On Thursday, the Green Bay Packers kicked off their preseason with a 24-9 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The final score matters little, however, as the coaches care far more about the game film they can devour over the next 24 hours. With nearly a full 90-man roster participating in the preseason opener, the team has plenty of good and bad performances to consider.
Let's start out with the positive -- the stock up report.
Not only did Trevor Davis get some run with the No. 1 offense during early in the game, but he reminded everyone what he can do with the ball in his hands. On a punt return early in the second quarter, the second-year man showcased his blazing speed and two well-timed cuts on a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown. He nearly pulled out a second touchdown return later in the game but had to settle for a 26-yarder instead. Davis needs to make some plays as a receiver to cement a spot on the 53-man roster, but Green Bay doesn't have a more dangerous return man on the roster at present.
Brett Hundley looked sharp throughout his two quarters of work despite multiple mistakes by his teammates. The third-year signal-caller threw a gem of a touchdown to Jeff Janis just minutes after the wideout dropped a pass in the open field. Hundley also flashed his scrambling ability while evading pressuring coming from his blindside. His final snap of the night ended with an interception after he failed to identify the "robber" linebacker dropped into coverage, but that play doesn't overshadow all the good work he put on tape Thursday.
The Packers' struggles covering the middle of the field played a large part in the Packers experimenting with Morgan Burnett and Josh Jones at linebacker. That "Nitro" package remains a work in progress, but it seems that Joe Thomas -- often a forgotten man among the linebacking corps -- has elevated his game in 2017. Thomas forced a turnover on down by stuffing Corey Clement at the line of scrimmage and intercepted Matt McGloin midway through the second quarter, essentially accounting for two takeaways. Thomas' role on the defense hasn't settled yet, but it sure seems like the linebacker will once again make the roster.