Oh boy. I’ll go ahead and get this mantra out of the way: it’s only preseason. As a football player, your body is your meal ticket and plenty of players instinctively hold back during preseason. In fact, Aaron Rodgers also sat this one out for a supposed “tight back” injury. This came a few days after coach LaFleur indicated that he would be playing at least one quarter in the game. It’s no secret that Rodgers is not a fan of preseason play, but the last minute change not long after the coach indicated otherwise is hard not to notice.
The ugliest factor of the game, other than Kizer’s performance, was missed tackles and general defensive mistakes. Right off the bat, the Ravens were running right up the middle in hole after hole created at the line. They certainly didn’t look like a top 10 defense last night, but we’ll see. Overall, the Packers gave up 343 yards to the Ravens with 172 of those yards from rushing.
Once again, Allen Lazard did well with three catches for a team-leading total of 63 yards. He really wants the job, but even with his giant 6’5″ frame he is still behind the much smaller Darius Sheppard in competition for a WR position. Sheppard brings much needed special teams return skills that I have not seen yet from Lazard. Both players have a bright future in the NFL, but the Packers are flushed with receivers at the moment and the 53-man roster cut is coming soon. Meanwhile, Jake Kumerow is also working to get noticed with plenty of action last night with 3 receptions of his own for 52 yards. J’Mon Moore needs to get his résumé ready.
DeShone Kizer was each sacked once and the only TD pass of the night was from Boyle to Sheppard. A 3rd quarter fumble was credited to Boyle after a botched hand-off to FB Dexter Williams. The Ravens recovered on the Packers’ 6-yard line which eventually led to a rushing TD for the Ravens.
We also saw TE Jimmy Graham making a catch in the first quarter – something we all hope to see more of in the regular season. Kizer went to connect with him in the end zone in the 2nd quarter but the pass was overthrown. Again, it’s preseason, so made guys like him aren’t likely giving 100%. TE Robert Tonyan also managed 3 receptions including one in the 4th quarter on 3rd and long up the middle for a first down.
The best highlight by far was S Adrian Amos rejecting a strange attempt by Ravens TE Nick Boyle to hurdle over him:
Amos grew up in Baltimore where the game was played and likely had some extra motivation that showed in this play. As for Boyle, I am not really sure what he was thinking or attempting to do other than assuming Amos was going doing to go much lower on the tackle. Amos was picked up during free agency from division rival Chicago Bears and signed to a four year deal worth $37 million. So far so good.