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Packers vs. Eagles: Who Stood Out?

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Packers vs. Eagles: Who Stood Out?

The Green Bay Packers picked up a preseason win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.  They also and finally got a look at some of their new and young players in game action.  The team played with what appeared to be a good energy and had several highlights on the night.  It's a bit too early for game balls and lame calls but here's a look at some of those who stood out in preseason week one.

Trevor Davis

Davis has been taking most of the punt return reps since training camp started.  After last season when Davis struggled to work into the rotation at wide receiver, special teams and returner seem to be Davis's immediate ticket onto the roster.  

On his first return of the night, Davis punched a rather large hole into that ticket.  He made a nice move to the outside and scampered 68 yards for the score to put the Packers on the board and give them the lead.  Davis has great speed but it was his vision (and some nice blocking) that helped make this play happen.

If Davis can get the ball in his hands with room to work, this could become something that we see again this season.  These are the types of things that will also get Davis some looks at receiver, where his speed has helped him make some nice plays during camp.

Kevin King

King saw his first game action as a Packer and endured some obvious growing pains but made a big impression with a huge tackle near the end of the first half.  It was an open field tackle and to see a Packers corner lower his head and lay the wood was a welcome sight.  

King's quick learning and ability to contribute right away could become even more important with Damarious Randall having suffered a concussion in this game.  No immediate word on how long Randall may be out.

LaDarius Gunter

Gunter had to step in last season when Sam Shields went down and with injuries to Randall and Quinten Rollins.  Not an ideal situation for an undrafted rookie who doesn't have any flashy attributes.  The one thing that did stand out was how Gunter didn't have any turnovers last year.  He reversed that trend right away with a recovered fumble in the first half.

Gunter is likely going to see time early in the season while the Packers bring King along slowly.  If he can make an impact like he did in this game, he makes the secondary a very deep group for this Green Bay team.

Jeff Janis

The man, the myth, the legend.  A really nice route and catch on a 20-yard strike from Brett Hundley.  Janis has always been criticized for his poor route running but on this particular play, he was spot on.  Add in what the Packers know that he can do on special teams and these are the types of moments that will get him another year on this team.

Ty Montgomery

Three carries, no yards rushing.  Not a big deal as starters didn't play much.  But Montgomery had a fumble and regardless of how meaningless preseason games are, those are always eye sores.  Fullback Aaron Ripkowski fumbled during Family Night so the backs seemingly need to continue working on securing the football over the next few weeks.  Better now than in the real games, but not a habit that can continue.

Other notes:

  • Damarious Randall left the game early with a concussion.  Let's hope we're not dealing with another tough head injury to a cornerback.  With all that we are learning about head injuries in the NFL, this is concerning
  • Later in the game, rookie receiver Malachi Dupre was rocked by a hit and was taken off the field on a stretcher.  This is the type of thing that will quickly end a season.  The defender lowered his head and wasn't seeing what he hit.  Borderline as to whether it should have been flagged.  Another a reminder that no matter how safe they try to make football, it's a physical and sometimes dangerous game
  • Don Barclay suffered a leg injury which could become important for the depth of the offensive line
  • Brett Hundley had an up and down night, throwing one touchdown and one interception.  Hundley didn't get a chance to play last preseason so these snaps are valuable to get him ready for the season and to showcase what he has for potential suitors who may be interested in his services
  • Justin Vogel averaged just under 42 yards punting and had four land inside the 20.  Not a bad start by the rookie 
  • Martellus Bennett had one catch for 13 yards before leaving and limping off a bit.  Hopefully nothing serious and just the first of many big grabs for the Black Unicorn
  • Rookie Josh Jones did what you expect of a young player: some good plays, some not so great.  Jones took a bad angle on a scoring drive in the third quarter by the Eagles. That came against second and third teamers.  For a guy who's expected to contribute early on, hopefully he becomes a quick study
  • Devante Mays looked shifty the one time he touched the ball, which was a swing pass out of the back field.  One touch doesn't tell us much but he was also seen back on punt return later on.  Mays is one of the more intriguing players because of his size.  Should be interesting to see his role develop
  • Joe Callahan, DeAngelo Yancey both with fumbles on back to back plays.  Bad!
  • Not a bad start to the preseason slate
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (65) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

EdsLaces's picture

From what u saw King looked quite awful . Obviously it's his first game but yeah..... Rollins got embarrassed.

The TKstinator's picture

Lance Kendricks looks like LeBron James, facially speaking.

mnklitzke's picture

His coverage wasn't the best but he had some of the best tackles of anyone on the team. After watching Matthews whiff in the backfield on that tackle was pleasant to see somebody wrap up and stuff a guy!

Nick Perry's picture

I only watched part of the first quarter and the whole 2nd quarter but from what I saw the O-Line needs a TON of work. I'd imagine O-Lines might come around slower than some positions but the Eagles pass rush was on Hundley in a second and Spriggs in particular was absolutely horrible. That #1 pick of the Eagles made him look like an UDFA rookie from some small division III school and he was a back-up there. In other words he's awful. I'm praying for the health of Bakhatieri and Bulaga above anything else this year. It was said Thompson moved up in last years draft in front of the Bears to select Spriggs. IMO they should have let then have him. It's only the first preseason game I get that, but that dude took him to school on every play it seemed.

RCPackerFan's picture

While i agree that Spriggs didn't look good. I will say lets just wait and see before we overreact to much. It was the first preseason game. A lot of players didn't look very good.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The OL didn't look better in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Zero push by the OL on run plays. I remember yelling that you're supposed to fire out on run plays, not get pushed back. Pass pro (other than by my draft crush Spriggs) wasn't so bad. RC is right that it's the first preseason game. Lots of ups and downs. Still, some guys played well:

Marwin Evans: both on STs and as a safety.
Tripp on STs and looks ok on D - at least interesting.
Hawkins: Pretty solid with a hiccup once or so.
Interior Pressure DL: Lowry and Clark, but RJF too.
Price looked interesting. Probably Ringo - just didn't notice.
Pipkens and Pringle had some plays. Brown was ok.
Fackrell set a nice edge on one play. Someone didn't later.
Elliott also had some plays, including against the run.
Mays showed the agility on tape from college is NFL level.
J. Williams is quicker than I thought.
Kerridge did some good things - he is making the sale for me.
Max and Clark look intriguing. Bummed Max didn't get a PR.
Other WRs all had moments.

marpag1's picture

I thought Hawkins was awful. Seems like he gave up at least five virtually uncontested 7 or 8 yarders ... like he wasn't really even playing defense. He also whiffed badly on the tackle for one of those, and it turned into a much bigger play. Granted he didn't get burned deep, but pitch and catch for 7 yards a crack will always get you beat.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Others have disagreed with my assessment of Hawkins. I did not DVR the game so I can't watch it again. Your disagreement (and that of others, is duly noted). I am open to the notion that I was mistaken.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

Spriggs with cement feet again, just like we saw in Dallas when he whiffed a block causing Montgomery to lose a bunch of yards.

Marty B also passed on blocking Brandon Graham early in the game, which led to a loss.

Hated to see Dupre lit up. He looked good.
Hope he's okay & bounces back .

RCPackerFan's picture

I was liking what I saw from Dupre until that nasty shot he took.
I saw he posted on twitter that he is ok. How ok though is the question.

Nick Perry's picture

So it wasn't just me right? Barnett bull rushed him and then he went around him on the next play with little effort it seemed. And this is a guy who moved SO well at the combine, well at least in spandex he did. Maybe he could put the spandex back on under his pants and get a little of that movement back.

GVPacker's picture

Nick you reminded me of AJ Hawk's great combine performance. And we all know how that worked out!

caruso81's picture

And so begins the incessant "Jeff Janis is the savior of the Packers" drone. It's like sports tinnitus.

With all the WR talent on the roster, can we once and for all move on from our great national experiment? Yes, he caught that ball, but he also dropped a couple. Yes, he's good on special teams, but come on, he's not essential.

And while we're at it, #firesomebody!

RCPackerFan's picture

"And while we're at it, #firesomebody!"

I hope you never become my boss.

zekester's picture

All the way with JEFFY JAY !!

Finwiz's picture

Janis made the team, so get over it!
Yeah he dropped a ball, so has drop-Vonte, Cobb and even Jordy.

Vorps's picture

Jordy wasn't suited up.

Finwiz's picture

No kidding dorkus....
in the past, obviously.

Spud Rapids's picture

Jeff "alligator arms" Janis... He just can't catch without using his body which limits his catch radius. The drop on the 3rd down was a great example and I think was a bigger sticking point than the TD. The physical tools are there and his route running has improved but the shear ability of other guys to go get the ball e.g. Clark, Yancey, Dupre, McCaffrey will ultimately end up costing Janis his roster spot. Here is the order of the depth chart in my opinion as of today and based off of last night, the bottom 5 being almost interchangeable beside Janis.

1. Nelson
2. Adams
3. Cobb
4. Davis
5. Allison
6. Janis
7. Yancey
8. McCaffrey
9. Clark
10. Dupre

MarkinMadison's picture

Hit him in the freaking hands.

Yooper's picture

Trying to recall if your right and I doooooon't think so - Pretty sure Janis used his hands more than once on some really big catches - and some really great special teams work - Ohhhhh but then again - If YOU say so

Yooper's picture

Or maybe you just don't like when a Packer Receiver scores a touchdown - Ouch!!

Spud Rapids's picture

Yeah the dude made a great play 2 years ago great. Look I've seen multiple people on here spread love for Janis but let's just admit what he is... a really good gunner. If they find someone who can contribute both as a gunner and at their regular position he becomes expendable really fast.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I've got:

1. Nelson
2. Adams
3. Davis
4. McCaffrey
5. Cobb
6. Janis
7. Allison
8. Yancey and Clark tied

Dupre is injured, or I'd have him tied with Janis.

Honestly, Cobb's injuries seem to have limited his burst. He really struggles to create separation without the QB buying lots of extra time.

Spud Rapids's picture

I think you underestimate Cobb but outside that it's hard to argue

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Hey, I like Cobb, and I hope he proves me wrong. Until then, however, he is a very expensive player in a deep receiving corps.

dobber's picture

I have a hard time getting bent out of shape over a series of replacement level players (and below-replacement) at the bottom of the WR depth chart, many of which don't contribute anything to ST.

Fight it out.

Let the player who makes the team better on game day win a spot on the 53.

Let the players who could make the team better in 2018 or 2019 earn a spot on the PS.

RCPackerFan's picture

Overall I liked what I saw. This is the first preseason game so there are mistakes to be expected.

It seems one position is all but locked up which then affects another position. Looks like we found our Punt returner! Which means we now have 4 locks at WR.

Speaking of punting, I thought Vogel looked really good! I appreciate that the announcers were giving us distance and hang times. That was nice.

Some other players that stood out to me were:

Kenny Clark. Look for him to be an absolute beast in year 2.

Jamaal Williams had some really nice looks. I thought he showed some really good vision. He looks very natural running the ball.
I would have liked to have seen more out of Jones and Mays. Neither got much for opportunities.

Reggie Gilbert seemed to be the only player on the 3rd team that could get any pressure. He is a guy to keep an eye on the rest of the preseason.

I liked what I was seeing from Lenzy Pipkins until he got hurt.

GBPDAN1's picture

Let's all get on our knees and pray to the football gods that not one of our starting O-lineman gets hurt all year. The back ups couldn't run block or pass block. It's very bad when a team is in a situation that losing a player like Barclay is problematic!

Nick Perry's picture


egbertsouse's picture

Borderline? It was effin' dirty. And then the punk ass lays another cheap shot about 5 plays later right in front of the official who does nothing. They should have run a play and done a crack back on the a-hole if the refs aren't going to police this crap.

Don Hutson's picture

our third string linemen may be better than second string.

marpag1's picture

Given the way that the NFL is emphasizing player safety, I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been flagged, but I didn't think it was dirty. You stick your shoulder into the runner's chest, and your head has to be higher than your shoulder. Pretty tough to do that without having your helmet up near his facemask. I'm fine with the no call. Besides, Dupre was a runner at that point, and not a "defenseless receiver," so the helmet to helmet doesn't really apply. I think the real problem was that rook was so excited to make a catch in an NFL game that he forgot safeties exist. Gotta protect yourself, man...

Now, the unflagged hit out of bounds a few plays later was a punk move, I thought.

Finwiz's picture

Starting corners looked awful.
Here we see bad tackling, including Burnett trying to shoulder tackle rather than WRAPPING UP by the ankles like they USED TO DO quite effectively, back in the day.
Gave up a 1st down.
Of course we saw little Demarius Randle writhing on the ground as usual. Yawn - what's new. Another china doll to add to the arsenal.
Janis made the team.
Davis makes the team.
Hundley's the backup.
Reggie Gilbert showed some ability on D, but he was playing against 3rd stringers.
Taysom Hill is going to push last years 3rd string guy for roster spot.
Offensive line can't run block to save their lives.
Montgomery putting the ball on the ground is not a good thing. Wrap up dude - two hands.
King made a good tackle, but looked awful with the angle he took on the early TD.
89 probably makes the practice squad, and Yancey might push for a roster spot too.
Yancey shows big play ability.
Cobb may have to worry a bit with that salary.
Overall, I was underwhelmed by the starting defense, but I expected this. Not impressed with the starting offense either, but we won't know until Rodgers plays, hopefully more than 1/2 of one game.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

This may be a perfect summation of the game.

WKUPackFan's picture

Perfect if you like the summation of a curmudgeonly idiot.

"Wrap up like they used to effectively back in the day". What year was that day in, 1950? He wouldn't know what "wrapping up a tackle" was if someone was twisting his legs to the ground.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Actually, he said both good and bad, and I saw lots of accurate assessments in his post. You focused in on one comment and claimed he didn't know what he was talking about.

WKUPackFan's picture

No, I chose one example from a comment that included such brilliant analysis as describing a player as a "China doll". I'd break down the rest of the "perfect summation", but most intelligent fans can do that for themselves.

You're also defending someone who used the analytical word "dorkus" above. Yeah, ol' Fin is a real brain child.

WKUPackFan's picture

Honestly, it's low life scum like Finwiz that drove me away from commenting on CHTV for several months. It became impossible to put up with "critics" who simply want to complain about everything, while hurling idiotic insults at the players, coaches, and front office. And these "critics" always end up being the individuals who know nothing about football, and especially nothing about how the pro game is played. All they can contribute is such cogent analysis as "Lacy is fat", "MM and TT are azzhats", blah, blah, blah.

It's a shame, because I miss interacting with great fans like tgr, dobber, RC, zeke, Mark in Madison, etc. But I feel like these good folks aren't interested in reading the rebuttals that mouth breathers like Finwiz deserve.

mrtundra's picture

Max McCaffrey stood out, as well. He made some nice catches.

RCPackerFan's picture

He is a guy to watch. I didn't see anything that really stood out that much with him, but he is a guy to watch for sure.
I want to see him return some more kicks and punts to see if he can be another guy to do that.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree, RC, but what did stand out to me about Max is that the QBs seemed to expect that he'd get open.

On your comment on Gilbert, I agree. He was unblocked twice, I think, and did what he should, even looked fairly quick in terms of closing speed. He did beat defenders (twice?), though they were back-ups. That they were back ups isn't his fault, that's when he's in the game. I'd definitely put a modest plus behind his name based on this game. [For contrast, big plusses went to Davis, Marwin.]

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Excellent addition, Tundra. McCaffrey, IMO, is our 4th best WR after Nelson, Adams, and Davis.

I've got Cobb at #5 and falling fast. His burst appears to have decreased with injuries.

MarkinMadison's picture

I thought King looked pretty good for a first outing in the NFL. Yeah, he made some mistakes, but I think they are correctable mistakes. Physically, he looks like he belongs.

Spriggs. Terrible. Bulaga has not put together a lot of injury free seasons. If Spriggs can't get it together there could be problems.

It looked to me like Gunter not only recovered the fumble, but created it as well. Loved it.

Finwiz's picture

I considered that Gunter play as nothing but "luck".
He laid a shoulder into the guy rather than wrap up on the tackle, the guy got by him, but he inadvertently hit the ball in the guys arms in the process of throwing his shoulder into him.
9 times of out 10, the guy bounces off a tackle like that and gets the 1st down.

MarkinMadison's picture

I looked at that play and saw there was more than one defender closing in, and assumed that Gunter understood this and intentionally went for the ball instead of the tackle. But that is a lot of mind reading on my part. I could be wrong.

dobber's picture

Some players make their own in point, Peanut Tillman. Whatever the case might be, he made the play. Isn't that what matters? If we're going to go back and reclassify every play as "lucky" or "skilled", we've just turned pro football into figure skating.

cuervo's picture

One thing I took away is that all the talk about Hundley being some great trade bait, he looked awful. The Eagles QB, McGloin looked 100 times better than aything Hundley did. For that matter Callahan looked a hell of a lot better as well.

I know it's one game, but he can't do worse than what he showed last night.

WKUPackFan's picture

Perhaps you were watching a different game. Hundley appeared to be calm and under control running the offense. The TD strike was laid in perfectly. INTs are going to happen in the first preseason game.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Hundley misread on the INT--bad play--but overall I thought he looked excellent.

I also think the Dolphins messed up not giving us a high pick to get him after Tannehill went down. They just flushed a year.

marpag1's picture

Agree that Hundley played decently - not great, but pretty OK. The INT was ugly.

I don't think Hundley is worth a high pick at this stage though. Besides, the Dolphins signed Cutler, and despite the fact that Cutty was such an awesome whipping boy in CHI, he still gives the Dolphins a much better chance than Hundley does, IMO.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Oh, I'd take Hundley over Cutler by a pretty wide margin.

The kid is growing up fast.

dobber's picture

Cutler's a one-year commitment--he played well under Gase a couple years ago--and they've still got Tannehill under contract long-term.

PETER MAIZ's picture

My intuition tells me Jeff Janis won't make the team, he'll be cut. Two passes went right through his hand.

John Galt III's picture

"went right through his hand..."

He has two, doesn't he?

MarkinMadison's picture

That's debatable.

dobber's picture

"went right through his hand..."

Maybe he'll follow the Eagles's long snapper onto America's Got Talent

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I only saw the one.

marpag1's picture

There's enough "real receiver" talent on the roster that I still think Janis' only shot is to be a ST stud. Otherwise, he' gone. Credit where credit is due, though, he did have a nice route and catch on the TD.

Grandfathered's picture

In last years preseason and again this game, Whitehead looked fast and fierce. He seems to always be close and contest the receiver. He's a long shot to make this team, but I bet he gets a look from other teams.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

He really looked good on that breakup.

marpag1's picture

Does anybody have a bead on how often the Packers blitzed or showed some other sort of unconventional pass rush? Seemed like they were bringing a DB off the corner virtually every down for a while. Kinda liked it....

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I have no numbers (McGinn used to supply those numbers, though I don't remember if he did it during preseason games). We blitzed up the middle quite a bit as well with ILBs out of Nitro and Sooner packages, and Brice came as well. I kind of liked that as well.

dobber's picture

I think we're going to see a lot of this all season long unless the front four stay healthy and are dynamic.

sonomaca's picture

Unlikely Cutler will last a whole season. Also unlikely he'll be very good. However, teams would rather have McCarron than Hundley.

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