Man, that was excruciating to watch, but game four of the preseason always is. Regardless, the Green Bay Packers’ scrubs came away with a 34-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs’ scrubs.
No Packers starters played in the game with the exception of center Corey Linsley, who’s only a starter because J.C. Tretter is injured, rookie tight end Richard Rodgers and — for some reason — safety Micah Hyde.
What was impressive when the Packers trotted their starters out for this game was looking at the defense. That unit has some depth. Among the starters in this game were Casey Hayward, Davon House, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Nick Perry and Jamari Lattimore, all of whom are could probably start elsewhere in the league.
But on to the main event. In this game, that was the battle for the No. 2 quarterback job.
Matt Flynn vs. Scott Tolzien.
They alternated quarters with Flynn starting the game.
And who’s the winner?
Hard to say. With Flynn getting the first reps, it would seem the Packers favored him coming in. We thought Scooter Tolzien had established a lead in the competition last week and just had to play as well as Flynn to win the job.
Well, if you ask us, Scooter did that an more.
It’s the same story as it’s always been. Sure, Matt Flynn is good enough, but he’s not strong downfield. He missed a number of deep shots on Thursday night.
Tolzien is the opposite. Great arm and usually pretty accurate. Tolzien’s first touchdown, a 33-yarder to Jeff Janis on 4th-and-3, was a perfectly-placed throw. It wasn’t a catch-and-run either, as most of Flynn’s touchdowns seem to be. Tolzien’s second, a 6-yarder to Myles White, was a bullet through coverage.
Overall, Scoots was 12-of-18 for 139 yards and 2 TDs.
Flynn was 7-of-15 for 102 yards and 2 TDs of his own.
As far as we’re concerned, the job is Tolzien’s. The Packers may not agree.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to who helped themselves and who didn’t.
Chris Banjo — If two standout special teams tackles can get you a roster spot, then Banjo locked up one for himself Thursday night. Banjo had five tackles total. The guy deserves a roster spot, but he would be the fifth safety if he gets one.
Jayrone Elliott — The undrafted outside linebacker had another sack, giving him five in the last three games. He also added a pressure before leaving with an injury. If the injury isn’t serious, this guy has a roster spot locked up.
Jeff Janis — We figured he was making the roster, but Janis made certain of that with his TD catch and a 62-yard kickoff return. The rookie is better than both Kevin Dorsey and Myles White already. If the Packers go six receivers, White is probably the guy.
Carl Bradford — Bradford was moved to inside linebacker earlier this week. The fourth-round pick had been a total non-factor at outside linebacker. So much so that it looked like he wouldn’t even make the team. With six tackles in his first game at inside linebacker, he probably did enough to stick. As we’ve said all along, the Packers should have made this move from the start.
Jumal Rolle — Rolle has had a very solid camp and that continued Thursday night. He broke up a pass in the second quarter and had a nice pick in the third that was reversed because of a penalty. He’ll be the sixth cornerback, but the Packers have to keep Rolle.
Adrian Hubbard and LaDarius Perkins — Neither of these guys are making the roster, but they probably played themselves onto the practice squad on Thursday night. Hubbard had a sack before leaving with an injury and Perkins rushed for a team-high 45 yards on eight carries. He also caught an 11-yard touchdown.
That’s who we liked. Here’s who we didn’t.
Derek Sherrod — We noticed Sherrod and you know that’s bad. It was only one play, but the former first-round pick got mauled by someone and shoved right back into what was supposed to be the pocket. Sherrod should not be getting mauled by any team’s second string.
Andy Mulumba — Ah, Child Warrior Andy Mulumba, we’ll miss you. The Packers gave Mulumba plenty of playing time to do something, anything and he did nothing but fuck up. He got blown by on a 19-yard run midway through the second quarter and later committed a roughing the passer penalty that nullified Rolle’s interception. Those are the kind of plays that make a coach’s decision easy.
Khyri Thornton — The third-round pick is another guy who’s shown nothing all camp. He was given plenty of time to show something in this game. Nothing again. Perhaps the best thing that could have happened for the Packers did. Thornton suffered an injury that appeared to be somewhat severe. That might give them the option of putting Thornton on injured reserve instead of wasting a roster spot on a guy who’s not going to contribute this year.
Nate Palmer — We’re not going to say Palmer played poorly. He didn’t stick out at all, even though he made three tackles. Palmer also got injured, which is why we mention him. It looked bad. The Packers have plenty of linebackers without him, so he might be another candidate for injured reserve.
Guys getting injured makes trimming your roster fun and easy!
We’ll be back with our projected roster on Friday.