Packers: Positives and negatives from preseason matchup vs. Saints
By Cody Young
The Green Bay Packers took on the New Orleans Saints for their week two preseason game and unlike last week, they walked away with a win.
The Packers won the game 20-10 to move to 1-1 with one more game to go before the regular season begins.
Truth be told, I believe there was a lot of good to take away from this game if you’re a Packers fan.
Both sides of the ball had strong showings and there were several players who showed some significant promise, so let’s get right to it.
Positive #1: Middle linebacker depth playing well
It’s astonishing to see what a difference a year can make. At this time last year, the position was still considered a question mark. Going into 2022, the team has an All-Pro, a first-round pick who has a play style that lends well to today’s game, and depth behind them.
With De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker the likely top two LBs, the Packers have some quality players behind them in Krys Barnes and Isaiah McDuffie.
Barnes has started 23 games for the Packers and played some solid snaps, and McDuffie has two very solid preseason games. After leading the team in tackles last week, he added another six with his performance Friday night.
Negative #1: Tyler Davis
Finding himself on the negative side for the second straight week is Tyler Davis after another very poor performance. Despite receiving praise from Packers GM Brian Gutekunst earlier this summer, Davis has had a rough camp and two pretty rough preseason games.
After an inexcusable drop last week that led to an interception, Davis caught his lone target which would he unfortunately fumbled, and was recovered by the Saints. Tie this in with his poor blocking and penalties, and it may be tough for him to get on the final 53.
Positive #2: Tyler Goodson
For the second week in a row, Tyler Goodson put in a strong performance, showing he can be a threat as a runner or receiver. He doesn’t seem to be the most explosive runner but more of a north-south guy who runs extremely hard.
He was the lead running back on Friday, getting 10 carries for 42 yards, while also bringing in a 10-yard pass. His ability as a pass-catcher is what’s most intriguing about him. After a solid summer of football so far, he would be my choice for RB3.
Negative #2: Lack of consistent pass rush
To be fair, this one is much more of a minor negative. The Packers mustered up two sacks and only two QB hits. During the broadcast, John Kuhn mentioned that the Saints were keeping a seven-man protection quite often, which would obviously explain the lack of pressure.
Positive #3: Zach Tom
Zach Tom was selected in the fourth round of this past draft and was someone I had my eye on as a future starter right away. The early returns so far on Tom look promising. Tom came in to play RT for the Packers on Friday and was phenomenal.
The Packers have been great at scouting offensive line talent in recent years and Tom looks like he may be another hit.
Negative #3: Amari Rodgers
Amari Rodgers has had quite an up-and-down start to his NFL career. I thought he had a promising display last week with a nice return and receiving touchdown. Unfortunately, he followed that up with a performance where he was almost non-existent.
Rodgers was targeted five times, which was tied for second-most, but only brought in two catches, totaling five yards.
Positive #4: Jordan Love
The final positive I’ll have today is Jordan Love. I feel pretty confident in saying this was the best I’ve seen Love play in an NFL game. For the second week in a row, the numbers may not reflect it, but Love played very well.
Love’s stat line was 12/24, 113 yards, and a touchdown. His receivers dropped several balls which didn’t help at all. In this game, Love looked the most comfortable in the offense I’ve ever seen and really seemed to have confidence in his arm.
Displays like that are what he needs to keep putting out to be a starter in this league.