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Packers 31 Titans 17: Preseason Game Balls & Lame Calls

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Packers 31 Titans 17: Preseason Game Balls & Lame Calls

Green Bay Packers football is back.  Almost.

The Packers kicked off their preseason slate Thursday night, hosting the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field.  With most of their key starters out, Green Bay's coaching staff got a long look at many of the young players who will round out the team's roster.

The Packers picked up a 31-17 win, scoring 24 straight points after falling behind 10-7.  More importantly, they began to get some answers to the questions about what the 2018 team will look like.

It was only a preseason game, but let's take a look at who won and who didn't win the night.

Game Balls

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Valdes-Scantling, MVS as he's often called, posted a game-high five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.  He also added in three kick returns for 61 yards.

MVS has had an inconsistent camp so far, his biggest issue being dropping the football.  In this game, he hauled in all but two of his targets and showed up when the lights came on.

In a crowded wide receiver battle, MVS made a nice case for himself to get more reps and attention by the coaching staff.

Oren Burks

Another rookie on the good list.  Burks flashed his speed a few times and led the team in tackles with six on the night.  

Drafted for his athletic ability and maturity, Burks already looks like a seasoned veteran.  Maybe it's the #42 on his jersey, previously worn by Morgan Burnett, a solid veteran in the defense.

It's a small sample size, but it looks like the only thing that can keep Burks from growing and contributing on defense this season would be an injury (knock on wood!).  After losing Jake Ryan last week, the linebacker position has a bigger hole but Burks is already looking like a player who can fill it.

Jamaal Williams

Williams didn't have big numbers or many touches.  But it was his touchdown catch early on that landed him on this list.

Williams took a short pass and gave a tough second effort to get across the goal line for the Packers first score of the preseason.  

Williams filled in admirably for Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery last season and showed that he can be counted on the carry the load.  He put another stamp on that in this game.

Lame Calls

Quinten Rollins

Brutal.  That's my one-word description for Rollins' night.  The fourth-year defensive back has been moved all over the defense in an attempt to find a role for him.  On a night when he needed to show some signs of life somewhere, Rollins was a total zero.

Starting with the first defensive series, Rollins gave up a long catch-and-run after losing his footing in coverage.  Shortly after, Rollins fielded a punt and had the ball knocked away by the first defender on the scene.  Rollins got on the ball to avoid the turnover, but lost a ton of yardage on the play.

If Head Coach Mike McCarthy is truly serious about players having to earn their opportunities, we should be seeing less and less of Rollins after tonight.  An awful showing at a time when he couldn't afford one.


There weren't many other options as far as players to give a lame call to so I'm giving one to the injury bug.  Safeties Jermaine Whitehead (back) and Josh Jones (concussion) left the game and did not return.  Jones will likely be out for some time to ensure that he's ready for the start of the season.  Whitehead's timeline is unknown at this point.

The injuries leave the safety position extremely thin, once again.  It's worth keeping an eye on what the Packers do to address a potential lack of depth.


Others to mention

  • Davante Adams may be the best receiver off the snap in the NFL
  • Josh Jackson played well.  He was called for holding on a play that I'd hope doesn't get called during the regular season.  In the absence of rookie Jaire Alexander, Jackson stepped in nicely and looks like a guy who will get some snaps when the real games start
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix already looks re-energized.  It may be Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine's defensive playbook, but Clinton-Dix knows he's in a contract season and has nay sayers to silence
  • Receiver Jake Kumerow didn't make an appearance until late in the first half.  He ended up with just three catches but one was for a touchdown.  A 52-yard touchdown
  • Montravious Adams didn't show up big on the stat sheet, but he looked disruptive and carried his dominant play from the practice field to the game.  He needs to clean up his gap responsibilities, but the ability is there 
  • The back up quarterback battle is still wide open.  Many feel DeShone Kizer will end up the man behind Aaron Rodgers but Brett Hundley showed well after getting the start.  Tim Boyle also had some nice throws to keep himself in the conversation for a potential spot on the practice squad.  But the "most fun" throw of the night might have been Kizer's leaping bomb to MVS in the third quarter


Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Pulse of the Pack podcast.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (33) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Coldworld's picture

Boyle is raw and needs work but I am beginning to wonder if he isn’t a better prospect than Hill long term. Is he going to get to the PS?

While not disputing your assessment of Rollins on D, the kick return fumble looked like a perfect helmet to ball hit after catch. Rollins should not be in as a corner was what I got. With injuries we will see him at safety more. That is his last best hope. Ironically he may get time to prove if it is real or not now

Maddygirl1's picture

Rollins should not be returning punts or kicks either! I have no idea why he was even back there. He's not sure handed, fast or quick. Hide him as a back up safety. But at this point, I'm guessing he gets cut.

Bearmeat's picture

I think it's the coaches knowing he's not going to stick in the CB room and trying to find something he can do to stick. Like the article said though, at some point, they're going to have to cut bait with a good guy who just can't do it.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

"The Packers coaches have given Quinten Rollins every chance to play himself off the roster. It's working." Jason Hirschhorn, APC

Rollins reportedly has not gotten a single rep at boundary CB in training camp. He's been tried at Hybrid ILB, slot, and safety. We'll see.

GBPDAN1's picture

Lame Call; backup O-line

This really worries me. I hope the backup tackles start playing better. Need Bak and Bulaga healthy all year. If not, Rodgers will feel the heat.

Really disappointed Cole Maddison didn't make camp. This seems more than a death in the family or some other family issue..... weird

Mojo's picture

Agree on the backup Oline. Pass pro was spotty at best and not the greatest run blocking either. QB's and WR's did well to put up 31.

As far as Madison, although it's his business, I'm surprised in this day of social media that no one who knows him has leaked out something. Doubt it's a death in the family unless it's a Swedish funeral.

Lare's picture

With Madison going on 3 weeks of training camp missed, this isn't a death in the family. It also isn't a physical problem as they'd be dealing with that with the medical staff and reporting it either through IR or PUP.

Grandfathered's picture

I can't blame Rollins for trying to jump the route and missing. The muffed punt shows he's not our best returner, but we already knew that. Hope o see more of him and then we can judge.

carlos's picture

I really like Boyle. Pretty much agree with your assessments. Not sure why Rollins got so many punt return opportunities. Maybe because he was a high pick and giving him some chances to show something. Going to have to cut some really good prospects at receiver. I love Cobb, but would almost like a younger more talented player in his spot. Someone who can not be hurt all the time. I say this realizing Cobb is relatively young yet. On a comical note I thought it was June 14 th which is flag day. Also my birthday. Once the regular season starts the commercials will be like the flags-nonstop. lol

Spock's picture

From the Packers official website:
"I was surprised that Quinten Rollins was the only one returning punts. Who else has been returning punts in practice?

Trevor Davis, Jaire Alexander and Tramon Williams, none of whom played in the game."

THAT'S why only Rollins was returning punts.

carlos's picture

Sure was nice to kick back and watch football again. Even if it is preseason. Jackson looks like a technician out there. Burks looks like a keeper. DL Adams can be a player. Perry needs to get healthy as overall health is obviously the key to the whole season. Love the receivers. I have some concern at offensive tackle. If Bulaga can stay healthy once he’s back and of course Bak. I see a lot of positive potential once all the veterans come back. Sure love football.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Murphy: 4 pressures allowed in 61 snaps (some not against the ones). Bell allowed 6 pressures in just 42 snaps, including a QB hit on a three-step drop. Bell can't play tackle. He might be able to play OG.

Grandfathered's picture

Carlos, straight and to the point! Agree 100%

carlos's picture

Thanks Grandfatherd

carlos's picture

Can anyone tell I’m pumped. lol

4thand1's picture

lame , the penalties were ridiculous in the 1st half, seemed like a flag on every play. I really liked what I saw in Kizer, he was under a ton of pressure and made plays. Way to many drops by young receivers. Rollins was brutal. Bell was pretty bad too. Doesn't look to good for o line depth after the 1st game, but it's the 1st game. As usual Hundley continued his pre season good play.

Tundraboy's picture

The penalties were out of control. There was one stretch where it was almost every play it seemed. Never saw anything like it.

HoLeCrap's picture

Thanks for the info. The game is re broadcast tonight at 12>30 am and I'm going to tape it just to view parts of what took place.

I did see some highlight stuff last night on one web site? and Boyle looked very good. His passes were on and he had no hesitation in getting rid or the ball.

They may not be able to hide this guy on the P squad.

My gutt still says the Hundley is the backup designee already and Kiser will be the 3 guy unless either totally trash themselves.

Spock's picture

Im Fubared, The official Packers website ( always shows the highlights and complete game recap highlights video. I live in Tucson,AZ these days (spent my first 50 years in Wisconsin) so I won't see the game until today (Saturday). I always go watch the highlights at the Packers website. FYI

HoLeCrap's picture

PS. lets hope MM gets over the 'we drafted this guy high and must let him play or it makes us look stupid routine- rollins.
This guy has had every op and nada. Time to cut your loses. Should do it now. Not like there wont be better prospects cut than him available

PatrickGB's picture

I agree with Im. Also agree about Burks. TT did the team a disservice but Gutekunst is not TT, so perhaps his draft picks are better and he won’t feel the need to keep those underperforming players.

Colin_C's picture

Lame call: The new helmet rule. Seriously, I don't know if this will make it through the whole season before they have to change it. The first time it was called, I couldn't believe it. I'm just not sure how else you're supposed to tackle. When you drop your body to tackle, it's almost impossible not to drop your head as well. And tackling standing up is the easiest way to make someone else's highlight reel. I'm all for player safety, but this makes the game really hard for both sides of the ball.

4thand10's picture

I don’t think the rule should apply to RBs fighting for extra yards...I just don’t see a way of telling a RB to avoid contact.....lame.

Mojo's picture

Lack of pass-rush by our D. Don't know if it's more disappointing than lame. Possible Pettine was playing a vanilla scheme, but even if that's the case you'd expect some of our players to win their one-on-ones once in awhile.

Sure we didn't play a lot of our starters on D most of the game, but without delving into their roster, I'm sure the Titans didn't either.

LambeauPlain's picture

When 7 of your ll starters on D did not even suit up...and the fact MM said the game would focus on effort to set the tone of how to play....not got your big bowl of vanilla last night.

I will note after the opening drive, Pettine and the D held the Titans to 3 points until the late TD.

The Titans did play Mariota to start the game and their second string QB for almost the rest of the game.

Tundraboy's picture

Big bowl of vanilla lmao.

Rebecca's picture

The run blocking was a mess. Burks and Boyle looked mature. Boyle had good pocket presence and seems to see the whole field. He seems like a guy with tons of potential. Kumerow’s years of practice squad experience showed up. He’s 26 and looks ready to play.

Hundley had some really good throws, but several times he had a good pocket to step up into and instead ran backwards. He sometimes looks like he’s wearing shoe boxes instead of shoes. His ceiling has been reached. Kizer’s a good athlete, but he still looks like he’s playing college ball. needs more experience in this system to judge.

4thand10's picture

Kiser had some really smart plays that I don’t think we get with Hundly...Throw to the ground when there was a defensive penalty and a blitz. Threw it away when the play was not there etc...just basic QB decisions he was good at. Boyle was decisive as well, seemed to go through progressions even though the OL didn’t give enough time.

The Defense...I thought I was watching Capers the first quarter....2 DL and dropping 7 when Derick Henry is in there....who’s bright Idea was that? Later on 2nd , 3rd quarter it got a little better with the third DL added. In contrast Titans were getting pressure early with 4. Hopefully Pettine wasn’t tipping his hand by making it look just like Capers the whole first Quarter.

Oppy's picture

Kizer was criticized for making a number of iffy decisions yesterday, actually.

LambeauPlain's picture

I had high hopes for Rollins...but he's a marginal NFL football player.

I predict he will be an early cut.

Amazing the second rounder, who had a decent rookie year, has fallen so fast. He had his steep learning curve disrupted by injuries. But he is coming to the end of his fairy tale NFL career after just one year in college ball.

Grandfathered's picture

I don't know if anybody noticed but TE Byrd had a bad night. Dropped pass. Missed a lock that caused a sack. Followed up with a penalty

TommyG's picture

Good to see you all again. Thank goodness football is back.

carlos's picture

Right on. Go Pack. To a good season and a healthy Rogers. Everyone else, of course, also. lol

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