After a long and agonizing wait, the NFL preseason is finally here with the Packers playing the Houston Texas at Lambeau Field yesterday. Plenty of players deep in the roster were on the field for a preseason opener that ended up being settled at 28-26 with the Packers coming out ahead.
While it is to be expected to some degree, there were plenty of mistakes by the Packers that were frustrating. A nice scramble by DeShone Kizer was brought back by a holding penalty. What we also expected to see was mostly running plays as we did with Dexter Williams seeing the most action with 14 attempts for a yield of 62 yards. The Packers went extra deep in the roster with Tra Carson claiming 8 run attempts for a measly 15 yards. Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams were listed as questionable and were not participating.
We did get to see Jake Kumerow with a nice route up the middle leading to a first down. Overall, 9 players managed to claim a reception. Packers WR Allen Lazard, picked up from the Jaguars practice squad this past December, showed great athleticism with a catch for a touchdown toward the end of the third quarter. Fans are used to players phoning it in during the preseason, but guys like Lazard in a crowded field of WRs with something to prove can make some impressive plays. Making it even more interesting, it was thrown by third-string QB Tim Boyle. In fact, two of the three offensive touchdowns during the game were thrown by Boyle with Rodgers sitting the game out.
Also noteworthy was a first quarter punt by the Packers that resulted in a touchdown by Equanimeous St. Brown after a recovery. Texans WR Keke Coutee botched the catch and once the ball got away from him Brown was there for the recovery.
Nothing much to get too excited about. There was some drama during a joint practice session between the teams earlier this week with Houston Texans try-hard rookie Lonnie Johnson being ejected due to breaking the no tackling rule. One hit by Johnson involving TE Jace Sternberger ended with the Packers rookie TE laying on the ground with his helmet having come off during the impact.
Both Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham were quoted by ESPN on the incident:
You can do it in the games and you get fined. Be a coward when you do stuff like that in practice, it’s not a good look. We take care of each other up here. I don’t know how they practice, I don’t know what they do over there, but there’s consequences for stuff like that.
Jimmy Graham’s response:
Obviously he’s a rookie and he needs to know you can’t be hitting guys live in practice. That’s absolutely ridiculous. And we’re not going to stand for that here, obviously. I know his older guys over there are going to be on him about it because my young guy’s just running through a zone, obviously. Just run by him.
Matt LaFleur was also quoted by ESPN:
I thought there was no place for that. We addressed it. It’s an unfortunate deal, because I was pretty clear with our guys we’re not doing that stuff.