What a glorious feeling it was to have Green Bay Packers football back on the television as they kicked off their 2019 season last night against the Houston Texans.
While in the preseason wins and losses don’t matter, Green Bay came away with the 28 – 26 victory. As expected there are areas that need improvement, but overall this was a solid performance with a number of young players making some big plays.
With all that said, let’s not waste any more time and get to my 10 takeaways from the Green Bay Packers first preseason game.
Ty Summers was incredible
From the first whistle just about to the end of the game, Ty Summers speed and athleticism was on full display. From covering tight ends, to chasing down Joe Webb and clogging the middle on running plays, he truly did just about everything.
Summers has improved with each passing practice and that was evident against Houston as he finished with 10 total tackles, including nine solo.
Oren Burks injury
It was in the first quarter of the game when Oren Burks left with an apparent left shoulder injury, which is the same shoulder he hurt last preseason.
Depth at inside linebacker is a bit of a question mark for the Green Bay Packers and they were hoping Burks could make that year two leap to provide them with some reliable coverage ability at the position.
However, if he misses an extended period of time once again, it could derail his sophomore season and will leave a void for them to fill.
An issue for a number of seasons now has been a lack of turnovers from the Green Bay Packers. Well, tonight that was a non-issue as they forced four total including three in the first quarter alone.
Unfortunately, four turnover games won’t be the norm, but an increase over what we have seen in the past will help this team immensely.
J’Mon Moore is playing himself off the team
The struggles, unfortunately, continue for second-year receiver J’Mon Moore. Last year dropped passes were a huge issue and in this game, they were prevalent as well. Even the catches that he did make were bobbled.
With receivers like Jake Kumerow, Trevor Davis and Darrius Shepherd all putting together nice Training Camps so far, it will be an uphill battle for Moore to make the final 53.
Keep your eyes on Darrius Shepherd
Speaking of Darrius Shepherd, he has been a nice surprise through Training Camp and has caught the attention of Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur.
Against Houston, Shepherd was able to catch a touchdown pass from DeShone Kizer as he was able to find the soft spot in the defense as Kizer scrambled around. He’s also beaten Jaire Alexander in a red zone drill during practice.
Shepherd gives the Packers a more traditional slot receiver – which plays an important role in LaFleur’s offense – as well as a potential return man in addition to Trevor Davis. While the odds are still against him, there is a path for Shepherd to make the final 53.
Neither Kizer or Boyle took control of QB2
Even after the first preseason game, there doesn’t appear to be a definitive leader in the clubhouse for the role of backup quarterback.
DeShone Kizer would play the entire first half and finished 8/13 for 102 yards and a touchdown. While Tim Boyle would complete three of his five passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns.
Each quarterback had some very nice moments and some head-scratching ones as well. So pretty much identical to what we have seen through Training Camp so far.
Ka’dar Hollman continues to impress
Hollman may be the surprise of the Green Bay Packers’ 2019 draft class as he has impressed through OTAs and into Training Camp. With injuries to Josh Jackson and Kevin King, Hollman has faced the first and second team offenses quite a bit and has won many of those battles.
His ability in press-man coverage has received high praise from Mike Pettine and he is a very good fit for his defense. Hollman carried that momentum over to the game where he was all over his receiver and came away with an interception.
Hollman could be a young player who ends up playing some significant snaps this season for Green Bay.
Penalties, penalties, penalties
It’s the first game of the year and a majority of the playing time is consumed by young players, so penalties are to be expected in the first preseason game.
However, I bring this up because over the five practices that I’ve attended, they’ve been an issue there as well. Cleaning things up has been an emphasis of LaFleur’s and moving forward hopefully we see improvements.
Jake Kumerow has to be a lock at this point
Over the offseason, I was someone who thought if the competition was close, the Packers would choose the younger J’Mon Moore over Jake Kumerow. However, the competition hasn’t been close at all.
Although his playing time was limited, Kumerow made two contested catches from Kizer for a total of 27 yards. At this point, I’m not sure how you keep him off the final roster.
The 2019 draft class had a very good debut
As the Packers look to get back to their winning ways, this was a very important draft class for them. And after the Houston game, we all have to be feeling pretty good about what we saw from most of them.
As mentioned above, Summers and Hollman were standout players and we also saw the juice that Dexter Williams can provide this team. Williams totaled 62 yards on the ground with another 18 in the air.
It was also incredibly fun watching the strength and speed of Rashan Gary off the line of scrimmage as he was a contributor to the constant pressure that the Packers’ defensive front produced.
Be sure to comment below with who or what caught your eye during the Green Bay Packers first preseason game!