In their first preseason action of the 2022-23 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers traveled to face the San Francisco 49ers in a game that saw plenty of action from the backups. As Jordan Love took a good amount of snaps with Aaron Rodgers not suiting up, the fan base was able to get its first extended look at Love this season.
With more on Love later, the team as a whole struggled early and came out of the gates sluggish, but picked up their play as the course of the game went on. Even in a loss, there were plenty of good takeaways to write home about from this contest, and Matt LaFleur and company certainly will have plenty to work on this week before their second preseason game is here.
Love and his 3rd-year jump
Mixed reviews have always followed Love ever since he was drafted back in 2020, but it does look like he may be getting close to the point of justifying Green Bay’s selection of him. While grading a player on his preseason performance and expecting that to be their regular season results, Love showed a low of improvements.
While three interceptions certainly is a black eye on his ledger, LaFleur quickly came to Love’s defense and explained the reasoning for these mishaps. Outside of the INTs, Love completed 13-of-24 passes for 176 yards and 2 TDs, both of which were thrown to rookie WRs (Danny Davis and Romeo Doubs).
Love showed a good understanding of the game, and the speed of the game never seemed to be going too quickly for the Utah State player, a big reason why he looked the part. While completing barely over 50 percent of his passes is not totally on Love, there are plenty of aspects that he and the coaching staff will work on this week, hopefully correcting them before their next preseason game.
WR core looks young – but moldable
Davis, Doubs, and Amari Rodgers all caught TDs on Friday, an optimistic sign for a wide receivers room desperate for developmental talent that can make an impact this season.
Davis, an undrafted rookie from Wisconsin, has seemingly played his way into being a potential practice squad option, showing good hands and a willingness to block in the run game.
Our training camp star in Doubs was out there ready to prove that he was more than just an offseason darling, and his seven targets paced the team. Hauling in a 33-yard TD from Love on a fourth-down conversion was a superb end to that scoring drive, as Love put the ball perfectly in front of Doubs for his rookie wideout to run under and take to the house.
Amari Rodgers may have only hauled in one-of-two targets on offense, but his impact on special teams was exactly the kind of development Rich Bisaccia needed to see from his return unit. A 50-yard return (ended with a funny collision with Rashan Gary on the sideline) got Bisaccia and the entire sideline pumped up, and if Amari Rodgers can continue to find lanes in the return game, his role on offense should grow too.
RB3 spot fully up for grabs
BJ Baylor, Tyler Goodson, Patrick Taylor, and Dexter Williams are all vying for that RB3 spot on the Packers, likely the final RB spot left to fill behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.
Baylor made his impact felt in the passing game, taking a screen pass from Danny Etling and racing 68 yards. While he was quite inefficient on the ground (2.7 YPC on 7 carries), Baylor’s speed and pass-catching abilities could give him a slight edge for a practice squad spot.
Goodson (above) received the most work (10 carries, 2 receptions) and looked good doing it – of the four named options, he looks to have the inside track to be on the final roster come September.
Both Taylor and Williams are semi-familiar names, especially Williams, who was just re-signed this week after a tryout. With the Packers not seemingly comfortable with their RB depth behind their two top dogs, this battle is going to be more important than first thought.
With Goodson looking like the best option from the quartet at this current point, it will be interesting to see how camp and preseason progresses and if the reps for the RB group are treated with a pecking order based on how the coaching staff feels.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23