Raiders Top Packers 22-21, But the Turf Field Wins the War

A Thursday night preseason game in Canada on a field that was missing 20 yards presented a unique challenge for the Packers  

Throughout the Packers’ 101 year history, the team has played in many tough environments, but a Thursday night game in Canada on a field that was missing 20 yards was surely one they had not faced before. 

The Green Bay Packers fell to the Oakland Raiders 22-21 in their third preseason game, where 33 players, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers, wide receiver Davante Adams, running back Aaron Jones, and cornerback Kevin King to name a few, were scrubbed from the start. Many Packers’ starters were expected to get some reps in this game, but due to the poor field conditions were kept off for what was most likely a precautionary measure. 

 

The turf field, which was “reportedly” inspected and approved by the NFL just yesterday, appeared to be ripped up in a few areas in each end zone. Since the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) goalposts are actually placed in the endzone, the patches that went on top to cover these holes after removing them and pushing them back to the NFL’s standards, appeared to be loose and moving. This raised concerns for many reasons, resulting in the game being played on an 80 yard field, with no kickoffs, where each team got the ball at the 25 yard line, AAF style. 

Quarterback Tim Boyle got the start Thursday for the Packers and started off very slow, but as the night went on seemed to get into a better rhythm. He finished the night 16/25 for 211 yards and 2 touchdowns before being replaced by DeShone Kizer according to ESPN stats. 

 

In what was maybe one of the strangest NFL games I have ever watched, there was however still some things we could takeaway. 

 

What we learned: Trevor Davis belongs on this roster 

He was one of the most talked about players this camp,and not for the best reasons, but wide receiver Trevor Davis had the preseason debut he needed to prove that he belongs on the Packers’ 53-man roster Thursday night. Davis, who has been a trusty return man for the Packers in the past, took a lot of heat during training camp about whether he should make the roster or not. Davis has had a tough time staying healthy as a returner and many fans debated on whether it was worth it to keep him on the roster because of it. 

He certainly silenced the haters Thursday, easily being the best guy on the Packers’ offense. He showed his value, outside of special teams, finishing with 5 receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown, according to ESPN stats. 

 

What went right: Sitting the starters 

As boring as preseason football can be without the Packers starters, it was absolutely the right decision to sit as many players as they did Thursday. There has been a lot of talk around whether Aaron Rodgers should make an appearance this preseason, but with the conditions being as poor as they were, keeping him out was the best call to make.

According to the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, head coach Matt LaFleur originally planned to play all of the starters Thursday before they saw just how poor the conditions were.  

“We certainly have played on much worse surfaces in our life, but it was just one of those deals where they weren’t playing their starters, and so we just decided to sit them,” LaFleur shared at the post game press conference. 

 

What went wrong: Injuries 

With the field being as much of a mess as it was, players on both teams were slipping left and right, and by the end of it all, a total of five different Packers with final roster potential suffered some tough injuries.

Equanimeous St. Brown (EQ) got the worst of it,being carted off after suffering a really brutal hit, where his ankle got caught underneath him and bent terribly. Regardless of what your opinion was on him making the final roster, you never want to see that happen to a player.

A lot of concern also surrounded the Packers’ first round draft pick in Rashan Gary who was also carted off, but his agency reported via Twitter that he is doing “well” with an unspecified injury. 

Offensive MVPs: Trevor Davis and Darrius Shepherd

As I mentioned before, Davis certainly made a statement with his performance, but he was not the only wide receiver who had a nice night. For the third straight game, Darrius Shepherd looked impressive. The undrafted free agent finished the night with 3 receptions for 40 yards, according to ESPN stats.

With St. Brown going down with what looked like a pretty serious injury and Shepherd continuing to play well, there is a great chance that he could end up on the Packers’ final roster. 

 

Defensive MVP: Montravious Adams 

Defensive lineman Montravious Adams was all over the place in the best way Thursday night. It seemed like he was always two steps ahead of everyone else on the field and it was super fun to watch. He finished the night with 3 total tackles, but his performance was really much more than that. 

Just before training camp, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had a lot of praise for Adams' imporvement this past offseason. 

“If I had to vote somebody or say who’s most improved from a year ago, it would be Montravius,” Pettine shared in an ESPN interview with Rob Demovsky. “There would be a couple other guys in the discussion. But it’s been pretty obvious with him.”

 

Up next, the Green Bay Packers wrap up their preseason campaign back home at Lambeau Field against the Kansas City Chiefs. 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 (25)

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kevgk's picture

August 22, 2019 at 11:29 pm

I think 4 of the 5 (redmond being the odd man out of course) either are or were going to make the 53. I wouldnt be surprised to see all of them stick around. I dont know the details of PUP, IR, or simply signing them to the 53, but those are quality depth pieces with good camps. Maybe they can stick 2 or 3 on IR and try to replace them, dig through some other depth pieces currently unsigned, or try to make some trades.
I hate to say it, but the offseason got a little more interesting. Prayers out for quick recovery to those injured, but its up to Gute to handle the situation and stock up on depth that took a blow

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Bure9620's picture

August 23, 2019 at 05:21 am

They can't be on regular season PUP if they did not start the PS on PUP

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2019 at 05:49 am

I could see Redmond being the back up FS.

I thought Sheldon again showed up late, not just on the interception of the two point try. Sullivan also has a good night.

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dobber's picture

August 23, 2019 at 09:08 am

I think they'll use TWill as the backup FS and that will allow them to carry an extra CB.

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Alberta Packer's picture

August 23, 2019 at 12:15 am

Another "What Went Wrong" - DeShon Kizer. No matter if he plays with the ones' twos' or threes' - it always the same result - poor performances (which is his most consistent trait). Let's go with 2 QBs for the season - Rodgers and Boyle and mercifully end the notion that Kizer is an NFL quarterback.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

August 23, 2019 at 03:27 am

Somehow we got a 6th rounder for Hundley, maybe we can get the same for Kizer. Boyle has looked much better so far despite what many analysts have written. His pocket presence is excellent, he looks off safeties, and delivers catchable balls. His upside is much higher than Kizer.

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Bure9620's picture

August 23, 2019 at 05:27 am

Kizer now has zero trade value as he has demonstrated zero development. That WAS his trade value, a young prospect with mobility and strong arm but needing development. If he has shown zero growth and development in year 3, his value as a developmental prospect is no longer.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2019 at 05:51 am

After getting zero protection on the first couple of drives they basically ran it till the final couple of minutes in the second half.

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wildbill's picture

August 23, 2019 at 04:36 pm

Maybe move Kizer to cornerback as he is pretty good at making sure a pass is not completed

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wildbill's picture

August 23, 2019 at 04:36 pm

Maybe move Kizer to cornerback as he is pretty good at making sure a pass is not completed

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Lphill's picture

August 23, 2019 at 05:38 am

According to John Gruden the field was fine it was the Packers complaining not the Raiders.

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Bure9620's picture

August 23, 2019 at 06:02 am

Oddly enough, It may have actually been better than that ridiculous dirt baseball Diamond they play on

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Mark Gaedtke's picture

August 23, 2019 at 07:55 am

The Raiders had the choice of where to play this game. They could have played the game in several different venues, including Lambeau. They chose Winnipeg, probably for monetary reasons. They weren't about to criticize their own choice.

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rstain99's picture

August 23, 2019 at 05:40 am

Ugly! whatever excitement I had coming in really has left the building. Tough season a head, I will continue to watch but defense really in need of some playmakers. Tackling is terrible no pressure to speak of. I am stuck here in NE listening to these fans, Pats are the best Brady the goat. Pats have easiest road to Super Bowl with the easiest schedule ho does that work?

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fthisJack's picture

August 23, 2019 at 07:41 am

they are in the worst division in football year after year so they get an automatic 6 wins. Dolphins, Jets, Bills who never make the playoffs.

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Nick Perry's picture

August 23, 2019 at 05:45 am

"We certainly have played on much worse surfaces in our life, but it was just one of those deals where they weren’t playing their starters, and so we just decided to sit them"

I'm sorry Matt but whether or not the Raiders played any of their starters should have had absolutely, positively, NOTHING to do with your decision sit the Packers starters. We also shouldn't need to bring up playing "worse surfaces" either IMO, not with the focus on player safety being what it has the last several years.

This is the NFL folks. The business that makes so much money "Field Conditions" should NEVER be an issue, ESPECIALLY if you are taking your product on the road to stadiums 99.9% of the time the players on either sideline have never set foot on.

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flackcatcher's picture

August 23, 2019 at 09:38 am

Hit the nail on head Nick. The players are the product. No matter how the league dresses this up, this was complete garbage from beginning to end. Thank goodness only a relative few were hurt last night. If the owners continue to treat their players like trash, then they will get what's coming to them in a contract year.

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Bure9620's picture

August 23, 2019 at 05:51 am

How would the Raiders playing or not playing starters affected his decision? The decision was due to the ridiculously unprofessional field not the Raiders. Preseason games have nothing to do with an opponent. It is basically a glorified practice with each team trying to achieve their own goals.

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Pierre's picture

August 23, 2019 at 07:37 am

Amazing how these authors refuse to acknowledge the stellar productive QB play of Tim Boyle but find ways to slight it. Citing Davis and Shepherd as standouts...but not the QB who got them the ball and engineered three TD drives in the 2nd quarter...the only scores the Packers would get the whole game.
Boyle deserves a lot more credit by the 113.9 QB rating he’s played to so far...regardless of competition...as he has no control over that. He’s making the most of his opportunity and is showing he’s a QB who can lead drives get the ball into the ball in end zone. He’s got the potential to be the future Packers QB with the skill set he displays out there.

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Bure9620's picture

August 23, 2019 at 08:04 am

I don't think they are "slighting" Boyle as you referenced, But simply the backup competition in general. Boyle should not be that far ahead if he had capable competition. You are correct he played well though, some good placement on deep passes, he overthrew a few throws, including to Shepard who made a great adjustment and catch. But pretty solid, quick release, he has likely won the backup job.

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flackcatcher's picture

August 23, 2019 at 09:48 am

Boyle has technique issues. Basically he falls apart under pressure and does not set his feet properly. While I have been told he has made major progress, the Packers may not feel he is were they want his play at the pro level. Just remember it took Rodgers three years to clean up his QB play and he was far more polished than Boyle and Kizner when he was drafted. What do the Packers think of Boyle, we fans don't know. Yet.

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Lare's picture

August 23, 2019 at 08:39 am

The NFL preseason farce will end when fans quit spending money to watch backups playing in what amounts to a glorified scrimmage. Unfortunately, players get injured in these scrimmages.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

August 23, 2019 at 09:25 am

Nobody "intentionally" pays good $ for tickets to these garbage games.

Fans know they're a farce.
The starting-caliber players know they're a farce.
The owners know they're a farce.
Even the NFLPA knows.

It's just the greed & the ego's of the owners & the NFLPA that keeps this crap from being fixed.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 23, 2019 at 09:42 am

I am not a Davis hater, I think that's pretty clear. Even after last night's performance, I am open to the argument that he is simply too frail to withstand the rigors of an NFL season.

My answer is that is difficult to predict injuries but even if he is a little on the fragile side, he will be limited to playing a handful of ST snaps, and possibly pinch-hitting as a WR should one of the top 4 WRs (Davante, Gmo, MVS, Kumerow) miss time. Even then, I still recognize that argument as valid.

We will see what next week brings.

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flackcatcher's picture

August 23, 2019 at 10:04 am

Tough break for ESB. I felt he was No.4 based last years play and this training camp. Every one of the others expect for the UDFA have a pretty serious injury history, which no doubt puts pause to the staff. Both Davis and Kumerow give both the GM and coaching staff headaches knowing they are both walking IR waiting to happen. Too bad, both players deserve a spot based on their performance to date. Both Gute and MLF made it clear in their pressers, that factors other than raw talent would determine who would win a roster spot on this team. With their injury history alone, that is a major negative for both players. Going to be a hard call.

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