The Green Bay Packers are without question one of the top teams in the NFC heading into the 2016 NFL season. Aaron Rodgers and company are widely expected to be a serious Super Bowl contender.
Last night was the kickoff of the Packers’ season. They hosted the Cleveland Browns for the first preseason game of the season and it was as ugly as could be expected. Green Bay rested some key starters, namely Aaron Rodgers, although they were still able to pull out a 17-11 victory.
All of that being said, what five takeaways can be seen for the Packers from their first preseason contest?
Green Bay Really Needs Brett Hundley as Backup QB
Perhaps the most obvious issue was the quarterback situation. Neither Rodgers or Brett Hundley played and Joe Callahan and Marquise Williams showed that they are not close to being NFL ready. Callahan didn’t play an awful game, but the Packers really need Hundley to step up and prove that he has taken the next step.
Eddie Lacy Looks to Be in Much Better Shape
Even though Eddie Lacy only carried the football four times for 24 yards, he still looked to be in much better shape. He will never stop being a big body, but he was able to make key cuts and his speed was much more noticeable. Green Bay needs the star version of Lacy back this season and he appears ready to answer that need.
Brandon Burks and John Crockett Are Talents to Keep an Eye On
Green Bay has to be very happy with their two young running backs in Brandon Burks and John Crockett. Burks carried the football nine times for 45 yards, while Crockett finished the game with six carries for 17 yards and three receptions for 17 yards and a touchdown. Both players are talents to keep an eye on and could earn playing time this season.
Green Bay May Have Too Many Tight Ends
Jared Cook and Richard Rodgers are the top two tight ends on the depth chart, but both Justin Perillo and Kennard Backman showed major potential. There are without question too many talented tight ends on the roster. It will be interesting to see what Ted Thompson does and whether he is willing to trade one of them.
The Green Bay Packers’ Defense Is Full of Playmakers
It has become obvious that Green Bay’s defense this season is full of playmakers. They recorded two safeties and also picked Robert Griffin III off. Green Bay will need their defense to step up in a big way this season, although there are still question marks that they need to prove capable of answering.
What did you think of the Green Bay Packers’ first preseason game? Do you think they should be viewed as serious Super Bowl contenders?