The third preseason game used to be the “dress rehearsal” ahead of the regular season. On Friday night the Packers sat most of their offensive starters as they took on the Oakland Raiders.
The highlight of the night for Packers fans came ahead of the game as former teammates met on the field before kick off. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing to Jordy Nelson, who was released during the offseason, during warmups.
“Derek [Carr} threw Davante [Adams} one and Aaron threw me one. It’s pretty rare to have that set up. It was fun to see those guys,” said Jordy Nelson.
“As weird as it was for me to look across to see them, it was just as weird for them to see me. We didn’t talk football the whole time we were out there. Just catching up, cracking some jokes, and having fun.”
Rodgers and most of the Packers starting offense watched from the sidelines on Friday night. That opened the door for the backups to get their time on the field. Putting the battle for the backup quarterback spot front and center with Brett Hundley getting the start and DeShone Kizer following in the second half.
Hundley was more efficient, completing better than half of his passes for 78 yards with a passer rating of 72.9. Kizer completed 11 of his 23 attempts for 120 yards, but took three sacks against the Raiders.
“We came out here as a football team. We wanted to get some things accomplished offensively, we didn’t accomplish that. I think the obvious, the penalties kind of were the theme of the evening. It was a sloppy football game. I thought our quarterbacks managed it very well. I really liked the way Brett Hundley started the game, but we were in second and long. Way to many long down and distances, and obviously didn’t overcome it very much. I thought DeShone went in and made some clutch plays, but it was clearly not a very good evening for us up front,” said head coach Mike McCarthy.
A bright spot for the offense on a night where they failed to find the endzone was rookie wide receiver J’Mon Moore. The Packers fourth round pick had his best performance of the preseason and led the team with 62 yards on four catches.
“He played really well tonight. He did a lot of good things. He’s been doing a good job in route running and releases. He just needed to finish on the back end, and I thought he did a good job of that. Had some excellent catches and definitely took a step as a young player,” said McCarthy.
Green Bay’s defense stole the show for the most part. Reggie Gilbert added to his training camp resume with another sack against Oakland’s first team. First round pick Jaire Alexander picked off Connor Cook for his first career interception in the second quarter.
“There’s some good things. Once again this is our third game in a new system. The communication looked to be pretty clean between Mike and the assistants. We have some substitution things to work on, but once again they kept the point total down and did a good job of getting off the field.
Mike Pettine’s group did suffer a big loss on the trip to Oakland. The inside linebackers group has been thin since Jake Ryan was lost for the season with a torn ACL, and on Friday night his replacement Oren Burks was injured before the game even started. Burks told reporters after the game his shoulder popped out, and head coach Mike McCarthy
The Packers head coach was more willing to say running back Ty Montgomery’s foot injury was not of a serious nature.