Packers Vs. Broncos: First Impressions

My immediate thoughts on the Packers - Broncos exhibition game.

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Kyle Murphy starting the game at right tackle is less than ideal, but against a Denver defense that is, well, really good, it's a very good test for him.

It's preseason, sure, but that won't ever stop Aaron Rodgers from calling a timeout if he doesn't like what the defense is giving him. Especially on fourth-and-1, but the Packers will punt.

Clay Matthews was knocked around like a rag doll on the Packers' first defensive possession.

As mistake-prone as Trevor Davis is at times, there's no denying that he's the Packers' best return man by a mile.

Jason Spriggs is in at right tackle after a quick first go-around for Murphy.

Ty Montgomery runs hard. Really hard.

Spriggs held up well against Von Miller once, but Miller got the best of him and sacked Rodgers. That was inevitable.

Back on defense, the Packers' pass rush has been very potent so far tonight. I mean, we're halfway into the first quarter, but still.

Kentrell Brice needed to work on his coverage ability this offseason in his second year. A little high of a throw from Trevor Seme--I mean Semian, whatever his name is, but great interception from Brice.

The Packers really can't afford another injury to their pass-rushing unit. Nick Perry was slow to get up after the last play.

Damarious Randall quietly having a very good game tonight.

You want someone to survive after cut-down day? Reggie Gilbert's your guy. He's getting reps ahead of Jayrone Elliott tonight.

Packers' run defense has been superb coming into tonight. They've given up 6.81 yards per carry so far with eight minutes left in the second quarter.

Aaron Jones had a great rep in pass-protection on the Packers' third down attempt just before the two-minute warning. Not too shabby from the presumed third-string running back.

Behind a poor offensive line consisting of backups, Brett Hundley's had himself a night. 8/10 for 83 yards at the half.

Another comment about Gilbert, he just recorded his second sack in the last two games. 

Also, Marwin Evans can certainly be argued as the Packers' best defender this preseason. He's been out of his mind.

Lenzy Pipkins has also been in the running as a dark horse to make the Packers' 53-man roster. Just gave up a long touchdown and got called for DPI in the process. That's... probably not going to help his chances.

Jones, Jones, Jones. Aaron Jones is running hard tonight. He's the Packers' leading rusher with over 12 minutes left in the game, six carries for 46 yards.

Whatever happens with Brett Hundley, whether he stays in Green Bay or he's shopped down the line, these preseason games are so important for him. Could be a major reason why he's playing into the fourth quarter tonight.

Pretty sure the Packers' run defense has stuffed the Broncos on third-and-short situations (and fourth-and-short) three times tonight. Yet again, I could be wrong: it could be more.

If the Packers need pass rush this season - which, they do - Josh Jones is one facet of their defense they can get it from. He's been flying tonight.

Packers are running thin on the offensive line. On top of what has been a poor performance from that group tonight, Lucas Patrick is now being evaluated for a concussion. Oofa.

Oh, there's Marwin Evans again. No big deal.

Brett Hundley started inside the Packers' own 10-yard line and he's engineering a drive. He had 1:41 left in the game, down by three.

You can guarantee other teams are going to be using film of this drive as homework on Hundley in the future. 15 seconds left, third-and-10 at their own 46.

Shelby Harris ends the game, sacking Hundley. You can talk about how bad the offensive line has been tonight, but seriously, it's been bad. Not even because it's been the backups, the depth has just been horrid.

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (24)

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EdsLaces's picture

August 27, 2017 at 08:35 am

What's my name Josh Jones...who? Josh Jones!

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Gman1976's picture

August 27, 2017 at 10:10 am

Thanks for the great reporting Al, but can I presume you meant 0.81 yards when you said, "Packers' run defense has been superb coming into tonight. They've given up 6.81 yards per carry so far...."? Also concerning Trevor Davis, I thought again and again last year that he was our best return man, but he couldn't get on the field for whatever reason. Go Pack Go!!!

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

August 27, 2017 at 02:07 pm

This was me, Gman. Al's having me handle First Impressions this year.
And, no, that sentence was more of a bleak reminder of how poor the run defense was up to that point in the game. It's been great through the first two games, but last night, to that point, they were giving up an average of 6.81 YP/C.

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GBPDAN1's picture

August 27, 2017 at 10:39 am

Well, I know that I'll get thumbs downs for this, but, I feel that TT has left this team very vulnerable. I've had this opinion for awhile. As a causal fan sitting on my couch I could see that TT left this team weak at backup OL and OLB. As Packers fans we all know to well that injuries will happen. TT should know this too. Is any one surprised that Bulaga and Perry are hurt?

I know that in a cap controlled league a team is not going to have a lot of starting depth at back up positions. However, it's a GMs job to at least have some ADEQUATE players available, especially at a position of protecting the Franchise ( Rodgers). TT better do something about correcting his short comings regarding this mess at back up OL. I would like to see the Packers and Rodgers win another SB, and lately, Im not sure that will happen with TT in charge. I do think TT has done a lot of good things for this team, I just feel he comes up short when he doesn't have to sometimes. I also hope losing Lang doesn't effect the run game as much as it has looked in the preseason

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Finwiz's picture

August 27, 2017 at 10:58 am

I disagree GBPDAN - they have drafted enough talent, it's time to start calling the coaches what they are - particularly the position coaches. Journeyman, average coaches that don't know how to teach basic fundamentals.
Spriggs isn't being coached properly - clearly. This guy was a 2nd round pick, and looks like a total bust because it seems he isn't being coached at all, and if he is, he's being given NO individual instruction about how to pass pro. You couldn't possibly be a 2nd round pick and look that bad, unless your getting NO coaching at all.

So I'm sick of everyone talking about TT providing no talent. You can't go 6-7 years with NO talent before you start realizing it's the coaching that stinks from a defensive point of view. And this all starts with Dom Capers. Who hires the defensive position coaches, McCarthy or Capers? Probably Capers, so he's as bad at evaluating coaching talent as he is at devising defensive schemes.

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GBPDAN1's picture

August 27, 2017 at 01:53 pm

I agree, FInWiz, with regard to some of Capers D coaching procedures. But as far as OL coaching, I thought Campen was supposed to be a good coach? Also, I didn't say TT didn't provide the team with talent. I said that he's done good things, but has been coming up short at filling some needs to bring home the Lombardi trophy

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lou's picture

August 27, 2017 at 08:39 pm

Finwiz has a good point, how many times did we hear Rich Gannon talk about how poorly Sprigg's "set" was at the snap which sounds alarms, it appears that his basic techniques are lacking and we are not just talking about him being overpowered or to the other extreme cannot handle speed rushers. Coaches start with basic principles/leverage and technique, the question is , is Campen delivering this to Sprigg's or once the bell sounds to speak he over reacts. Which ever it is it needs to be addressed. ASAP. Campen has had a good history of taking 3rd-5th round picks and FA's and making them solid O-Lineman.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 27, 2017 at 01:19 pm

OK, maybe I will get hammered for this, but...

I have never had any faith in James Campen as an OL coach.

I have disliked what he has "done" with the OL given him.

That said, I do think TT has had a good track record of finding pretty serviceable OL later in the draft.

It certainly does seem that Campen cannot get good players to be great, while I just don't buy that he is the reason marginal players have elevated to serviceable. I think that is their innate desire to play football in the NFL.

If Campen was a good coach and got everything out of the players given him there wouldn't be soooo many Packer OL castoffs making a living on other NFL teams.

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dobber's picture

August 27, 2017 at 08:51 pm

"It certainly does seem that Campen cannot get good players to be great,"

Depends on what your definition of "great" is. Certainly Sitton and Lang were very good (all-pro caliber) guards. Bakhtiari is on the cusp of that at LT. Bulaga is a good RT. If you're asking for him to be churning out HOF-level OL, that's asking a lot of any coach.

"If Campen was a good coach and got everything out of the players given him there wouldn't be soooo many Packer OL castoffs making a living on other NFL teams."

You want Marshall Newhouse and Allen Barbre back? The cap says you can't keep everyone. The converse of your statement would be that Campen has made these guys look just good enough that Tretter and Lang are going to turn into valuable comp picks.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 28, 2017 at 04:11 am

Give me a break. Pretty serviceable OL indeed. Bakh, Sitton, Linsley, Lang, Tretter are all above average starting OL, some of whom were nearly elite, and they were 4th and 5th rounders. Taylor was an UDFA. When the premise seems to me to be untenable, the opinion expressed after it seems likely to be lacking in value.

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rdent's picture

August 28, 2017 at 03:00 pm

I don"t know about anyone else but a couple seasons ago if I recall correctly,Lane Taylor sure didn't look like starting material in spot duty but seems to be doing o.k. these days. takes time to develop some players, problem is Spriggs hasn't made the progress they hoped and TT may have to hit the waiver wire.

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Finwiz's picture

August 28, 2017 at 03:07 pm

Go ahead and rip on JohnnyBloods point, but then how do you explain what's happening with Spriggs? That's the issue, not the guys that were coached up and gone. The guy was a 2nd round pick that we traded up to get, so SOMEBODY thought he was fairly technically proficient at Indiana. I wonder who that was? He looks like he has no idea how to react at the snap, and looks like he's playing on roller skates. Nobody could be that slow at reacting unless he's being taught something incorrectly. I looked at his reaction on the bench, and he looked down. I think he's got a total breakdown in confidence right now, and they are in BIG trouble if this guy has to play in week one.

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4thand1's picture

August 27, 2017 at 11:11 am

To say the o-line was bad is a compliment.

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MarkAlan's picture

August 27, 2017 at 12:25 pm

I think they better use some depth at receiver to add some depth on the offensive line

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Johnblood27's picture

August 27, 2017 at 01:20 pm

It is almost impossible to trade a good little player for a good big player.

As Ron Wolf said, the good lord only made so many guys that big and athletic.

...or something like that.

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

August 27, 2017 at 02:10 pm

It's starting to look that way. Entering the season with 7/8 receivers is looking less and less likely by the week.

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4zone's picture

August 27, 2017 at 03:58 pm

Randall's game stood out to me. Seemed like he was targeted the majority of the time and was tight on almost every play. Much improved. Hope he can do it all season.

We have a good group of RB prospects this year. The OL has never been a run oriented group so our struggles there I think fall a great deal on them. But we certainly upgraded the stable this year at RB.

Wonder if Hill will get significant time next week. MM has got to see more of him I expect. Callahan is pretty much a goner. Had hoped he would step up but it hasn't been the case. I think we may carry three thos year and possibly try a late season trade of Huntley after attrition wipe out another team or like the Jags do a face plant. I think Hill may be our long term #2 until it's time to draft AR's replacement.

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Bedrock's picture

August 27, 2017 at 08:50 pm

Given the lack of age differences between the 3 and 4 QBs, it comes down to upside. Does Hill have more than Callahan? I tend to think so.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 28, 2017 at 04:14 am

Callahan is 24. Hill is 27. Seems like a difference to me. I agree though that I'd keep Hill over Callahan at this point.

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Wiscokid's picture

August 27, 2017 at 06:32 pm

R-E-L-A-X this only a pre-season game. You also might want to lay off TT a bit. Eight straight playoff appearances means you pick at the bottom of each round for eight straight years. Pretty unreasonable to expect to be loading up with blue chip talent at every position. I still like our chances this year.

Go Pack Go!

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Point-Packer's picture

August 27, 2017 at 09:09 pm

Perhaps the Pack should have used a roster spot to develop another O-lineman as opposed to trotting out the "versatile" Don Barclay every year. When he's not injured he's awful. And yet, he's on the team year after year. Seriously.

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dobber's picture

August 28, 2017 at 10:15 am

That's Jeff Query, I think, from back in the late 80s sporting that nifty mullet. He went to my wife's alma mater, D-III MIllikin University.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 28, 2017 at 09:27 am

1. "As mistake-prone as Trevor Davis is at times, there's no denying that he's the Packers' best return man by a mile."

2. "You want someone to survive after cut-down day? Reggie Gilbert's your guy. He's getting reps ahead of Jayrone Elliott tonight."

3. [Behind a poor offensive line consisting of backups,] "Brett Hundley's had himself a night. 8/10 for 83 yards at the half."

I deny all 3 points above. Davis is the most exciting PR, not necessarily the best. I would cut Gilbert whether we sign Brooks or not. I thought Hundley did not improve his stock much at all. [Edit: I thought Denver's #3 QB looked pretty intriguing - Stoka or something.]

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dobber's picture

August 28, 2017 at 10:18 am

I certainly agree on Davis. I worry about his consistency catching the ball on returns. If he can't be counted on to secure the ball, he doesn't have much of a leg up over the rest of the WR group. The fact that he caught pretty much everything thrown his way as a WR against Denver was something he needed.

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