Green Bay Packers: Instant Takeaways from 2nd Preseason Game

Aug 21, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Kurt Benkert (7) looks to pass in the second quarter during the game against the New York Jets at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 21, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Kurt Benkert (7) looks to pass in the second quarter during the game against the New York Jets at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The Green Bay Packers just finished up their second preseason game of the summer against the New York Jets. As always, here are my instant takeaways from what took place on the field.

– With Juwann Winfree, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Devin Funchess all sidelined, today was a big opportunity for Malik Taylor, who was coming off a strong performance a week ago, and he capitalized once again. Taylor caught four of five passes and averaged nearly 17 yards per catch. Couple that with his special teams contributions, and it’s going to be really difficult to keep him off the roster.

– This has to put Equanimeous St. Brown in a tough place. He’s been injured much of camp, hasn’t been able to make much of an impact in a preseason game or in practice, and players like Taylor and Funchess are producing.

– Speaking of Devin Funchess, what does this mean for him? He had a nice showing last week and some solid practices, but as a sixth receiver who hasn’t contributed much on special teams over his career, could that cost him a roster spot? Deciding who the final receiver is will be a difficult decision for Matt LaFleur.

– Royce Newman got the start at right guard today, and he impressed. He may be the front-runner for one of the starting guard openings.

– As a whole, the offensive line performed much better than what they did against Houston, averaging over five yards per carry for much of the game and gave Kurt Benkert plenty of time in the pocket.

– Before these preseason games began, I felt quite confident that Lucas Patrick was going to start come Week 1, or at a minimum, be backup. However, I’m not as certain at this point. He had a  rough showing last week and was called for two penalties at center this week. While I still think he will be on the final roster, this is certainly something to keep our eyes on moving forward.

– The starting offensive line was Yosh Nijman at left tackle, Jon Runyan at left guard, Josh Myers at center, Newman at right guard, and Ben Braden at right tackle.

– PFF may have liked what Nijman did last week, but it really looked like he struggled. However, this week, he was much better. He is someone who could be kept on the 53-man roster for depth at tackle.

– What else can we say about Kylin Hill? From the very first practice I was at, it was easy to see the wiggle that he has with the ball in his hands, and today, we saw the explosiveness he has to hit the edge on that touchdown run of his. I also want to give credit to Braden on that run, who sealed the edge well.

– Patrick Taylor, who averaged almost six yards per carry today, also had a fumble. At this point, Hill is a lock for RB3, but Taylor could still push for the RB4 role if the Packers choose to keep that many. However, that fumble doesn’t help.

– We’ve seen Hill and Taylor returning kicks, and today we saw Dexter Williams doing the same. It’s important for him to show that he can contribute on special teams.

– Oren Burks was only in the game for about half of the first quarter, which to me says a lot–he’s going to be on the final roster.

– It was nice seeing Kamal Martin back on the field. He still has things to clean up, but he flies around that football field.

– What a showing by Kurt Benkert. He was confident in the pocket, flashed his arm strength, and delivered several beautiful passes. Do the Packers keep three QBs on the roster?

– WIth how well the safety group has been playing, it was a big day for Will Redmond; however, we didn’t see much of him. Redmond could be on the outside looking in at the safety position with Vernon Scott, Henry Black, and Innis Gaines all playing well.

– And once again, Black and Gaines both made some nice defensive plays.

– It was also another good day for IDL Jack Heflin.

–  Last week, TE coach Justin Outten discussed how important consistency was for Jace Sternberger; other than the touchdown grab, it seemed to be a quiet game for him. I’ll have to rewatch the game and focus more closely on him to know if he was doing the little stuff that comes with being a tight end.

– Two other players I’ll want to rewatch are Willington Previlon and Chauncey Rivers. They’ve both been very good in camp and could push for a roster spot with some strong showings.

– It’s a new defense, and many backup and third-string players were in the game, but we saw quite a few miscommunications from the defensive unit.

– I’ve seen it in the few practices that I’ve been at, and we again saw it against the Jets, and that is that Krys Barnes looks quicker this season.

– Another week, another blunder from the special teams unit.

– Keep your eyes on TJ Slaton during these games. We aren’t always going to see his contributions to this defense show up on the stat sheet with his role, but his teammates will know he’s out there. I loved this selection.

– We also saw a lot of Amari Rodgers tonight and his playmaking ability with the ball in his hands.

– As he has been for much of his career, JK Scott was up and down again.