Kurt Benkert probably will not unseat Jordan Love as the Green Bay Packers’ backup quarterback, but he is making a strong push for a roster spot on Saturday. Against the New York Jets in the Packers’ second preseason game of 2021, the Packers’ second string offense played against the Jets’ starting defense for much of the first half, and Benkert impressed.
After a first-quarter touchdown drive driven by the rushing attack, Benkert took to the air in the second quarter as the Packers started at their own 19-yard line. More than ten minutes later, the team found the end zone as Benkert lofted a picture-perfect pass to tight end Jace Sternberger in the back right corner of the end zone to give the Packers a 14-10 lead.
Perhaps more impressive than that throw, however, was how Benkert controlled the offense throughout that series. The Packers overcame a pair of holding penalties on Lucas Patrick, rolling up a total of 96 yards of offense on the series as a result. The team converted four third downs and a fourth-down opportunity, all of them via the pass, en route to a drive that lasted 10:19.
All told, Benkert completed 8 of 11 pass attempts on the drive, totaling 75 yards against most of the Jets’ starters while throwing to the likes of Malik Taylor, Amari Rodgers, Reggie Begelton, and Sternberger. Furthermore, quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy was calling the offensive plays for the Packers rather than head coach Matt LaFleur.
Whether Benkert’s performance is enough to claim a spot on the 53-man roster will be determined in about ten days, when the team makes its final cuts. However, he made a strong statement on Saturday that he deserves a roster spot somewhere, whether that comes in Green Bay or with another NFL team.