tom Brady at 40 feels that he must play (or perhaps is compelled to by a REAL COACH to play, or else) Because Aaron Rodgers is NOT out there knocking off real game time rust as he should be . . . or is that because Rodgers is being a diva again (speculation PF4L! so no need to defend your bromance! lol!) so much for fast starts again this year.

    Hundley looks overwhelmed at times. His reaction time to oncoming defensive players is lacking. He does not seem to have that “nose” for trouble coming like Rodgers has. He appears to be caught flat footed way too often. In all fairness, THE O-Line is suspect AT BEST. Thanks once again to TT (The Frugal GM) for letting Sitton and Lang and Tretter go . . . That will become very ugly by the end of the year IMHO.

    The OLB group will be one of the Packers downfalls (one of quite a few) this year. There already are a few decent players out of the game due to cuts right now that could positively affect change at that position for the Packers this year, but it would just cost money that the fucktard TT does not want to part with.

    The WR fiasco is something else. there are MORE good WR’s that will not get an opportunity once again because of the player personnel groups and the “x” factor as to why certain players do not get called for “personnel packages” ever or very seldom at best. Why the fuck have them on the team then? Why is it that the backup QB’s when playing, seem to have NO problems finding OPEN WR’s that Rodgers NEVER seems to find open? Questions, questions, questions. For whatever reason this is what it is, get rid of all but 5 WR’s then! Let them go somewhere where they at least HAVE A CHANCE. Because certain WR’s can drop the fucking ball twice as much as anyone else and get a free pass every fucking time! How is that supposed to equate to fairness in that type of cliquey locker room? These players are not that dumb as to not see this . . . nothing like a morale booster eh?

    Also, the punter Vogel did not look comfortable (but did ave. 44 yds per) Another great find by the senile TT. Daniels looked pretty good. The ILB’s (whom I think actually suck) played ok. My biggest worry is that the O Line and the lack of a virile running game, and the horrid lack of depth is going to derail this team once again. Another year wasted for the fantastic skills of the GOAT (though he is a DIVA) Aaron Fucking Rodgers . . . and this will be a shame.

    1. PF4L August 27, 2017

      All right tiger, take a breath…..

      Some guys might get more opportunity, even after dropping passes, because the people calling the shot’s see more upside and a higher ceiling with that player. I’m thinking that 1,000 yards, and 12 td’s might give some credence to that assumption.

      Back up QB’s only play in the pre-season right? So with that i’m assuming the reason receivers get open is because they play mostly against 2nd and 3rd stringers, and some that will never sniff the grass of a NFL field again. Plus the fact in your words, how deep we are with talent at wr.

      I 100% agree with you about keeping the amount of receivers they do, those spots should be committed to fixing a defense, that most people are starting to realize, won’t be fixed before the current circus act leaves town. But maybe that goes to my contention that they expect the offense to overcome the deficiencies of the defense. Like our friend Mr. Capers pointed out in 2011. I’m not sure what shocks me most, that Ted is still here, or that Capers is still here.

      1. Empacador August 28, 2017

        Capers. It’s not like Thompson wasn’t attempting to fix the defense, although he neglected using all avenues available to him. Look at all those god awful draft picks he has thrown at the defense that were busts.

        Or Capers and company can’t coach. I can’t remember where I read it but someone pointed out this is Capers’ longest career stop, going on 9 years now. Previous best was 6 years in NO as a DB coach, which is funny as hell since the DBs have sucked forever. I didn’t do the math but all his other career stops look to average about 3 years per stop.

        Early onset Alzheimer Ted has only more recently become a thing. And is probably a larger, more dangerous long term detriment to the Packers going forward.

        1. Empacador August 28, 2017

          I should re-phrase that. The secondary as a whole has sucked since 2011. When the CBs were good there were shitty Safeties. When the Safeties were alright, the CBs sucked. Imagine if they could put it all together again and not lose guys due to career ending injuries or bad decisions like drafting shitty players or letting players go that were actually productive and not needing a franchise tag to re-sign.

  4. Empacador August 27, 2017

    The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves. Or some shit.

    Due to Goodson’s knee injury last December, that explains why he hasn’t been seen this preseason. Dismissing the PED theory outright, the question is, has the man ever done anything worthwhile to warrant keeping him around? I’d bet he is a PUP candidate or even IR “just in case”. I hope I’m wrong and they part ways with him, but I won’t hold my breath.

    1. Howard August 27, 2017

      I have to agree about Goodson as a DB. The team has to do better than Goodson as your #5 or 6 DB. Goodson will be at best on the PUP to start. I will say Goodson was good on some of the ST units when not injured. I have a hard time believing Goodson can come back this year from that knee injury.

      If there is one thing to look at during the next game, it is who is running with the ST#1 units. It will be a key to who may be some of the bottom of the roster guys, if they perform.

      1. Empacador August 27, 2017

        I believe they have the horses to finally pull that off this season Howard. The question is will one of these guys that has been out there fighting for a roster spot merely be a placeholder until Goodson is ready to return, either this year or next? I don’t know how many weeks a player has to be on IR before they are allowed to come back, but the potential is there for Goodson to be placed on IR and see what happens down the line with the intent of bringing him back. Aren’t they allowed 2 players to be brought back from IR this season?

        1. Howard August 27, 2017

          I think TT will keep Goodson in reserve. I think it will be on the Reserve PUP list though. Since Goodson started camp on the active PUP list he can go to the reserve PUP list for the regular season. That would leave the team the 2 IR designation while still keeping Goodson in reserve. I think the team has to wait 6 weeks to activate off the PUP. Then the team I think has another 6 weeks to make a decision on what to do with the player. I think Goodson’s contact is up this year.

  5. Deepsky August 28, 2017

    This year’s big problem will be offensive line.

    The Pack got lucky the last year, they are due for a couple injuries.

    Don’t be surprised to see Spriggs and/or Murphy playing tackle for an extended period of time. I don’t see anything from the running game, so the loss of one or more tackles will really hurt.

    1. Empacador August 28, 2017

      I have a hunch you may be right. The backups don’t instill much confidence at all.

      1. PF4L August 28, 2017

        I got some blow back after the Lions signed Lang and Tretter left. I kind of went off about how we don’t have any depth left and what will happen to Rodgers if the starters go down. I also spoke about we finally had a decent o-line (pass blocking anyway) and Ted was dismantling it. We’ll see how this all shakes out in time.

        1. Empacador August 28, 2017

          It’s really too bad the brain trust doesn’t see it as an issue. Courtesy of Ryan Wood’s Twitter feed. #Packers coach Mike McCarthy: “I feel great about our offensive line depth. We’ve got great numbers on our offensive line.” For which this wonderful GIF was made in response http://i.imgur.com/ZYoHd8G.gifv.