Packers Fall to Ravens 26-13 in 2nd Preseason Game

In what was quite a lackluster game Thursday night, the Packers fell to the Ravens 26-13 in week two of their 2019 preseason campaign.

Earlier this week, head coach Matt LaFleur shared that he planned to play the Packers’ starters for “a quarter or so”, so many were surprised when it was announced shortly before kickoff that quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be sitting this one out.

The Packers announced this decision via Twitter about 45 mins before the game and stated that the move was simply “precautionary” due to some back tightness.

14 other Packers were scratched in week two as well, including running back Aaron Jones, cornerback Kevin King, and wide receiver Trevor Davis to name a few.

Things started off slow in this one, with Baltimore taking a 3-0 lead, but that quickly changed when Ravens’ starting quarterback Lamar Jackson did what he is known best for: shifting around the entire Packers’ defense, making guys miss, and running it in for a touchdown. As impressive as the run was, it was called back due to a flag on the play, where the Ravens then had to settle for a field goal to go up 6-0.

Quarterback DiShone Kizer got the start for the second week in a row for the Packers, and he found wide receivers Jake Kumerow and Geronimo Allison several times for some nice receptions before being replaced by Tim Boyle early on into the second quarter. However, just as we saw last week, there were still moments of inconsistency. Kizer finished the night 5/10 for 70 yards, according to ESPN stats, after about a quarter or so of play.

In the second quarter, Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby responded with a 43-yard field goal to cut the Ravens lead to 3.  With that, the Packers second and third string defense started to come in and the tackling problems that were evident last week, only returned. From there, the Ravens took a 13-3 lead. However, linebacker Curtis Bolton was able to snag a late interception, after the ball was tipped up by cornerback Tony Brown, leading to another Mason Crosby field goal, leaving the Ravens with a 13-6 lead heading into the half.

After winning the toss and deferring in the first half, the Packers had a great opportunity to get back in the game on the first drive of the third quarter, but Boyle fumbled a handoff to running back Dexter Williams on the second play of the half that was recovered by the Ravens on the 6-yard line, eventually resulting in a touchdown, putting the Ravens up 20-6.

From there, Boyle found undrafted free agent Allen Lazard for a couple nice catches into Baltimore territory, eventually leading to a touchdown for the second week in a row for wide receiver Darrius Shepard. Boyle finished the night 12/21 for 107 yards and a touchdown before being replaced by rookie Manny Wilkins towards the end of the game.

With a pair for Raven’s field goals to close the game out, there was once again moments to remember and moments to forget for the Packers in week two of preseason.

Let’s take a closer look.

What we learned: Tackling is still a problem

It was a problem last week and it was a problem again this week for the Packers. Obviously, this is not something that can be fixed overnight, but it was something I was surely hoping would look a little cleaner than it did last week.

There was missed tackle after missed tackle and unfortunately linebacker Ty Summers was center stage for a lot of them. After a strong first half in last week’s game against the Texans, it was a quite a rough performance for him Thursday night.

What went right: The wide receiver group

Heading into this season, the wide receiver group in Green Bay is more competitive right now than I have seen in years.

Besides the obvious talent that is Davante Adams, as well as the potential in second year receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown, the wide receiver room is full of great guys right now for the Packers.

Geronimo Allison also returns to the mix after missing the majority of last season after a hot start for the Packers. He had a nice showing with 2 catches for 29 yards Thursday, according to ESPN stats, and looked really clean at the slot position for the Packers.

Then, you have Jake Kumerow, who has pretty much solidified himself a spot on the Packers’ final roster after his performance in camp and the last two preseason games. Kumerow had three receptions for three first downs Thursday against the Ravens and he finished with a total of 52 yards on the night, according to ESPN stats. He accumulated 36 of his 52 yards on back to back catches as well.

However, the talent does not stop there.

Allen Lazard and Darrius Shepard also have showed up this preseason. As I mentioned before, Lazard had 3 strong receptions for 63 yards, and he led the team in recieving Thursday, while Shepard picked up his second touchdown in two weeks, according to ESPN stats.

The competition in this group is heating up and whatever cuts LaFleur decides to make will ultimately be tough ones.  

What they can fix: The run, on both sides

Last week running back Dexter Williams showed a lot of promise for this season, but he struggled to make plays Thursday night against the Ravens. According to ESPN stats, he only rushed for 5 yards off of 3 carries. As a whole, the team only rushed for 55 yards, which is obviously not ideal. This is not something that should be super concerning once Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams get back in the mix, but it is certainly something to note.

On the defensive side of things, stopping the run was an issue for the Packers Thursday night as well. The several missed tackles that I mentioned above allowed plays that could have been 1-2-yard gains turn into 8-10-yard gains and several first down for the Ravens. For the defense, overall it was not the best night.

Who stood out: Jake Kumerow (again), Curtis Bolton, Allen Lazard, Darrius Shepard, Za'Darius Smith

As I touched on before, Jake Kumerow is only further solidifying himself a spot on the final roster this preseason. Time and time again he is making the catches he needs to and gaining serious yardage as well. He did drop a pass Thursday night, but the positives easily outweigh that one mishap for Kumerow. He is going to be a weapon this fall. Count it. 

Linebacker Curtis Bolton got the start next to Blake Martinez tonight, as many have reported seeing in practice recently, and he did not disappoint. He had the interception in the second quarter that lead to a field goal for the Packers and he led the team in tackles with 6, 3 of which were solo, according to ESPN stats.

Allen Lazard and Darrius Shepard, as I again touched on before, both really looked good Thursday night too. They have consistently been able to step up when their number has been called.

The hype surrounding outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith has been real this preseason, and even though it was quick, I absolutely see why after Thursday night’s game. When Smith was in the game, he was consistently disrupting the Raven’s offense. He nearly sacked Lamar Jackson early in the first half and was quite frustrated with himself after missing the opportunity. Any other quarterback and it was most likely a sack for the veteran linebacker. I could not be more excited about what is to come for him this season. 

 

Up next, the Green Bay Packers hit the road for a special preseason game in Canada against the Oakland Raiders. Kickoff is set for 8 PM EST.

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

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Comments (23)

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 15, 2019 at 11:02 pm

It was interesting to watch a team that knows how to play the Mike Pettine style.of defense. I just wish it was the Packers this time.

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GBPDAN1's picture

August 15, 2019 at 11:31 pm

What disappointed me the most was watching our starting Defense - line up in Base - and get run over. I was stoked about finally getting to see this new starting D in action and basically, they got manhandled up front. We had 3 down lineman- Clark, Adams and Lowry- flanked by both Smiths, Martinez in the middle, Savage and Amos at safety - and the Ravens ran the ball right up the gut. We weren't in nickle, we were in run stopping base D and got pushed.

I hope this was just a preseason thing. I hope this wasn't a "should have kept Daniels thing". We have to fix this, and I feel that it will get better, because it has to before we play run heavy teams.

Speaking of pushing the line of scrimmage in the run game, our starting Olinemen didn't seem to fare that well tonight in 2 series. Lafleur wants to run the ball, we need to block better. My guess is with Rodgers out, the Ravens didn't respect the pass as much and concentrated on stopping the run? Plus we were missing our top 2 RBs.

Would love to see a better performance against the Raiders next week in the run games (on both sides of the ball)

It's only preseason, maybe the players weren't giving maximum effort? The Ravens seemed to be, though

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JohnnyLogan's picture

August 16, 2019 at 12:09 am

We should have kept Daniels

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Christian Roussel's picture

August 16, 2019 at 07:35 am

Like Andy Herman said, if they needed 8-10 millions, cutting Daniels instead of Graham is...interesting. Now what's the long term effect of his foot injury, no one know. But it sure seems like if Adams, Lowry and Bolton are starters, we will get run over. Another year of asking QB1 to carry the team?

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Mojo's picture

August 15, 2019 at 11:22 pm

I could dwell on the piss poor handling of the run game on both sides of the ball, but that's been covered already.

What is still disappointing is the return units on kickoffs and the coverage team on punts. Is it possible to have a return without a hold or block in the back?

If I'm an opposing team I'd try to kick to just in front of the goal forcing GB to return it knowing they'll be a flag and they'll start inside their ten.

And what about the punt coverage team? Scott was getting five seconds of hang time but by the time the returner caught the ball there was still no coverage guys in the screen. The returner should have been splattered. Are our coverage guys that slow or bad getting off blocks?

At least our kickers did well. The rest of ST's stunk. Maybe it wasn't Zook.

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Adorabelle's picture

August 15, 2019 at 11:48 pm

The start of the third quarter was painful. A failure on all three units.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

August 16, 2019 at 12:10 am

Has Rashan Gary made a tackle yet?

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trailmarker6's picture

August 16, 2019 at 01:13 am

No.

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Lphill's picture

August 16, 2019 at 05:37 am

A lot of new and questionable Packers fans here , so some are crying about the Packers running game yet Jones , Williams and Vitale did not play , very interesting. I don’t care if the Packers don’t win any pre season games just as long as there are no injuries.

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Nick Perry's picture

August 16, 2019 at 06:10 am

^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^

No Jones, Vitale, or Williams. NO Aaron Rodgers at all or Davante Adams after the first series. Like Lphill the Packers can go 0-4 in the preseason (or 1-3 since they won the 1st game)...WHO CARES. Just PLEASE no injuries.

BUT...I am disappointed a bit Rodgers didn't play. IMO he NEEDS the work. I don't care if he's one of the best. As we know he was "Off" a bit last season so in a new offense, working under center much more, and two pretty good defenses in weeks one and two, it's too bad he wasn't on the field last night.

That basically leaves next week for Rodgers to get ANY work in the preseason since starters don't even dress for the 4th preseason game. Lets just hope one preseason game and the rest of TC will get him ready for week one.

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sbransbottom's picture

August 16, 2019 at 10:06 am

I agree. We didn't have 22 starters playing tonight. Also, please remember everyone THE 2008 LIONS WENT 4-0 IN THE PRESEASON AND TURNED AROUND AND LOST EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. IN THE REGULAR SEASON. 0-16...preseason record doesn't matter.

EDITED to change team from dolphins to lions....my bad

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nostradanus's picture

August 16, 2019 at 07:00 am

Same old bumbling Packers

Missed tackles, pathetic offensive line, pathetic run game, horrible back up QB’s

The Packers need a culture change and MLF isn’t getting the message through

Preseason or not this looks exactly like the McCarthy Packers

The Ravens looked like a tough NFL playoff team, the Packers looked like a bunch of NFL scrubs destined for another 6 win season

Bring on the NFL draft 2020

Ok maybe a bit of an overreaction but really why even show up in Baltimore if you are going to put that s””t on the field

That is all...

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Spud Rapids's picture

August 16, 2019 at 08:07 am

bit of an overreaction? LaFleur hasn't even coached a regular season game and you wrote him off.... put your emotions away

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tincada's picture

August 17, 2019 at 11:19 am

"pathetic run game". What run game? I saw all of maybe two passable attempts at a run

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murf7777's picture

August 16, 2019 at 07:09 am

I’m hoping for a top ten D, WTH is going on out there? I know it’s pre season but I can’t help from thinking this looks like last year’s D. We HAVE to learn to stop the run. Different players similar results so far. Come on Pettine you can do better.

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bwoolfolk's picture

August 16, 2019 at 04:25 pm

The old man would have yelled that a lot.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 16, 2019 at 09:49 am

It is pre-season and if anyone has noticed the Pack has an unusual number of young players with some potential upside. I am not overly discouraged at all thru game 2 because I think in addition to implementing a new offensive scheme the Packers are mainly focused on evaluating which players should make the 53. IMO, this is what the team needs to do.

Believe we will see a different product on the field in game three. The team has over three weeks yet till the Bears.

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tincada's picture

August 17, 2019 at 11:17 am

Keep swallowing the kool aide. The Bears played last night without any, ANY, starters. So your point is?

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PackfanNY's picture

August 16, 2019 at 10:20 am

Overreaction Monday gets moved to overreaction Friday’s during the preseason. Who knew?

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 16, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Do other NFL teams practice with no live hitting?

MM was famous for his patty cake practices and it seems ML is of the same view.

You can’t excel at skills if you don’t practice them. And 2 preseason games in....the Packers have been lousy blockers and tacklers. The front lines are not very physical.

I had hoped both the DL and OL would be team strengths. Not seeing it yet. Cannot run the ball or stop it.

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kevingmccarthy's picture

August 16, 2019 at 01:19 pm

Preseason games are for evaluating players and installing our new system. No. you can't show anything new until the regular season. Preseason games are for evaluating players and giving the starters some work. No, you can"t play the starters because they might get hurt. Preseason games are for evaluating players. No, you can"t evaluate players because they are not playing against other teams starters. Preseason games are for.....?

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bwoolfolk's picture

August 16, 2019 at 04:23 pm

I can only hope that this is not a sign of things to come. If Rodgers goes down we will lose all the remaining games. Hope that doesn't happen a rough night all around hard to watch.

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tincada's picture

August 17, 2019 at 11:14 am

What I loved about this game was the awesome running game on display, LMAO

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