Green Bay Packers: Instant Takeaways from Preseason Finale

Aug 28, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Kylin Hill (32) runs with the ball as Buffalo Bills defensive back Siran Neal (33) defends during the first quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Kylin Hill (32) runs with the ball as Buffalo Bills defensive back Siran Neal (33) defends during the first quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

The Green Bay Packers final preseason game is in the books as they suffered another loss—but who cares.

Once again, many of the Packers key contributors this season were sitting out — which was the right move — but there was still plenty to watch with several roster spots up for grabs and cuts looming.

As I do after every game, here are my instant takeaways from the Green Bay Packers performance against Buffalo.

– As expected from a young quarterback, when Jordan Love is on time and in rhythm, he looks very good. When he’s off schedule and under pressure are when some issues arise. Again, this is to be expected to some degree.

– A perfect example of this was with about 10 minutes left in the second quarter, on a designed roll out, Love passes on the easy toss to Amari Rodgers and instead waits to find Dominique Dafney for a bigger play. The very next play, he’s under pressure and makes an ill advised throw into the end zone that is picked off.

– But overall this was another very encouraging performance from Love. He looked quite comfortable against the Buffalo starting defense.

– And that’s another key point I want to make; for much of the first half it was the Green Bay Packers second, third and fourth string players against the Buffalo starters on both sides of the ball.

– The Green Bay Packers had 31 players sitting out but the most interesting one was Ty Summers, who wasn’t on the injury report this week. Does that mean he’s going to make the final roster?

– Lucas Patrick and Royce Newman were the starting guards on the opening drive. This is who I expect to start Week 1.

– Did you see that final drive of the second quarter with Jake Hanson at center? That’s why, even as a backup, there is still plenty of value in keeping Patrick on this roster.

– Ben Braden may be out of the running at guard, but he’s held his own at right tackle the last two weeks. Let’s see if it was good enough to keep him on the final roster.

– It’s going to be interesting to see what the Green Bay Packers do at backup tackle. Does Dennis Kelly end up on IR, opening up a roster spot? Do they keep Kelly, Nijman, and Braden? Or just two of the three?

– My guess is Cole Van Lanen ends up on the practice squad if the Packers choose to keep nine offensive linemen. If they keep 10, or Kelly is on IR, then he will make it.

– If there were any doubts about Malik Taylor making this roster, there shouldn’t be anymore. Another very good performance.

– Also, put Jack Heflin on the 53-man roster as well if you didn’t have him penciled in yet.

– How the heck did Kylin Hill last until the seventh round? I know Jones and Dillon will take a bulk of the snaps, but Matt LaFleur has to find a way to get Hill some touches as well.

– We saw Joe Barry sending Isaiah McDuffie on some blitzes today, similarly to what he did with Oren Burks Week 1. McDuffie may have played himself onto the roster with this performance.

– Speaking of linebacker, Ray Wilborn had some flashes on defense. Coming into today, he had the 8th most special teams snaps on the Packers this preseason and the fourth highest PFF grade. There was also a missed tackle from Wilborn.

– CB Stephen Denmark was signed just a few days ago, but he had a nice performance and was in on several plays.

– No Equanimeous St. Brown or Tyler Lancaster today, which obviously doesn’t bode well for them. Also no Vernon Scott. I would think he’s safe, but it’s noteworthy.

– It was a big day for Jace Sternberger who is suspended the first two games. Unfortunately, it was a quiet day for him as a pass-catcher, and he missed a block down on the goal line. I am far less confident about him being on the final roster than what I was a month ago.

– We saw a lot of missed tackles by this young secondary with Kabion Ento and Innis Gaines two of the bigger offenders. Play fast, but play in control.

– I still think the Green Bay Packers choose Kabion Ento over Isaac Yiadom if they keep six cornerbacks—even though it was a rough day for Ento. Yiadom would give up some completions as well.

– Josiah Deguara took his first preseason snaps and we saw him all over, including as a lead blocker out of the backfield for AJ Dillon and as the motion man.

– Innis Gaines or Christian Uphoff? It was a rough day for Gaines and we barely heard from Uphoff.

– On the opening drive, Jonathan Garvin and Chauncey Rivers were the starting edge rushers. Tipa Galeai came in that same drive. Special teams is going to determine who the fourth edge rusher is. On that drive we saw both Garvin and Rivers get to Josh Allen.

– Edge is another position where it’s difficult to gauge who has the edge—no pun intended. Take it as you will, but Rivers did have the most special teams snaps out of the edge rushers coming into today’s game.

– Kurt Benkert has been very comfortable making throws on the move.

– We saw one punt from JK Scott and it was a good one, however, the coverage was poor. Keep in mind that many of the Green Bay Packers special teams contributors are inactive. Although I know it’s still frustrating to see.

– And to cap off the preseason, we saw Mason Crosby punt.