What We Saw: Preseason Week 3
Green Bay Packers vs Oakland Raiders
Historically, the third week of preseason is a dress rehearsal of sorts. Many of the starters suit up for a drive or two and we get a better idea about what teams may look like in the regular season. Unfortunately, this was not one of those preseason games. There were 33 inactive Packers against the Raiders and there wasn’t much starting talent in black and silver either. The game was played on an 80-yard CFL field in the Canadian city of Winnipeg, so there were no kickoffs due to the size of the field. Oh joy: we get a glimpse into the most boring change the NFL will likely implement next. Spoiler alert: This one was a snooze.
Green Bay Packers
- Tim Boyle: 16/25, 191 yards, 2 TD
- DeShone Kizer: 4/7, 24 yards, 1 INT | 1 carry, 6 yards
Tim Boyle started for the Packers tonight and got off to a slow start. He finished his first drive with a poor throw that almost was intercepted. To be fair, neither team took off running. As the game progressed, Boyle looked better and better. He became more confident in the pocket and started passing consistently in the second quarter–where he had a nice 10-completion streak. His two touchdown throws were perfectly placed over impressive distances.
DeShone Kizer took over in the second half and was okay but not very flashy. Compared to Boyle, he got very little work. Matt LaFleur may not like the idea of coaching up Kizer during his first year with Green Bay. Kizer’s interception came from a last-second hail mary throw, so it shouldn’t be held against him.
- Tra Carson: 9 carries, 32 yards | 1 reception, 11 yards
- Dexter Williams: 11 caries, 27 yards | 1 reception, 5 yards
Tra Carson got most of the work to begin with, but Dexter Williams—the rookie out of Notre Dame–saw plenty of work too. It’s no surprise that both these guys split the bulk of the carries tonight considering they are both likely battling for that third running back position behind Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.
Dexter Williams ended up with more touches than Tra Carson, but I think Carson was much more impressive. He would have had an even better stat line if he didn’t have a few long gains called back due to silly offensive penalties.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
- Jake Kumerow: 2 receptions, 30 yards, 1 TD
- Trever Davis: 5 receptions, 78 yards, 1 TD | 1 carry, 18 yards
- Darrius Shepherd: 3 receptions, 40 yards
- Equanimeous St. Brown: 1 reception, 7 yards
In typical Packers fashion, it seems many of the young receivers are showing they deserve a spot on the final roster. It wasn’t a surprise to see Jake Kumerow and Trever Davis get the start. The two have already been having great camps so far. Kumerow had a few nice catches, including one for 26 yards and a touchdown. Davis, however, really shined tonight. He started with a great 18-yard gain on a reverse play and had an awesome catch and run on a screen play. He was targeted early and often, had multiple sideline catches, and showed he has great hands on his touchdown catch. If Davis keeps playing like this, he should see some action this year.
Among the other young guys, Darrius Shepherd has been showing up consistently in the preseason. He caught all his targets and had multiple head-turning catches on the sideline. People were also excited about Equanimeous St. Brown this year, even taking him as a late-round flier pick. Unfortunately, he did not get the chance to do much before a nasty helmet-to-helmet hit ended his night. To make matters worse, his cleat was caught in the turf and he injured his leg. Keep an eye on this whole situation–it looked pretty bad though.
- Mike Glennon: 4/9, 38 yards
- Nathan Peterman: 23/37, 210, 2 TD
Mike Glennon got the start, but it seems he was taken out prematurely after a frustrating performance. He always seems to begin with solid poise then quickly starts overthrowing and broadcasting his reads. He finished his night with a 56.7 QBR and not many good moments to speak of.
Nathan Peterman came in after Glennon and was surprisingly much better than one might expect Nathan Peterman to play. Let’s be real though: both these guys are just not starting-caliber quarterbacks in this league. Don’t make me talk about how Peterman was mediocre at best and how that’s still somehow better than Glennon. Fine–Peterman had a decent two-minute drill to set up the game-winning field goal. There, I said it.
- James Butler: 15 carries, 56 yards | 1 reception, 30 yards
- Mack Brown: 7 carries, 18 yards | 2 receptions, 10 yards
Just like prior preseason weeks, James Butler got the start and the bulk of the Raiders’ carries. I wanted to see him get more involved in the passing game after he took a quick pass for 30 yards. He really looks the part despite being so far down the depth chart. Hopefully we get a chance to see rookie Josh Jacobs at some point, but he didn’t suit up tonight. Mack Brown got some work as well but wasn’t very impressive. Butler is clearly ahead of Brown right now.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
- Keelan Doss: 4 receptions, 52 yards
- Rico Gafford: 4 receptions, 31 yards
- De’Mornay Pierson-El: 6 receptions, 38 yards, 1 TD
The two Raiders receivers that stood out tonight were Keelan Doss and Rico Gafford. Doss had a nice catch-and-run in the first half and showed great spatial awareness in the fourth quarter when he high-pointed a pass and came down on two feet just before falling out of bounds. He had a great night. Doss and Rico appear to be neck-and-neck on the depth chart and it will be tough to decide between the two. De’Mornay Pierson-El stood out as well. His footwork was somehow more impressive than his hands. He also had an impressive touchdown, but it’s just not likely Pierson-El ends up on the final roster. He could carve out a role for himself with his return ability though.
— Ryan Kruse