It was a night of reunions for many tonight, including Davante Adams, Rich Bisaccia, Edgar Bennett, Keisean Nixon, and more. It was also a nailbiter of a game (for at least a half), and the bye-bound Green Bay Packers unfortunately came out on the wrong side, dropping to 2-3 in a 17-13 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Let’s get into this week’s winners and losers.
Winner: Preston Smith
Yes, there was a brief moment when Preston Smith covered Davante Adams and allowed a 6-yard reception (which I called, by the way). Other than this weird decision by perennial-loser Joe Barry, Smith looked pretty great tonight. He seemed like he was everywhere on the field. He forced a punt with a monster third-down sack on Jimmy Garoppolo, and forced the Raiders to settle for a FG with a batted pass after an interception by Jordan Love. In a game where the offense didn’t look so great, the defense had to step up (they didn’t), and Preston Smith was one of the few highlights on this side of the ball.
Loser: Jordan Love
Our young, inexperienced QB looked...well, young and inexperienced. Love had three interceptions tonight, one of which ended the game. The other two, both to Raiders LB Robert Spillane, were throws that should not have been made. Spillane’s first interception was thrown right to him, and I’m not sure why Love thought he could get the ball to the receiver behind him. The second interception did come from a tipped pass to Christian Watson, but it was a ball Watson was never going to catch. Credit to Love, he had some beautiful throws on the last drive which would’ve been clutch, had the receivers not dropped them. However, his throws the rest of the game, especially in the first half, were questionable at best. Another small bright spot to Jordan Love’s game: the kid’s got legs. He rushed twice tonight, and had the team’s longest run of the game with 26 yards.
Winner: Zach Tom
Listen, the offense looked awful. I don’t have much to say about the offensive line, except that Zach Tom’s foul-drawing flop was the highlight of my entire day. It’s the exact amount of dramatic that players need to be when a guy like Maxx Crosby shoves them in the back. 10/10, no notes.
Loser: Matt LaFleur
I’m almost at a loss for words tonight. I cannot remember a time that this Packers offense looked less productive. Without Aaron Jones, Matt LaFleur looks like he has no idea what kind of plays to call. This is particularly hilarious, because with Aaron Jones, Matt LaFleur looks like he has no idea what Jones is capable of. I also wish I could get my hands on one of those neuralyzers from Men in Black, and erase everything associated with screens from LaFleur’s head. Please, no more. This season is all about evaluation, and preparing for the future, but what would Matt LaFleur even do with different players? He’s not doing the right thing with the players he has. I don’t think anyone expected the team to be good this season, but what we’re seeing is a little concerning. The offense has looked flat for the majority of the games we’ve seen thus far, and then all of a sudden the jets turn on during the last quarter. That’s not a sustainable solution, especially when you have a defense capable of giving up points every time they’re on the field.
Winner: Anders Carlson
Ahh, Packers versus Raiders. Carlson versus Carlson. The matchup we were all looking forward to. Raiders K Daniel Carlson is the more experienced of the two, while his younger brother Packers K Anders Carlson sent fans into panic mode this preseason with a slew of misses during practice. Well, folks! Anders has come out victorious, and is still perfect to start the season. He made two field goals tonight, with a long of 37, and had a successful extra point. You can’t ask for more than perfect, and perfect is what we got.
The Packers head into a much-needed bye week which will hopefully result in the returns of Aaron Jones and Eric Stokes, as well as Darnell Savage and Quay Walker, who exited tonight’s game early. After the bye week comes a game against the 1-4 Denver Broncos, which might give the offense the boost they need.