After a strong showing against the New England Patriots in preseason game #1, the Green Bay Packers’ second preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers showed that there is still work to be done. There was such a hodgepodge of high points and low points during the course of this game that it seemed like the Packers were playing on a teeter totter. After regaining my balance about an hour after the game, I was able to gather my thoughts. Here they are.
High Point: A ten play, 80 yard touchdown drive to start the game. Eddie Lacy looked strong when he ran the ball up the gut and looked pretty fast around the end when he had to put on the afterburners. John Kuhn showed why Aaron Ripkowski will have to wait one year before becoming the starting fullback on the Green Bay Packers team.
Low Point: Jordy Nelson leaping up in the air and landing awkwardly on the turf in obvious pain. Shortly after the game an NFL Network analyst said, “If there is a silver lining, at least Aaron Rodgers has two weeks to figure out what he has around him.” There is no silver lining when you lose your #1 receiving target, your go to deep threat guy, all before you even play a regular season game.
High Point: Ladarius Gunter continues to demonstrate why he deserves a spot on the 53 man roster. During the 3rd quarter Gunter made two terrific plays. On one play he deflected a pass away from a Steelers receiver along the sideline and then on another play he batted a pass down when covering a receiver going across the middle when playing in press man to man coverage.
Low Point: Late in the 4th quarter Tay Glover-Wright failed to look back and find the ball in the corner of the end zone, because his eyes were glued on the Steelers receiver. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh receiver had his eyes glued on the football. The result was a Pittsburgh TD.
High Point: The Green Bay Packers defensive backs continue to shine. With the exception of Quinten Rollins giving up the big 54 yard pass completion, the DB’s have been flying to the ball. Damarious Randall showed Packers fans why Ted Thompson drafted him in the first round. He picked off his 1st NFL pass on Sunday and has been defending the boundary and the middle of the field very well for a rookie.
Low Point: The Green Bay Packers were unable to convert a 1st down the last 8 times they possessed the football, which I believe is the major reason why the Packers lost to the Steelers 24 to 19.
High Point: During the 4th quarter left guard Vince Kowalski tried to save the day for QB Matt Blanchard by taking on two Pittsburgh pass rushers. Kowalski showed why he could be a good candidate to make the practice squad.
Low Point: On the other hand, Kowalski’s excellent pass blocking skills were not enough save the day for Matt Blanchard, because the right side of the Packers “O”-line gave way and Blanchard was buried by two Steelers in the backfield.
High Point: Ty Montgomery looked really good again returning kickoffs in only his second NFL game. He is a sure bet to have that duty when the regular season rolls around. He looks the part and I believe you’ll see him return a kick sooner rather than later.
Low Point: Jeff Janis does not look like he is able to be relied upon to return punts for the Packers and Jared Abbrederis has been unable to practice and try out for the role. My gut feeling is that Micah Hyde will be back there when week 1 of the regular season starts and all of the chips are on the line.
High Point: Richard Rodgers and Brandon Quarless showed Packer Nation on Sunday why they will be the # 1 and #2 tight ends, respectively. Look for Aaron Rodgers to distribute the ball to both of these guys.
Low Point: TJ Lang suffered a concussion on Sunday and a few other Green Bay Packers had to take in fluids intravenously.
High Point: The Green Bay Packers have two more preseason games left to get some of these inconsistencies cleaned up before they play the Chicago Bears on September 13th.