Hoping for a stronger performance from key players; the Packers hosted the New Orleans Saints for week two of their preseason schedule. The Packers performance on both sides of the ball is heavily improved compared to last week. The offense limited the turnovers, only having one in the first half, a fumble by Tyler Davis, who is having a rough preseason thus far. The drops have also been limited so far with only two notable drops, one by Romeo Doubs on a deep pass and one by Amari Rodgers on a slant across the middle.
The defense is also playing better, limiting New Orleans to 10 points, the lone touchdown coming on a short field. The Packers defense forced two turnovers in the first half; one being a fumble recovery off of a muffed snap and the other being a tremendous interception by Micah Abernathy. The defense has done a great job limiting the big plays as well, with the Saints biggest play of the night being only 20 yards.
Players of the Half
The difference between how Love played last week and this week is night and day. On four drives, Love went 9/16 for 93 yards and a score in the air and two carries for 14 yards. Love had no turnovers, a tremendous improvement compared to last week. Love led the offense on three separate scoring drives out of five total drives, settling for two field goals and throwing a perfect fade to Romeo Doubs for a short score. Love made few mistakes on these drives, limiting the missed throws and throws into tight coverage. Love’s mobility was on full display this half, he excelled at avoiding pressure, scrambling out of collapsing pockets, and avoiding sacks. Love, simply put, had an outstanding first half, a breath of fresh air after his performance last week.
Krys Barnes and Isaiah McDuffie
: The linebacking pair of Krys Barnes and Isaiah McDuffie were all over the field making plays for the Packers. McDuffie finished the half with six total tackles, with about half of them being stuffs on screen plays and scrambles. Barnes had a pair of tackles himself and was solid in coverage, chalking up a great PBU. Barnes and McDuffie are making their case for LB3 and LB4 on the depth chart as the depth at linebacker is looking promising.
Players to Watch in the Second Half
Last week I made the mistake of saying we should look at how Jordan Love improves in the second half, just for Danny Etling to play the entirety of that half and absolutely light up the stat sheet. Etling outplayed Love last week and while there’s little chance he takes Love’s spot at QB2, Love should continue to play a better game than last week to make the coaches feel more confident in him. Jordan Love will start the third quarter.
The Kickoff Unit:
The Packers special teams, more specifically the kickoff team, had a rough half, giving up a 50+ yard return. The Packers special teams needs to perform better and do a better job at making the tackle. Rich Bisaccia without a doubt had some choice words for them at half so we will see if they can have a better half.
The Packers had a much better first half this week than last week and will hopefully continue their dominance the second half. The Packers lead 13-10 going and the Saints will receive the kickoff.