Three takeaways from the Green Bay Packers’ second preseason game.
The Green Bay Packers suffered their first defeat under Matt LaFleur in their second preseason game. But more disappointing was the overall performance.
There were some positives to take away from the game, but also a lot that needs to be worked on entering the third preseason game against the Oakland Raiders next week.
Following the game, here are the top three takeaways.
1. Shepherd makes strong case for roster spot
Darrius Shepherd continues to impress. And the longer Trevor Davis is out of action due to injury, the more it looks like Shepherd could make the 53-man roster.
Shepherd caught three passes for 11 yards and a touchdown and could’ve had another touchdown had Tim Boyle found him in the end zone. As a receiver, he can contribute, but potentially separating him from the other receivers on the roster bubble is his work on special teams.
And this is where Davis might be concerned. Shepherd had two kick returns for 51 yards, including an impressive 36-yard return. He averaged 7.5 yards on his two punt returns.
Shepherd’s work on special teams could earn him a roster spot.
2. Allison, Kumerow and Lazard all impress
Geronimo Allison and Jake Kumerow looked ready to go for the regular season. And I think any question over whether Kumerow will make the roster have been answered. He makes plays every single time he’s on the field.
Allison caught two passes for 29 yards and is going to have a great season in the slot. Kumerow had three receptions for 52 yards.
One player to watch over the next couple of weeks is Allen Lazard. He made a good start to preseason last week, and backed it up with an impressive three-catch, 63-yard performance on Thursday.
Will the Packers be able to find room for him on the 53-man roster? If he keeps playing well, they might not have much choice.
3. Not a good game for the starting defense
It’s hard to judge the overall performance of either the defense or offense during preseason. But the defense didn’t play well early on. While it’s true that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will be holding back much of the scheme for the regular season, there’s no excuse for missed tackles.
It was an issue last week against the Texans, and something the Packers need to fix before their regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears in just three weeks.
The Packers only had one sack in the game. Although to be fair, Lamar Jackson made that difficult early on with his mobility.
The defense will enter the regular season with high expectations, but it wasn’t the ideal start for the starters in this game.