Packers: Positives and negatives from preseason matchup vs. 49ers

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers took on the San Fransisco 49ers to open up their 2022 preseason schedule. While it’s not as exciting as the regular season, it’s always nice to have some football to watch and evaluate.

One thing that has been made very apparent in the Matt LaFleur era is that he doesn’t play many veterans/starters and mostly lets the young guys get opportunities. Friday night’s game was no different.

With the Packers’ first preseason game finished, there are plenty of observations to take away.

Let’s look at both sides of the spectrum with some positive and negative aspects of the game.

Negative #1: Jordan Love

Let’s rip the band-aid off right away and look at the main reason why most fans tuned into this game. Jordan Love will always be a controversial topic amongst Packer fans and while I don’t feel he was terrible by any means, the inconsistencies were certainly there.

Love finished the day 13/24, with 176 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. To his credit, you can make a compelling case that two of the picks weren’t his fault but no doubt the third one was on him.

Overall, there were some good and some bad and I would say Love played okay as a whole but I expected more. The Packers have a big decision to make on Love this coming offseason and these preseason games will be crucial for his evaluation. By no means am I writing Love off but he was definitely inconsistent.

Positive #1: Running back depth

With Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon both inactive for the first game, we saw multiple different backs come in and play well for Green Bay. Tyler Goodson got most of the early work and is probably the favorite for RB3 as of now. Goodson was running hard every snap and got some work in the passing game as well.

After Goodson’s day was done, we saw quality snaps from both BJ Baylor and newly returned Dexter Willaims. Williams had the longest run of the day for the Packers of 25 yards, while Baylor hauled in a 68-yard pass.

Negative #2: Tyler Davis

Former Jaguars sixth-round pick Tyler Davis did not do himself any favors to make the team after Friday’s game. He was targeted twice with zero catches, including a pass bouncing off his hands which led to Love’s first interception.

Davis also had some struggles in the blocking, including a third-and-short run early on. With Tonyan, Lewis, Dafney, and Degaura in front of him, Davis may be fighting for a practice squad spot at this point.

Positive #2: Danny Etling

This is by no means a QB controversy for QB2 but Danny Etling made the most of his opportunities against the 49ers. Etling played the whole second half and had a very nice stat line, going 6/8 with 123 yards, one touchdown, and a near-perfect QB rating at 156.3.

Etling is a veteran, drafted in 2018 by the Patriots in the second round and he should pretty comfortably be QB3 or the practice squad QB.

Negative #3: Dallin Leavitt

Overall, I thought the Packers played a solid game given the available players. I actually somewhat struggled to come up with some “negatives” but Dallin Leavitt stuck out to me right away.

He started the game at safety along with Vernon Scott and unfortunately, he was on the receiving end of an explosive 70-plus yard touchdown by the 49ers before going out of the game with an injury.

Positive #3: Young wide receivers

One of the most fun stories this training camp has been the emergence of fourth-round selection Romeo Doubs, and he put his stamp on this game as well. Truth be told, he had a bit of an up-and-down game, but the Packers clearly went in with a game plan of targeting him.

Doubs was targeted seven times, with three catches for 45 yards and a beautiful 33-yard touchdown. He did have some drops and essentially had the ball ripped out of his hands for an interception, but it was fun to watch the rookie work.

While many eyes were on Doubs, second-year WR Amari Rodgers also caught himself a touchdown showing some nice burst with some yards after catch. He also had a 50-yard return, which was great to see after a very poor rookie year.

Final thoughts

The Packers may have lost this game to the 49ers, but the final score is never the main story from the preseason. Overall, I thought the Packers played a good game and we saw some strong strides made by many of the younger players.