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Wednesday Walkthroughs: What do we like from the from the Packers’ first two games?

Last week we talked about our concerns, but here’s what we’re liking from the first two weeks.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

2022 has been a mixed bag for the Packers. So far, we’ve seen one very forgettable game and one pretty good performance against a team that looks pretty bad.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to like. Last week we talked about our concerns, but here’s what our writers had to say about what we like so far this season.

Rcon14: I think the receiver room is gonna be okay

It may take a while for things to shake out fully, but there are enough tools in the toolbox here to work, I think. Christian Watson is fast fast. He’s put multiple instances on film of him completely roasting NFL corners. Rodgers needs to throw him the ball in these situations, but getting separation is the most repeatable skill. Allen Lazard has only played one game, but so long as he is healthy, I’m not too worried about him being a productive big slot. Sammy Watkins has looked solid so far, even if most of his targets have come off in-breakers on play-action/RPO games. Romeo Doubs has looked really good with the ball in his hands, and it’ll be interesting to see if Green Bay expands his role as the season goes on. It’s going to be a rocky road, but I think there’s a real chance that by season’s end, this is a pretty deep group, even if it doesn’t have a true alpha.

Jon Meerdink: Rashan Gary looks the part

Rashan Gary has looked like a new player each of his first three seasons in the NFL. Improbably, the same seems to be true in year four, where Gary somehow looks faster, stronger, and harder to block than ever.

It’s led to a career high in pressure rate and two sacks through two games, and yet somehow he still feels like he’s just scratching the surface. The Packers may not have pass rushing depth, but what they’ve got at the top is plenty good.

Justis Mosqueda: They can run the damn ball

Both sides of the ball have been a little up and down but the one constant over their first two games is that the Packers can run the ball. Aaron Jones is averaging 9.1 yards per carry. It’s hard to complain with numbers like that. Who knows why the Packers went away from their zone/duo roots and started calling pin and pull plays, but it’s working really well in 2022.

Kris Burke: Special teams arrow pointed upward

The third phase of the Packers has become a running joke the past few seasons but Matt LaFleur showed he was serious about fixing special teams with the high profile hire of Rich Bisaccia in the offseason. Preseason didn’t look so hot but that was with mainly bottom of the roster players contributing.

Now, with starters seeing action on special teams, the group is going the right direction. Amari Rodgers did muff a return last week so we can’t say they’re GOOD quite yet but coverages have been improved and Rodgers even has had some solid returns when he hangs on to the football.

There’s work to be done but the group is far from the liability it was a year ago.

Paul Noonan: Quay Walker is Awesome

The Packers had two first-round picks. One looks a little iffy, but Quay Walker man. When we talk of someone flashing on tape, this is what that phrase means. Walker is faster than everyone, he tackles better than everyone, and it looks like it hurts.

The Packers, and also analytics nerds, have neglected the inside linebacker for ages, but the fact is that a great one can elevate a defense from “meh” to “outstanding.” It’s actually a bit odd that analytics views the position as less valuable given their role in eating up space in the middle of the field, which is, analytically speaking, the most valuable place to throw the ball. Walker can cover tight ends, he already has an enormous number of “stops,” and he just looks like a force. They likely aren’t going to bat 1.000 on that draft, but they connected on one of their most important swings.