Green Bay Packers: Instant Takeaways & Highlights from Jordan Love’s Debut

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) looks to throw in the first quarter in the team's first preseason game against the Houston Texans on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.Mjs Apc Packvstexans 0814210084djp
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) looks to throw in the first quarter in the team's first preseason game against the Houston Texans on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.Mjs Apc Packvstexans 0814210084djp /

We are back! The Green Bay Packers were back on the football field for their first preseason game of the season against the Houston Texans, but I am also back with my instant takeaways from what we saw.

Here is a rundown of my initial thoughts from Jordan Love’s debut, along with everything else that took place.

– Well, we might as well start with Jordan Love. While he didn’t do anything too spectacular, I thought he was quite solid. As I’ve said before, it’s about the process for Love at this point and not so much the results. He looked calm in the pocket, threw the ball with balance, and was able to go through his progressions–it was a nice showing for the young quarterback.

– Love had quite a bit of success attacking the middle of the field, including a beautiful pass to Jace Sternberger. There was a similar play at Family Night from Aaron Rodgers to Robert Tonyan.

– Now, granted, the OL was without Bakhtiari, Turner, and Jenkins, but it wasn’t their best night overall. The Green Bay Packers really struggled to get anything going on the ground, and Love was feeling the pressure.

– The starting offensive line was Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, Lucas Patrick, and Dennis Kelly. The next rotation saw Runyan move to center and Ben Braden fill in at left guard.

– It was a big opportunity for Nijman; however, he took his lumps. He was beaten on a few occasions in including on the play that resulted in Love being stripped. It wasn’t the best showing for Kelly either.

– It was a heck of a night for Oren Burks–truly an impressive showing. He finished the first half with seven tackles, two of which were for a loss, one sack, and a pressure or two. He looked incredibly quick out there. It’s also worth noting that Joe Barry was utilizing him as a blitzer.

– JK Scott and Ryan Winslow were alternating punt opportunities. Feel free to do with that information what you will. I still believe Scott is the Green Bay Packers’ punter this season.

– At safety, Henry Black and Vernon Scott each had some nice performances as well. Both were all over the field and in on tackles. During practices, these two have seen their fair share of snaps in that third safety role.

– On the flip side, it was a brutal night for Josh Jackson. It became quite clear that regardless of who the Houston quarterback was or who was at receiver, they were picking on Jackson. And there was really nothing he could do to stop it.

– We saw some similar special teams issues that we’ve seen in past years with Kylin Hill struggling to make it past the 20, the punt return unit giving up a 40-yard return, and Amari Rodgers dropped a punt as well–but fortunately, the play was negated due to a penalty.

– Both Hill and Patrick Taylor were the primary kick returners.

– I think we all knew this, but Dexter Williams looks like the odd man out at RB. Hill and Taylor both saw snaps in the first half, while Williams didn’t, and he also had a missed block and tackle on special teams. With that said, to his credit, he did have a few nice fourth-quarter runs.

– On this touchdown pass to Hill, we can see his wiggle in the open field, but keep your eyes on rookie center Josh Myers leading the way. Flip on his film from Ohio State, and you’ll see a lot of plays like this. He knows how to get to the second level.

– Upon my rewatch, I’ll have to take a closer look at who was where on special teams. These final roster spots are going to be determined by special teams contributions more so than what these players do on offense or defense.

– Speaking of special teams, I’ve wondered if that would hinder Devin Funchess’ likelihood of making the roster, but he had a fantastic night. With that size of his, he can be a real matchup problem from the slot and in the red zone.

– As far as receivers go, Funchess’ performance likely stood out the most, but Malik Taylor had several receptions of his own.

Kabion Ento has had been solid in camp and had one of the better defensive performances on Family Night. Then tonight, he comes away with an interception. Earlier in the week, DBs coach Jerry Gary told reporters that Ento needs to turn those PBUs into INTs. Ento appears to be the favorite for that sixth CB spot.

– As I wrote earlier this week, Innis Gaines is a player to watch during this preseason. He had a nice read and pass breakup tonight.

– Given TJ Slaton’s responsibilities along the defensive front, he’s not someone who is going to fill the stat sheet, but it looked like he was getting a decent and consistent push.

– The Green Bay Packers’ third quarterback, Kurt Benkert, can really sling the football. As the third quarterback, his practice reps in team drills have been limited, but tonight it was on full display.