Packers v. Jets: Behind the Numbers

Here is a look at some key numbers at stats from the Green Bay Packers' second preseason game with the New York Jets.

It's the Monday following a Green Bay Packers game, so that means it's time for a look 'Behind the Numbers.' 

For those reading for the first time, this is a new series that I'll be doing this season where I take a look at the numbers or stats that defined each game for the Green Bay Packers.

However, since this is the preseason, and we aren't concerned with wins and losses, the figures that I'll discuss are more so focused on specific players rather than stats such as red zone success or third-down percentage, which can largely affect the outcome.

After this past Saturday's game against the New York Jets, I have eight numbers that are worth taking a closer look at. 

$1,047,059

According to Over the Cap, that figure is the amount of cap space that the Green Bay Packers would save if they choose to cut Tyler Lancaster--which is something that could very well be in play given the recent performances from UDFA Jack Heflin.

In his two preseason games, Heflin has recorded two pressures, eight total tackles, and four stops--or plays that constitute a loss for the offense, according to PFF. Now, if Heflin were to make the final roster, expectations shouldn't be that he's going to be a game-changer; in fact, he's quite similar to Lancaster. But if the Packers feel that he could fill a similar rotational role, then it may make sense that they choose the cap savings.

"Jack is a great kid," said defensive coordinator Joe Barry. "Jack was an undrafted kid that we brought in here, and as a coach, when you look at those undrafted guys, you're just looking for daily improvement. He's (Heflin) a kid that's been here and works unbelievably hard every single day and it's cool to see him at least from the production sheet really show up. He played well against Houston and it's great to see that Jack is making improvements from Week 1 to Week 2."

21 yards

In between two punts that were either at or near the 50-yard mark was an ugly 21-yard punt from JK Scott. And it's the inconsistency of that three punt sequence that really sums up Scott's time here in Green Bay quite well.

Just last week at the first round of cutdowns, the Packers released Ryan Winslow, who was "competing" with Scott. So unless Green Bay chooses to sign anyone new in the next couple of days -- which they should consider -- Scott is going to continue working through these inconsistencies with Maurice Drayton.

"We just have to continue to build the consistency with JK," said Drayton. "It's little things within the mechanics of punting."

12 snaps

After a very impressive performance against the Houston Texans from Oren Burks, I was very much looking forward to seeing how he would perform the following week. However, Burks was only on the field for 12 total defensive snaps, according to PFF--and no, he didn't get injured.

What that tells me is that he is going to be on this final 53-man roster, and the Packers had more interest in looking at some other linebackers rather than Burks.

3

Do the Green Bay Packers choose to keep three quarterbacks? Oftentimes, there really isn't a ton of value in keeping three quarterbacks on the roster, but if the Packers choose to keep Kurt Benkert, it's a move more so for the 2022 season than 2021.

We still don't know what the future holds for Aaron Rodgers, but of course, there is the possibility that he is playing elsewhere next season. If that's the case, and Green Bay has really liked what they've seen from Benkert, then they may prefer to keep in on the team for 2021, knowing that he may transition to a backup role next year.

Given how difficult it is to find solid quarterback play in the NFL, there is the real possibility that if the Packers cut Benkert with the hopes of signing him to the practice squad, he might not even get to that point after putting on a show against the Jets. Benkert was 18/25 -- completing a few beautiful passes -- for 151 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

"I thought Kurt did a nice job, he showed good command," said LaFleur via Packer Report. "His ability to hang in the pocket, progress, make some off-schedule plays on the first drive — that was a big-time throw and catch,"

0 Pressures

That is the number of pressures that Royce Newman has allowed at the right guard position in his two preseason games which have spanned 32 pass-blocking reps. And as a run-blocker? Well, he's been pretty darn good there as well, creating some big running lanes on the right side, along with right tackle Ben Braden, for AJ Dillon to run through. By PFF's grading system, Newman has the second-highest run-blocking grade on the team.

For much of training camp, the battle for the two guard openings was between Lucas Patrick, Jon Runyan, and Ben Braden, but after some less than stellar play against Houston, Matt LaFleur decided to add Newman to the mix during practice last week, and he was then rewarded with the start on Saturday.  

On Sunday, LaFleur said that Newman "did a lot of good things," but that "we're still competing at that guard position, both of them." However, if Newman can continue playing at the same level that he has been, one would think that the right guard opening is his for the taking. 

116 yards

That's how many receiving yards Malik Taylor has in these two preseason games. With Devin Funchess, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Juwann Winfree all injured, Taylor had a prime opportunity to build off of his performance against Houston--and he did just that. 

Taylor caught four of his five targets, including two excellent grabs down each sideline, and averaged almost 17 yards per catch. In addition to making plays in the passing game, Taylor also brings special teams value as a gunner and has had some nice blocks this preseason as well. He's making it very difficult for LaFleur to keep him off of the final roster.

"I thought Malik Taylor showed up and did some really nice things," said LaFleur via The Athletic. He would later add, "Malik showed a lot of energy and made some big-time plays. It's just consistency but we have seen a lot of improvement from him."

9 snaps

While I believe Oren Burks being on the field for only 12 snaps was a good sign for him, on the other side of that coin is Will Redmond, who was on the field for just nine snaps before limping off with an injury. Redmond has already missed a good portion of training camp being on the NFI list. 

The issue for Redmond is that in his absence, the young trio of safeties in Vernon Scott, Henry Black, and Innis Gaines have all looked very good this summer--both on defense as well as on special teams. And although Scott did not play against New York, Black and Gaines continued to impress, tallying 13 tackles between them, with Black's seven being the most on the team and Gaines' six being the second-most.

Hopefully, Redmond's injury is minor because he already appears to be on the hot seat, and any more missed time is not going to be good for his roster hopes. 

17 Special teams snaps

Just as I did last week, I'm going to conclude with which players took the most special teams snaps. As I've talked about previously, many of these final roster spots won't be determined by offensive or defensive contributions but rather what each player can do on special teams. This week, Kabion Ento led the way with 17 special teams snaps. Isaiah McDuffie, Innis Gaines, and Henry Black were in second with 15, and Isaac Yiadom had 14. 

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

6 points

Comments (29)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Bearmeat's picture

August 23, 2021 at 10:10 am

I said it before camp and I'll restate it: I don't know that Gute will keep 6 WRs and even if he does, it's not a lock that Funchess is the 6th.

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dobber's picture

August 23, 2021 at 10:49 am

With the layoff between the Buffalo game and the opener, a soft-tissue injury--if it's only just a mild strain--like Funchess' makes it hard to project what will happen with him.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:37 am

He’s also able to fill the offensive aspects of the TE role that Sternberger won’t be.

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dobber's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:31 am

I agree: this is likely his ticket through final cutdowns.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:39 am

That would be a heck of a TE tandem in the passing game. I think that’s part of what LaFleur has been excited about all along.

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greengold's picture

August 23, 2021 at 10:43 am

Bearmeat, I was thinking the same thing on Funchess, even though I could see the decision going either way. Funchess showed some nice stuff vs. HOU. Popping out with a hamstring really hurts his chances, I think. Players don't typically bounce back from those in this tight a turn around.

There is a lot to like with some of our younger players. Many of them are showing some solid potential, and with only 3 games in preseason, I'm sure Gutekunst & LaFleur want to see as much of them as possible to help guide their decisions on the final 53.

As for keeping 6 WR? I think they may do that, or more, with Funchess possibly out of the mix. Nothing against Funchess. Gutekunst has to consider the future of the team, and their cap expenditures for 2022. With only Amari and Cobb signed for next season, I think that will play a part in him keeping more WRs this initial 53 just to protect those they've spent time developing. A trade from the group wouldn't surprise me, or any of us, I'm sure.

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dobber's picture

August 23, 2021 at 10:54 am

It keeps coming back to ST contributions. Someone like Malik Taylor who has been a KR and plays on coverage units may find himself sneaking through the final cut, especially given the Packers' thin WR room in 2022 and his solid play thus far.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:14 am

I think they will keep a few STers. I think one will be Taylor. I would note that he’d be my starting slot on day one if we had not signed Cobb. He has come a long way this off season. Since I doubt we will activate both Cobb and Rodgers very often, I can see Taylor also being a back up returner.

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dobber's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:32 am

I still think that Adams plays more slot snaps than Cobb or AmRod in 2021.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:42 am

They will move Adams around certainly, but they will still use a slot/option type now we have one. How many snaps isn’t the point, it’s how that works in the plays where it’s used in this offense. There are things in the slot role that Adams doesn’t do.

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Thegravedigger's picture

August 23, 2021 at 06:44 pm

if funchess goes on the pup, does he still take a roster spot?

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 06:50 pm

He can’t go on PUP as he has practiced in camp. Only Bakh could at this point.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:37 am

Did anyone notice how bad Burks was during his limited snaps?

Yes, he can pass and run rush but he’s the same headless chicken he has always been if asked to diagnose or cover. Martin is equally good rushing and on STs and us younger and may have some upside. If Burks is heading for the roster as an actual defender we just do not learn!

Redmond looked like he probably never was fit. I think it may be the same injury as the one who kept him on the NFI. That’s mildly concerning because while I like our young safeties, I’m not convinced that they are coverage prospects. We need one who can cover deep, which is Redmond’s best position.

Nijman also had no pressures playing more snaps at LT. As LaFleur essentially said, he’s quietly cementing his spot. Braden looks better than Kelly. Newman certainly looks to be likely to start at G.

I like Heflin. I think he can do more than just clog. He has the potential to push the pocket. Lancaster does not, but if I want a man to stonewall, neither Slaton nor Heflin is a match for Lancaster, who is as strong as he is lacking burst. I’d be hesitant to move on from Lancaster for that reason. I would like to see Heflin on the team. As an alternative, trade Lowry, save more, use Slaton behind Keke and Heflin behind Clark if all are healthy.

Galeai might have flashed the ability to be the cover OLB and situational speed rusher that we have lacked since Fackrell. That would be a massive boost and keep the Smiths fresher as well. Now, can we find a 4th rusher?

I can’t see us changing Crosby’s holder at this point unless they have a secret candidate ready in house whom Crosby is happy with. For that reason I don’t see JK Scott gone at this point. I could see a PS pick up to work with Crosby perhaps. Crosby being comfortable is a higher priority than upgrading Scott in a win or bust year.

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dobber's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:50 am

" As an alternative, trade Lowry, save more, ..."

Trading Lowry accelerates an extra $3M onto the 2021 cap. Given that, and the reports that Lowry has had a good camp, he's a lock.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Sigh, practicalities. Lowry has had a functional camp. He’s looked decent but let’s not delude ourselves that we want him getting a lot of snaps.

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Thegravedigger's picture

August 23, 2021 at 06:55 pm

hey new d coordinator. pettine played his ass all game. pettines gone. hopefully joe barry is different and loyal to nobody but the best player on the dline.

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Thegravedigger's picture

August 23, 2021 at 06:59 pm

martin just got cut. and yes i noticed burks i was watching him the entire game. he was a disapointment. the only ilb who did jack shit was barnes in his limited reps. wilborn made one play. summers was a nothing. the galeai play when he tackled the back in the flat was a welcoming site. when an olb makes a solid tackle on a shifty back its always promising. like to see a bigger sample size of him in coverage for sure. but tackling backs in the flat has been a nightmare for this defense, and with guys like black and vernon scott and maybe galeai in on dime d we mgiht be able to get off the field when the back gets a dumpoff on 3rd and 12. and as to your point on redmond. he in theory can play deep. but he chokes back there. drops balls or holds or just mistimes the pbu. id take my chances with vernon scott back deep. i dont think black or gaines can play deep i agree with you there. they are both special teams guys and box safetys or dime lbs. but scott can do it. and if savage gets hurt amos can drop back deep. or vice versa. i think even sullivan can play some emergency safety.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:44 pm

Pretty much agree with that. I hope that you are right about Scott.

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Bure9620's picture

August 23, 2021 at 07:00 pm

Yes Burks was bad....Real bad...and why blitz him in that Texans game??

Nijman is okay maybe as an emergency Tackle but I would be quite concerned for Rodgers health if he had to play meaningful snaps at LT against elite rushers....I guess I am still not convinced with him. Heflin is a steal as is Hill. Liked Heflin at Iowa, well not "liked" as I hate Iowa but respected him. If anyone watches the Badgers, he really helped stuff the run against them last year. He should be on the 53 over Lancaster.

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dobber's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:48 am

I'm not worried about Benkert making the PS. He's had a couple good drives this preseason, but he faded in the second half against the Jets and while he made some nice throws against Houston, the offense was largely ineffective. There are plenty of Kurt Benkert's out there, and if I'm the Packers and ARod is gone in 2022, I'm drafting a developmental QB in the middle rounds of 2022.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:55 am

I'd add 7.0 to the behind the stats list for Dillon's YPC. It was great to see him get a little work in, and very positive to also see him catch a couple passes. Looking forward to seeing him move piles in short yardage and demoralize defenses on a weekly basis.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 11:45 pm

Taylor managed 6 ypc. That’s why I want him on the PS as cover for Dillon.

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jont's picture

August 23, 2021 at 12:12 pm

How about a little love for Gute? He's brought in some good prospects.

Here's Packers' Wire giving a quick, early review of the rookies:

CB Eric Stokes: "It's difficult to have any meaningful takeaways from his preseason snaps, but the Packers think he's going to be very good."
C Josh Myers; "Myers is the top-rated rookie center at Pro Football Focus through two preseason games."
WR Amari Rodgers: "Rodgers hasn't been an impactful player as a receiver or returner so far.... The Packers are manufacturing ways of getting him the ball.... He's the favorite to return punts."
OL Royce Newman: "He's the top-rated rookie guard in the NFL after two preseason games... looks like a real find."
DL TJ Slaton: "The hope is he can be a useful rotational player as a rookie, potentially making Kenny Clark's life easier."
CB Shemar Jean-Charles: "Learning how to cover NFL receivers will be a work in progess. He'll be an important special teams contributor."
OL Cole Van Lanen: "Van Lanen has been one of the rookie standouts of the preseason."
RB Kylin Hill: "The star of the preseason."
DL Jack Heflin: "Heflin looks like the gem of the undrafted free agent class. "
LB Isaiah McDuffie: "He'll need to earn his roster spot on special teams, where the Packers need linebackers to help turn the third phase around."

IMO, I am particularly loving these OL prospects. The game is won and lost in the trenches, and GB has been doing great on sustaining a quality OL.

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Bure9620's picture

August 23, 2021 at 07:16 pm

Agree...I am not sure about Van Lanen, Frankly don't think he should be on the 53..As an avid Badger fan Van Lanen really left alot to be desired particularly in pass protection...He was a real turnstile at times against good rushers...He gave up 4 sacks to Chase Young, was like watching Mike Tyson fight a child, just absolutely unfair. I realize they want to play him inside but he has gotten tackle reps as well...not sure he is an NFL player

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ImaPayne's picture

August 23, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Still havent heard who the pack will cut before tom. deadline. They always play the wait and see game and I have to laugh as if were letting go some prime people others will grab right up. NOT
There is deadwood on this team. Guys who have experience but havent improved much over the years that a newbie cant come in and match.
With that said, Lancaster, Redmond, Ya Dum, Williams could all be cut and we wouldnt notice a drop off in talent.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 12:49 pm

One will be Dolegala if Love is expected to play, another will be the second kicker. Not sure if there are any injury designation candidates.

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Coldworld's picture

August 23, 2021 at 06:53 pm

Or not. We kept both.

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mnbadger's picture

August 23, 2021 at 12:24 pm

I've enjoyed following and have rooted for Tyler L. He's been a thorn in offensive linemen's sides since his time in the B10. Also appreciate his work ethic and modest approach that he's shown when being a guest on Packer TV shows. He appreciates everything and works hard for everything. Back in my hayday, I was Tyler L.
However, Heflin is bringing more to the table and every dollar of cap savings will be needed. I'm hoping he gets traded for late rounder, not cut. But I don't expect him back.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 23, 2021 at 02:01 pm

Maybe Kurt needs to strain a shoulder or pull a hammy or something and get put on IR? ~
Edit: Or maybe even Jordan could do the same? That is a way to keep the third QB from being poached.~

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