The Green Bay Packers finished their 2017 preseason with a 24-10 triumph over the Rams. The Packers started off extremely well thanks to the strong quarterback play of backup quarterback Brett Hundley, who had a rushing and a passing touchdown.
The Packers continued to dominate the game after Hundley was subbed out, as rookie quarterback Taysom Hill threw a 25 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter before exiting the game.
Since it is the last preseason game, there are several conclusions that the Packers can make which can help the team succeed in the regular season. Here are three examples:
1. Joe Callahan will not make the 53-man roster
With the preseason in the books, it is clear that Joe Callahan is the fourth-best quarterback on the active roster. Callahan entered training camp with the hopes of remaining the third-string quarterback behind Hundley and Rodgers. However, he needed to beat out Taysom Hill in order to accomplish that goal which he failed to do.
Hill outplayed Callahan throughout the entire preseason and led various scoring drives with his throwing precision and mobility. Hill exceeded all expectations that the coaching staff placed on him and ran away with the third string job. With Rodgers as the starter and Hundley as a quality backup quarterback, it is very unlikely for the Packers to keep four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. With that being the case, it looks like Callahan’s time in Green Bay has come to an end.
2. The Packers have serious offensive line issues
Last week, I mentioned the Packers glaring offensive line issues throughout the first few games of the preseason with the hopes of it improving. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. The Packers have allowed over four sacks in each of their four preseason games. Combine that issue with the injury to starting tackle Bryan Bulaga and the Packers have some serious problems. If this team plans to be a legit Super Bowl contender, the offensive line has to give Aaron Rodgers time in the pocket.
In addition to the sacks, the Packers also lack the ability to run the football and have struggled on the ground regardless of who the running back was. There are simply not enough holes in the backfield for these running backs to hit which needs to change once the regular season starts.
3. The Packers’ starting running back job is up for grabs
Prior to the 2017 preseason, people assumed that Ty Montgomery would be a lock to be the starting running back once the season began. Although that will still be true, Montgomery has struggled heavily in the preseason and has dealt with a nagging leg injury. Montgomery has been unable to participate in several games and practices with that leg injury and has had ball security issues thus far. Lucky for Montgomery, the other running backs have also been anything but impressive.
Packers fans expected rookie running back Jamaal Williams to play well this preseason and to showcase his tremendous strength and speed. Unfortunately, Williams has also struggled and only gained 31 rushing yards on 11 carries against the Rams. Williams is still adjusting to NFL level competition so one could understand his initial struggles. If Williams becomes more comfortable with the game speed and the blocking schemes, he can easily win the starting job by October.
The dark horse candidate to win the starting job is fellow rookie running back Aaron Jones. Jones was selected in the fifth round and was expected to be the third string back going into preseason. However, Jones has made the most of his preseason playing times and has led the Packers in both rushing yards as well as yards per carry. In his last preseason game, Jones rushes eight times for a total of 48 yards. Despite the strong probability of him still being the third stringer going into the season, Jones has the tools to be a starter in this league and would be up for the task if Montgomery and Williams continue to struggle.