Well, preseason football. It'll have to do for now.
In what basically was a battle of backups, the Green Bay Packers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-9 at Lambeau Field in the preseason opener for both teams.
The good news is that the Packers won. The bad news is they didn't escape without injury (most notably Don Barclay, Damarious Randall and Malachi Dupre). The ugly part was, well, most of the game.
While Aaron Rodgers sat out (and Jordy Nelson), Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz beat the Packers' defense for four straight completions in leading Philly to a touchdown on its opening drive. Green Bay dominated after that, although we do use that term loosely.
The teams combined for 10 fumbles -- with seven turnovers overall -- and between the two clubs couldn't even gain 600 yards (and each team only had 47 yards rushing). Yup, it was a battle of backups (and their backups) for sure.
Here's a recap of Thursday night's game:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Wide receiver Trevor Davis didn't have any catches in the game -- he was targeted just twice -- but he easily had the play of the game. Davis has been relegated to second team on kick and punt returns, but with Randal Cobb barely playing got the opportunity to field punts from the get-go. He made the most of it, scoring from 68 yards on his first opportunity and getting 26 yards on his second return. If Davis is going to make the Packers, it will be because of his work on special teams. He's off to a good start.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME
This might the only time we ever highlight a punter in one of these categories. But Justin Vogel deserves it (especially with no one standing out on offense or defense). The lone punter on Green Bay's roster -- something of a risk as he's an undrafted rookie -- showed he just might belong in the NFL. Vogel had good hang time on his punts for the most part and averaged 44.0 yards on his six boots (long of 56) with a 43.5 net. Five of his six punts went inside the 20-yard line -- the only one that didn't was kicked from the Green Bay 24. Having Vogel perform well would certainly be a relief for the Packers so they don't have to keep bringing in punters (and a holder) until they find the right one.
Everything we say of course comes with the caveat that this was a preseason game and the quality of play is, of course, lessened. But if you need one play which turned this game around look no further than late in the first quarter. Philadelphia had fourth-and-1 from the Green Bay 7 and decided to go for a first down. Former Wisconsin Badgers running back Corey Clement got the call, but the run was blown up quickly in the backfield by safety Kentrell Brice, forcing Clement to spin away and thus slowing down the play. Clement was gobbled up by Joe Thomas and Quintell Rollins. As it turned out, Green Bay had to punt on the ensuing possession after moving the ball to the 48 then held the Eagles on a three-and-out, setting up Davis' punt-return touchdown.
Kim KlementKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
18 -- Rushing yards by Packers running backs. If you hoped to get some clarity on who might be backing up Ty Montgomery, this game was not for you. Fourth-round pick Jamaal Williams was the first sub and he did the best -- a game-high (yes, we said game-high) 14 yards on four carries. Fifth-rounder Aaron Jones had only two carries (for 0 yards) while seventh-round selection Devante Mays had none and played just seven snaps, lowest among all the RBs. Undrafted free agents Kalif Phillips (3 carries, 4 yards) and William Stanback (2 carries, 0 yards) also got action. Oh, and Montgomery also got 11 snaps, getting 0 yards on three carries and he fumbled. So, yeah.
THEY SAID IT
"I think all of us agree we’ve got a lot of work to do." -- Packers head coach Mike McCarthy
"I don’t think I won a job or anything like that. I was just happy to help my team win." -- Trevor Davis
It's preseason game No. 2 as Green Bay heads to Washington to play the Redskins on Saturday, Aug, 19 at 6:30 p.m. Washington lost to Baltimore in its preseason opener 23-3. Quarterback Kirk Cousins attempted only two passes in the game.