On Saturday, the Green Bay Packers endured their first loss of the preseason, a 20-17 defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos. As with any exhibition game, the final score means nothing. Coaches care only about new injuries and devouring the film that results from the contest. As always, the staff has plenty of good and poor performances to consider.
Let's begin with the positive -- the stock up report.
Kentrell Brice's spot on the roster and in the defense hasn't changed during training camp or the preseason. Still, the second-year safety continues to impress with the No. 1 unit, further establishing his grip on consistent snaps. Brice's biggest play -- an interception that nearly resulted in six points the other way -- headlines any discussion of his night. But Brice also continues to showcase his tackling ability, finishing third on the team with four tackles including three solo takedowns.
Through the Packers' first two preseason games, Trevor Davis made an appearance on both the stock up and down lists. In both cases, his performance on special teams made the difference. Davis rebounded from a muffed punt last week to produce a 27-yard return on his lone attempt Saturday. The wideout also made an impact on offense, catching three passes for 39 yards while flashing his speed on an end-around that yielded a first down. At this point, nothing short of a complete implosion or injury appears capable of keeping Davis off the Week 1 roster.
With Nick Perry and Jayrone Elliott leaving Saturday's game early with ankle and back injuries respectively, second-year edge rusher Reggie Gilbert saw more playing time than expected. He made the most of his opportunity, registering a tackle for loss and a sack with a defense that struggled to generate any semblance of a pass rush after the starters departed. Gilbert lacks elite athleticism, but he moves and bends smoothly and has enough power to battle with offensive tackles. Especially if Perry or Elliott's injuries prove significant, the Packers probably can't afford to let Gilbert get away.
A poor preseason debut and a leg injury that cost him last weekend's tilt clouded Ty Montgomery's grip on the lead job in the backfield rotation. However, the third-year man put any talk of a fall down the depth chart to bed with a solid performance. Montgomery highlighted his burst on a 25-yard run during the Packers' first drive, crashing the A gap as soon as it opened. On the team's next possession, he found pay dirt from 2 yards out, plowing his way just over the goal line for the game's first touchdown. Pass protection and ball security remain concerns for Montgomery, but none of his direct competitors have looked as good at their respective peaks.