– The offense is going to be fine, especially the run game. Yes, the first team offense failed to score a touchdown. Yes, they bogged down in the red zone. Rodgers looked good, Bakhtiari isn’t that bad and they were clearly trying to work Davante Adams and the tight ends further into the offense. There’s not a whole lot of sense in going out in the preseason and firing bullets to Nelson and Cobb all day long.
– Quentin Rollins is good. For a guy that missed the start of training camp, Rollins continually made plays, especially in the first half. The only complaint that one could have is Rollins’ hands. He was so fantastic in coverage that he put himsef in position to make multiple interceptions but he couldn’t complete a catch all the way to the ground.
– Ladarius Gunter is on the team. This is probably bad news for Demetri Goodson and/or Tay Glover-Wright. His interception of Jimmy Garoppolo was the exact kind of play he can make in this defense. When asked to cover in a short area Gunter possesses rare skill. Even in coverage on go routes against much faster players Gunter was never out of place.
– Tough night for the veteran tackles. David Bakhtiari did not have a good start. Any time you allow the league’s MVP to be sacked more than once in the presesason, it’s an issue. Bakhtiari’s biggest issue has always been run blocking. He can’t slip in pass protection or he becomes a replacement level left tackle. Don Barclay, in his first game back from ACL surgery, didn’t look very good in his old right tackle position either.
– JANIS HORN!!!
– Jayrone Elliot is on the team too. Though this should not surprise you. Elliot was all over the field on defense and is already one of the best two or three special teams players on the roster. If Elliot can be a useful part of the rotation with Peppers, Neal and Perry it will continue to allow Clay Matthews to move all around the defense and make plays. Elliot flashed last preseason too and had a hard time breaking into the defense.
– “Disappointments” on the defensive line played well. Datone Jones played well. He did a lot of the little things as well as got involved on special teams. Khyri Thornton also did some useful things on the defensive line. It’s clear that the Packers are making Datone Jones earn every snap this season as he played well into the second half. He doesn’t strike me as a guy who has played with any kind of entitlement but it’s his 3rd year and he needs to produce. Thornton needs to be at least usable for the first few weeks when Jones and Guion are unavailable.
– Brett Hundley is going to be worth the wait. At times, he looked quite a bit like a 5th round, 3rd string rookie QB. At other times he showed the potential that landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated while he was at UCLA. Hundley made rare athletic plays and good solid throws. It’s easy to look at the obvious progress that Scott Tolzien has made during his time with Green Bay and imagine what the coaching staff should be able to do with a talent like Hundley.
– Speaking of Scoots, I think they could go 9-7 if Tolzien started 10 games. Scott Tolzien operated with a confidence and comfort level that looked very different than his time as the emergency starter in 2013. Another year in McCarthy’s system has allowed the “toolsy” Tolzien to become a useful backup. The goal of any Packers backup until Rodgers is much, much older is to be able to “keep the boat afloat” is something should happen to our captain. Tolzien (with plenty of help from Eddie Lacy) looks capable of doing that.
– Jake Ryan is impressive, and they might not use him the way we thought. Ryan made plenty of plays all night long, both in attack and pursuit. The obvious highlight of the night was Ryan blasting into the backfield for a sack of Jimmy Garoppolo. The really interesting thing to me, though, was how often Ryan blitzed from the outside. It’s quite possible that the Packers see Ryan as another Clay Matthews more than they view him as another AJ Hawk.
– Cartoon character guys did well. Bruce Gaston had a sack and had a number of penetrating efforts. John “Taz” Crockett had a bad whiff on pass protection, but received 11 touches and was able to show off his impressive pass catching ability grabbing a 10 yard touchdown pass from Brett Hundley.
– Clean bill of health. Kyle Sebetic hurt his ankle and Justin Perillo had a possible concussion. Neither of those pieces of news are “good news” but they’re not terrible either. The Packers have failed to get out of the preseason without losing a major contributor for the season a couple years in a row now. It’s good to see the team get through the first preseason game and now the first few weeks of camp without a major loss (KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD).