The first game of football at Lambeau Field this season results in a win for the green and gold, as the Packers defeat the Saints 20-10. As always with preseason games, the score doesn’t mean as much as the player performances, and Packers fans have more to be optimistic about than not.
Jordan Love once again took the helm as starting QB. He did not disappoint. Love went 12-24 for 113 yards and a nice fade to Romeo Doubs for a touchdown. He was able to use his legs to scamper for 13 yards on three attempts. While not a perfect performance, he passed the eye test in what looked like his best performance to date. Delivering the ball with both zip and accuracy, something he has struggled with since his time at Utah State, his play earned praise from his most important critic. Coach Matt LaFleur stated after the game that Love is “light years ahead” of where he was last year.
“He was decisive. I think that’s the big thing from him. I see a much more decisive player out there. I think that’s going to lead to a much more effective player.”
Third string QB and roster hopeful Danny Etling also had the biggest highlight of the game has he took a QB bootleg 51 yards to the house.
The rest of the overall offense of the Packers was a mixed bag, but generally positive. Tyler Goodson, an undrafted rookie out of Iowa, managed to rumble his way towards a respectable 10 rush attempts for 42 yards. Juwann Winfree, an undrafted free agent himself last year, was able to lead receiving with 3 catches for 41 yards. As mentioned before, Romeo Doubs managed to score another TD in as many games. He also continues to have drop issues, as he had two on the day. TE Tyler Davis, after receiving praise from Rodgers, LaFleur, and even GM Brian Gutekunst this offseason, once again left a bad taste in fans mouths after a fumble late in the second quarter.
The Packers are hurting for safeties in the worst way. They currently have lost four to injury including starter Darnell Savage. DC Joe Barry has had to reach deep into the roster to find bodies just to play the position. And with that, comes opportunity. Enter Micah Abernathy. Micah Abernathy, formerly of the USFL’s Houston Gamblers, made the most of his. Abernathy was able to intercept a pass on just his fourth preseason snap. He also made a nice play to snuff out a halfback screen for a loss. This is what preseason is all about. Players getting the chance to live out their dreams.
Rookie edge rusher Kingsley Enagbare and LB Isaiah McDuffie both impressed as well, as they were flying all over the field. Enagbare was able to garner a couple of pressures, and McDuffie was able to rack up multiple stops himself.
Kiondre Thomas and Shemar Jean-Charles were able to shore up the secondary as Saints QB Ian Book didn’t even attempt to throw their way.
Packers special teams lately has been the stuff of nightmares and that continued in this game. The Saints managed to execute a 59-yard kick return in the first quarter. At one point, the Packers special teams were caught with 12 men on the field. They immediately responded by putting 10 men on the field on the following special teams play. The only redeeming factor was backup Kicker Ramiz Ahmed, who drilled both of his attempts.
After the Packers defeat of the Saints, they will head to Kansas City Aug. 25th to take on the Chiefs.
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