The Green Bay Packers wrapped up their second preseason game of the year where we were able to see a majority of their starters take the field. Although quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a last-minute scratch for precautionary reasons, we were able to see just about everyone else.
Not that it matters at all, but the Ravens did win the game 26 – 13 in what I would call a lack-luster performance overall from the Green Bay Packers.
However, there is plenty more to breakdown than just the score of the game. As always there were some positives that we can take away from this game and some negatives as well.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in!
Curtis Bolton impressed
With an injury sidelining Oren Burks, Bolton took a majority of the first-team reps in practice alongside Blake Martinez. As a result, Bolton was named a starter in the Baltimore game and he sure took advantage of the opportunity.
Given his ability to drop into coverage, blitz and defend the run, Bolton has the makings of a three-down linebacker and has caught the eye of the coaching staff during Training Camp.
Against the Ravens, we saw all of that on display as he totaled six tackles, including a tackle for a loss, a pass deflection, an interception, and although he didn’t record a sack – he was able to create pressure on the quarterback.
DeShone Kizer v. Tim Boyle
The backup quarterback role is still up in the air and while neither player has seized control, I do feel that Kizer is the favorite within 1265 Lombardi Avenue.
Kizer started off slow but was able to string a few nice throws together against the Ravens first defense. He would finish the game 5/10 for 70 yards but did average 14 yards per completion.
Meanwhile with Boyle, we saw those flashes of what makes him a fearless passer but he also buried a number of passes in the dirt. He would finish 12/21 for 107 yards and touchdown.
This goes without saying, but let’s hope we don’t have to see either quarterback during the regular season unless the Packers are up by 35 points in the fourth quarter.
Darrius Shepherd should make the team
With every practice and game that Trevor Davis misses with an injury, Darrius Shepherd gets closer and closer to taking his roster spot. And truthfully, Shepherd may already be the leader in the clubhouse for the last spot on the wide receiver depth chart.
In Baltimore, Shepherd would haul in another touchdown reception and made an impact on special teams as well, totaling 51 yards on only two kick returns.
He has shown that he can by a dynamic player out of the slot for this Packers team, add in his ability as a return man and I’m not sure how you keep him off of the roster at this point.
Allen Lazard making a strong push
Speaking of receivers, Allen Lazard is making a strong push for the final 53-man roster as well. After recording a touchdown reception last week, Lazard would catch three of the four passes thrown his way totaling 63 yards.
He is going to make letting him go a very difficult decision for Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur.
Running game continues to struggle
This has been a major issue through Training Camp so far. In the handful of practices that I’ve attended, the offense has struggled to move the ball on the ground. The same held true against Houston and last night as well.
The Packers would total a measly 55 yards on the ground against the Ravens defense and average just 3.1 yards per rush. Now, this has been without Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, but you still would hope to see more production than what we have.
Another quite night for Rashan Gary
The Green Bay Packers first pick in the draft has been fairly quiet through his first two preseason games. Of course, we notice the raw athleticism that he has been touted for but other than that, Gary hasn’t made much of an impact.
The same issues that plagued him at Michigan have been noticeable in each of these first two games. He needs to be better with his hand usage and he needs to develop a second move.
There was also a bootleg play that the Ravens ran last night and it totally fooled Gary. Hopefully, we can see him finish out the preseason strong over the final two weeks.
Special teams was still sloppy
Under new special teams coach Shawn Mennenga, the Packers still need some work. Although they slightly improved from last week’s performance – which isn’t saying much – we still saw missed tackles and penalties against Baltimore.
Ty Summers tackling needs some work
After a very nice performance a week ago, Summers once again lept off the television screen, but this time it was for negative reasons.
A big knock against him coming out of TCU was his inconsistent tackling ability. Even against Houston, we saw glimpses of it but in the Ravens game, it really reared its ugly head.
Without having the opportunity to go back and rewatch the game yet, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact number but I’d bet Summers had at least a handful of missed tackles, if not more.
Josh Jones is on his way out
For the second preseason game, Josh Jones was listed as inactive which to me means that he will likely be one of the players that ends up getting cut at the end of Camp.
With Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Raven Greene, Ibraheim Campbell, and Natrell Jamerson – the Packers must feel pretty comfortable with their depth at the safety position.
Even with the injury to Oren Burks at inside linebacker, the emergence of Bolton and Summers along with Greene and Campbell’s ability to play as the dime linebackers gives them the confidence that they need to move on from Jones.
The 2019 draft class has looked impressive
I included this in last week’s takeaways as well, but it is so true that I had to list it again.
Even with his slow start, we have seen the potential that Gary has to be an absolute force on the defensive front, while Savage looks very comfortable in coverage, and Elgton Jenkins is competing for the starting left guard job.
Meanwhile, Kingsley Keke is consistently getting into the backfield, we’ve seen some nice running plays from Dexter Williams, Ka’dar Hollman has an interception, and Ty Summers and Curtis Bolton (I know he was undrafted) have been pleasant surprises.
If the Green Bay Packers are going to get back to their winning ways and maximize the final years of Aaron Rodgers’ time here, this draft class needs to perform, and so far they have.
Honorable Mention: Missed tackles once again, Jake Kumerow is really good in case you didn’t know, Alex Light looks like a legit backup at offensive tackle, Kingsley Keke will see plenty of playing time this season, as a group the wide receivers looked very solid, and Green Bay forced another turnover!