Packer football is back.
And I am already greedy for the regular season.
Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson were healthy scratches, so third-year quarterback Brett Hundley was the first Packer quarterback to take the field this season. Hundley finished the night 8 of 15 for 90 yards with a touchdown and an interception, as the Packers took down the Eagles 24-9, but the game started in typical Green Bay fashion—slow.
In fact, the first quarter picked up right where the Packers left off last season in the NFC Championship—the first three drives were three and out, fumble, and another three and out. Though they picked it up as the game went on, it put fans a bit on-edge that the starters came out flat.
But all poor play was forgiven when second-year player Trevor Davis took back an Eagles punt 68 yards for a touchdown. You talk about a guy trying to make the 53-man roster, Davis showed the coaches that he belongs on the team this season, finishing with 2 punt returns for 94 yards and a touchdown. The offense rode the momentum the next drive out, finishing off a 5-play, 40-yard drive with a beautiful pitch and catch from Hundley to Jeff Janis, another bubble receiver hoping to make the squad this year.
Davante Adams finished with two nice catches for 26 yards, Max McCaffrey pulled in three catches for 60 yards, and DeAngelo Yancey snagged 3 receptions for 67 yards.
While the offense went through its highs and lows, it was the defense that shined bright in the Packer’s first preseason game—though not at first. Their first time on the field brought back memories of last season’s defense, plagued with penalties, big plays, and failure to get off the field on 3rd and 4th down. But they completely flipped the switch over the next few drives, forcing two fumbles and two interceptions by game’s end, earning high praise from Mike McCarthy, who said in his post-game press conference that the “defense was excellent in taking the ball away.” (quote courtesy of Packers.com)
However, while turnovers are important, especially for a Packers team that gives up an extensive number of yards and touchdowns, the biggest positive from the defense last night was the way they swarmed the ball and flew around the field, something that’s been missing from the Green Bay defense for some time now.
And lastly, it would not be a Packers game recap without the injury report—and even for a preseason game, the list was extensive.
- Cornerbacks Damarious Randall was injured on the first possession and was later diagnosed with a concussion
- Kentrell Brice suffered a finger injury.
- Don Barclay suffered a right ankle injury and was helped off the field in the second quarter.
- Malachi Dupre fell victim to a hard hit by Tom Sullivan and was taken off on a stretcher to the hospital.
- Rookie Raysean Pringle was evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter.
The injury bug seems to be back at Lambeau, but it has to be a next-man-up mentality for Green Bay. Despite the bumps and bruises of the first game, football is back, and for the Packers, per Mike McCarthy, they “took a step tonight as a football team.”