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Packers Clip Eagles' Wings, Win Sloppy Preseason Opener

For the first time since January, the Packers stormed out onto Lambeau Field for a full-speed game of football. It would be the 16th time in NFL history that they face the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason bout. 

Unfortunately, the hype wouldn't translate to a picture-perfect evening in Green Bay. 

Despite leaving the field with a 24-9 victory over the Eagles—their seventh of the aforementioned 16 meetings—five players also left the field with injuries.

It started with "star" cornerback Damarious Randall getting caught in a cluster of players during the first quarter, taking a hard shot from Eagles receiver Bryce Treggs, leaving Randall with a concussion. He didn't return to the game after the collision. Randall missed six games in 2016 due to a groin injury that would eventually require surgery.

Randall being carted off the field during Green Bay's 24-9 win over Philadelphia. (Green Bay Press-Gazette/USA TODAY Sports)

Second-year safety Kentrell Brice soon joined the mix, reportedly dislocating his finger before having it popped back into place, but never returning to the game either. Both Randall and Brice are primed for productive years ahead, Randall in his exclusive slot position and Brice with more reps on the back end due to Morgan Burnett spending significant time in the box as a hybrid linebacker.

Versatile offensive lineman Don Barclay was also helped by trainers off the field with an ankle injury, leaving the Packers desperately short at center. With starter Corey Linsley already out of the game due to it being exhibition, Lucas Patrick took over snapping duties. Patrick had been practicing at both center and guard during camp.

As if matters couldn't get worse, rookie receiver Malachi Dupre, who had become a camp stand-out in recent weeks, suffered a vicious hit from Eagles safety Tre Sullivan and ended his night from a gurney.

Dupre would soon be removed from the field after players on both sides dropped to a knee and paid their respects for the former LSU Tiger, who was sure to give a thumbs-up for the jam-packed Lambeau bowl. After arriving at the hospital, the Packers announced that Dupre had movement in all of his extremities.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said after the game that the hospital's staff are still running tests on Dupre, however, all of the information that has been relayed back to him has been "positive," a reassuring sign for Dupre, who was at one point motionless on the turf.

The Packers' rookie cornerback Raysean Pringle also suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter.

From a football standpoint, it was a sloppy beginning for the Packers, who were down 6-0 early in the first quarter before charging back and managing to pull away with a 17-6 lead at halftime.

En route to their lead, the Packers mustered a measly 83 yards of total offense in the first half. A large part of their lead was thanks to Trevor Davis' 68-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Davis, who earned a heap of praise over the offseason including some recognition for being the first punter to ever send tapes of himself training during the offseason to special teams coach Ron Zook, was sprung free on blocks from LaDarius Gunter, Jordan Tripp and Marwin Evans.

Speaking of special teams, the new punter in town Justin Vogel had himself a night to remember and may have just won the starting punting job, if he hadn't already. On six punts, pinned five of them inside the 20-yard line and averaged 44 yards per punt. 

Another quiet performer was Evans, the Packers' safety who had been mostly a special teams attribution prior to tonight. He also recorded the defense's second interception late in the game after Joe Thomas snagged the first earlier in the second quarter. 

It took the Packers until the last two minutes of the fourth quarter to finally eclipse 200 yards of total offense, and despite being shredded by an Eagles passing attack, which seems potent every preseason, they managed to force four total turnovers. 

Essentially, a handful of players looked to have been shaking off the rust, including those who have never played in a full-speed NFL game before, such as the Packers' second-round draft pick Kevin King.

King gave up a 38-yard completion to Treggs late in the second quarter, but outside of that, the 6'3" King was just as advertised, even with a couple of rookie miscues.

All three phases of the Packers' attack looked stagnant for a majority of the affair, but if there was one upside in a facade of a victory, Max McCaffrey could help light the way.

He was the Packers' leading receiver until DeAngelo Yancey upstaged him in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. He had three receptions for 60 yards, including a crucial third-down conversion in the fourth quarter. He had been flashing throughout camp and positioned himself to be in the running with a few others to cling on at the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart.

It may have been a sloppy victory and offered the first live glimpse into what the Packers are experimenting with, both personnel-wise and schematically, entering the regular season. Miscues, fumbles and poor execution is expected so early in August.

The Packers will embark on the long week ahead in preparation for their week two match-up against the Redskins in Washington. That game will take place Saturday, Aug. 19th at 6:30 p.m. CST.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (33) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I get that the officials need a preseason too, and I like to give them the benifit of the doubt on judgement calls. But that no call on the shot at McCaffery on the deep sideline, 3 steps after the ball bounced out of ground, was assinine.

What is the point of the NFL creating rules to defend players if that is allowed?

flackcatcher's picture

Going from zero to sixty is a shock for everyone. Lack of full speed padded hitting showed up tonight. NFL doesn't care about injures in preseason, otherwise they get with the players, and redo the CBA to lengthen out training camp. Most injuries come from either the body breaking down, or getting hit when a player is not ready for it. Learning how to hit, and take one is art. Players do not get off easy on this, they threw away their short term safety for a few more dollars. Veterans like Arron Rodgers have now understood the danger they are in without decent prep time. And the NFL wants another regular season game. Right. Good luck with that.

RCPackerFan's picture

The other one that was bad was the no pass interference penalty on that deep throw to Yancey. With 2-3 officials right there, how did no one see that the DB was holding Yancey's arm.

CJ Bauckham's picture

To me, it seemed like the officials were just letting them play. Missed some calls, but missed them on both sides consistently.

RCPackerFan's picture

I thought so as well. But then they call the holding penalty on Daniels?

CJ Bauckham's picture

Right!? That surprised me as well, haha

GBPDAN1's picture

O-line depth looks bad. The second and third tier O-lines looked terrible.

Nick Perry's picture

I watched the end of the last 5 mintes of the first quarter and the 2nd quarter on a live stream and thought the O-Line looked bad and Spriggs looked absolutely terrible. Spriggs was beat in every way you can be beat and he was beat quickly by the Eagles #1 pick Barnett. For a guy who looked so good at the combine in spandex he shows NONE of that while on the football field. He's stiff, flatfooted, and not very strong (Still). If he's the Packers top option off the bench at Tackle, the #1 concern isn't defense, it's the fear of Bahktiari or Bulaga coming off the field for even a play when #12 is on the field. Good God!

Jersey Al's picture

When I evaluated Spriggs for the CHTV Draft Guide, I noted after watching his tape that he was on the ground way too much. I wasn't thrilled when the Packers drafted him, especially trading up to do so, but I was hoping that with 2-3 yrs in the weight room things would get better. I didn't specifically watch him last night, but being flatfooted was generally not an issue in college. Movement skills were his strong point - so that would surprise me.

lou's picture

Sprigg's size and athleticism are a rare combination and based on the Packers "draft & develop" philosophy they put a lot of pressure on their assistant coaches to take someone like Sprigg's and produce results going forward. The fact they signed Bahkt to such a large contract (well deserved) and Bulaga being near the end of a well paid deal may have been a factor in Thompson trading up to cover the tackle positions. Time will tell but I was alarmed at how Sp;rigg's looked last night even though it was the first exhibition game.

WKUPackFan's picture

Certainly hope that Dupre will be OK. He was an absolute steal in the 7th round. LSU's lack of QB play became GB'a gain.

4zone's picture

Vogel 'one' the job... Seriously?

Zachary Jacobson's picture

It was late, mistakes happen. Jesus Christ.

4zone's picture

Z it's your job is it not? Take pride in your craft. You're better than that man. As an aircraft mechanic, my paperwork at the end of a 12 hour shift needs to be flawless. For you, the words you put here are your calling card. I'm pretty sure that's important to you.

Not trying to beat ya down man, trying to lift you up. All of you at CHTV share a common passion with the rest of us. We like to read your thoughts and observations. So don't go south on us here. Bring your 'A' game every time out. You're worth it.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Maybe Z meant one the job as a play on words because he doesn't have direct competition on the team lol.

dobber's picture

I don't think any of these guys are getting paid to produce content for us. Al? Is this still true?

If so, we should cut them some slack. Yes, taking pride and yielding a finished product is important, but if you see some of the crud that crosses my desk, the minor bits and pieces here (many of which are autocorrect shlock) are nothing. Enjoy the ride.

GBFaninCA's picture

Honestly, most Packer fans are drunk as a skunk after a game. At least I am... if there weren't some silly mistakes like this Im not sure I could trust the writers to be true Cheeseheads

egbertsouse's picture

If that head shot would have been laid on Dez Bryant or Odell Beckham, No. 49 would be suspended today. Kill shots are allowed on non-stars. This is the NFL, it's not about player safety, it's about the benjamins.

Finwiz's picture

That was a borderline hit, probably legal.
It was close to leading with the helmet, but fact is he hit him in the chest.
The official was right there with hand on the flag.
Receivers have to put their head on a "swivel" to anticipate the contact, with the way DB's tackle now days.
They should just outlaw any tackling that doesn't involve wrapping up, or movement of the arms to extend and tackle, to limit the shoulder banger tackles. That might solve the problem. But they won't.
In the old days, they never tackled, or should I say, 'put the player on the ground', by slamming into people. They used to wrap up with the arms at the ankles. It works just as well, but the morons don't do it.

RCPackerFan's picture

That was a hard one to call.
The one that I was more upset that they didn't call was the one about 5 plays later. That one was to late. The Ref was reaching for the flag then didn't throw it.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The first two replays the hit looked legal. Sullivan led with his shoulder, but he did duck his head. Finally saw a replay that made it look more helmet to helmet. I needed 3 or 4 slow motion replays to see that it might have been helmet to helmet. That's a tough call to make in real time. Now Sullivan's hit on Max a few plays later was absolutely blatant.

croatpackfan's picture

Did you saw Sullivan's arms? He launched himself like arrow. And the top spot was his crown of the helmet. He did not hit Malachi in the helmet, but in the chest just bellow his chin. That was inproper and dangerous hit... I wish him (Sullivan) to receive similar hit to learn how wrong he was. I wish him that hit w/o health consequences...

WKUPackFan's picture

My first thought upon seeing it was "that would be a targeting call in college" (understanding that the targeting rule's application is ridiculously varied). There was also something about the height of the jump/launch that made it look overly vicious. Honestly, I was very surprised that a flag was not thrown.

Tundraboy's picture

"In the old days, they never tackled, or should I say, 'put the player on the ground', by slamming into people. They used to wrap up with the arms at the ankles. It works just as well, but the morons don't do it."

Exactly. Most basic part of Football is considered not flashy enough. Still the easiest way to bring someone down fast.

lou's picture

Solid points made. What I liked about King's tackles that once he hit with his shoulder he immediately wrapped the legs, as BASIC as that should be you just don;t see it enough.

Yooper's picture

A "Large part of the 1st half lead was due to Trevor Davis and Jeff Janis" who both scored on great plays in the first half........... #biasedsportsreporters who won't give credit where credit is due!!!!!!!!:^(

LayingTheLawe's picture

The Packers were shredded for 260 yards passing? I will take that amount of shredding. Specially when it comes with giving up less than 40 yards running, having some decent pressure, and getting 4 turnovers.

I know preseason games are all about overreacting to what doesn't look good - the line can't run block in this one so let's go get 5 new linemen sort of thing. But if the biggest concerns is the defense for this team, then 9 points given up is a good first act.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Capers has always run a bend don't break defense. Same defense that won us the SB in 2010. Dependent on turnovers and pressures. It hasn't been enough in 6 years. I hope it's enough this year.

Since '61's picture

Too many injuries. Proving once again that the preseason is an injury factory in meaningless games. Fortunately, Brice should be fine. Randall will miss some valuable practice time for a player who needs all that he can get. Hopefully Dupre, Barclay and Pringle will all be OK. I thought that Jones and King both looked pretty good on defense. I wasn't impressed by much else. T. Hill may already have passed Callahan at QB. We'll see as the preseason goes on. Thanks, since '61

Finwiz's picture

Injuries yes. But what would one expect when they barely hit in practice with all the limitations on padded practices now?
This just means they get their exposure to contact and stress on the body in the exhibition games, rather than practice.
And when they get hit in the games they aren't prepared for the impacts.
It's a product of the new league.
All they did was move the physical stress from practice to the games themselves.
I don't get it, but I can't change it. It is what it is. Injuries are going to happen in this environment.
And then when the starters don't play in preseason, and don't practice much in pads with limited hitting, there WILL be significant injuries in the 1st 1-4 games of the regular season.
You just delay the inevitable.

sonomaca's picture

Games like this are Superbowls for late rounders and UDFA's. They're trying to impress. One way to do that is to show extreme aggressiveness. Hence, the hard hits. Hence, the injuries.

The TKstinator's picture

Accurate.
Succinct.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Pithy.
Concise.

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