Winners and losers of pre-season game #3

The Packers lost to the Chiefs 17-10 in the final preseason game of 2022. Green Bay must now reduce to 53 active players. Here’s my take on the winners and losers of last night’s game.

WINNERS

Amari Rodgers

By far his best game in a Packer uniform. He ran three throw sweeps for 17 yards, showing the potential to be used as a running back if needed. He caught 4 passes for 39 yards, opening up and making contested takes. If some thought Amari was on the bubble, he isn’t anymore.

Samori Toure

The 7th-round draft pick likely froze his position in the last 53 with a productive night. He led the team with 6 catches for 83 yards, opening up all over the field.

Tyler Goodson

The undrafted free agent from Iowa was bottled up most of the night, but his 24-yard touchdown run was a thing of beauty. He didn’t help himself by dropping a kickoff and then getting tackled at the five-yard line. It’s going to be really interesting to see who wins that third running back spot between Goodson and Patrick Taylor. Taylor is a proven commodity from his game last year, but Goodson is explosive and exciting to watch.

Krys Barnes

With all the hype around Isaiah McDuffie this training camp, Barnes showed he’s still the solid number three in the ILB with an impressive night. The highlight came in back-to-back plays when he stopped a quick pass down the middle with a sure tackle into the open field on second down, then knocked down a pitch on third down. He also fought off a stiff arm from Ronald Jones to knock the running back down for a short open field gain.

Tariq Charpentier

The 7th round draft pick made one of the very few good plays on special teams, when Isiah Pacheco opted to kick off eight yards deep in the end zone. Carpenter gave him a classic tackle on the ten-yard line. Later, he was one-on-one in open space against tight end Jody Fortson and nailed him. He seemed to misplay his mission on a 53-yard touchdown pass to Matt Bushman. Carpenter opted to cover the short-range receiver, which was already covered, and let Bushman get behind him. Still, his ability on special teams might just earn him a spot.

ramiz ahmed

His kicks have been impressive since arriving at camp a few weeks ago. Last night he kicked all but one kickoff in the end zone. He also had a 23-yard field goal despite colliding just after the kick. The front office has a realistic option to consider moving on from the erratic Mason Crosby, especially if the all-time top scorer isn’t fully recovered from injury. I doubt they will though.

Jordan love

Granted, it was a night of ups and downs for Love, but I put him in the winners category. He piloted some impressive practices once he got a little pass protection. He threw for conversions on third and long, he put the ball in tight windows down the middle and he moved the team pretty well given that for the most part he had no running game . He looks more and more like someone who could walk into a real game and win it. However, he knocked down Juwann Winfree three times. His back shoulder attempt against Roméo Doubs should have been intercepted, and his throw to triple coverage was intercepted.

LOSERS

The first O-line team

I really don’t feel good in this offensive line if Bakhtiari and Jenkins can’t play. In the first two series, when the Chiefs played their starting defensive front, the quintet of Nijman, Runyan, Myers, Hanson and Newman were simply steamrolling. Love had to run for his life with every back drop, and running backs couldn’t even make it back to the line of scrimmage. The unit was a disaster inside the KC’s five-yard line. Hanson had a false start, there was an illegal formation, and Nijman got his hands on the flag. If this is the line to start against the Vikings, we’re in big trouble.

Special teams

The biggest disappointment of this training camp is the lack of improvement from the special teams. The kick and kick return units in particular are just plain pathetic. I’m not sure the infusion of a few rookie players is going to help much. I keep hoping that Rich Bisaccia has some kind of rabbit in his hat that he’ll pull off when the games start counting.

Micah Abernathy, Rico Gafford, Kiondre Thomas

All three defensive backs struggled throughout. Abernathy and Thomas communicated poorly on a long pass in the third quarter, after which Abernathy dropped what appeared to be a goal-line interception, which turned into a KC touchdown. He was hit the moment he touched the ball. Gafford was dominated for the ball on a long pass to Eric Parker. He also didn’t show anything in a kick-off, he could only come back in the 16. These three players may have played their way up the cut list.

• First-round pick Quay Walker was all over the field making plays in the first two series. He made three impressive tackles, using his speed to stifle short passing plays in the flat.

• Juwann Winfree deserved a better fate. He will likely be cut and re-signed to the practice squad. Still, he seemed to have fallen behind the Chiefs’ secondary on Love’s three overhand deep balls. If Love drops those pitches in her arms, we’re talking about Winfree as the star of the game this morning.

• Best game of the night didn’t even count. Ismael Hyman spectacularly caught a pass from Danny Etling in the 4th quarter, but the game was called up for a hands-to-the-face penalty on Zack Tom.


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Raymond I. Langston