Green Bay Packers' Preseason Update, Projections

August 21, 2023 by Staff

It wasn't the same, but it was bad enough.

This past Saturday night, an injury led to an NFL preseason game came being halted by mutual decision of the teams. It evoked memories of the January 2 incident last season that nearly cost Buffalo Bills' safety Damar Hamlin his life. Rookie New England cornerback Isaiah Bolden suffered an apparent head injury with 10:29 to play and lay motionless. There were no "thumbs up" from the player when he was finally carted off with Green Bay leading 21-17 at Lambeau Field. There was plenty of concern and lots of prayers.

Fortunately, Bolden was released the next morning and has since rejoined his team.

For the game, Jordan Love completed 5-of-8 for passes for the Packers for 89 yards and a touchdown. He is now 12-of-18 for 130 yards, 2 TD's and no INT's in five offensive series over two preseason games and his team is 2-0.

Green Bay fans and management are hoping Jordan Love can continue the franchise's four decades of greatness at quarterback.

For most of the 1990's, all of the 2000's, all of the 2010's, and the start of the 2020's, the Packers have either had Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers at QB.

In Love's first season, the Green Bay odds at of winning the Super Bowl are middle-of-fthe-pack at +4000. The Packers only have the 3rd-best odds of winning the division, despite having the 12th-easiest schedule, according to Sharp Football Analysis.

Love was a first-round draft pick by Green Bay out of Utah State in 2020 with the 26th selection over-all. Three years later, he is expected to be the long-term successor to Rodgers who opted to go to the New York Jets instead of sticking with the Packers.

Rodgers logged 15 years behind center after Green Bay drafted him out of California with the 25th selection in 2005. Three years later, Favre was off to the New York Jets and Rodgers became the successor to a guy who logged 16 years behind center for the Packers.

Green Bay was the second NFL destination for Favre who was drafted by Atlanta out of Southern Miss in 1991. Ron Wolf, the GM at the time, had the '91 pick after the Falcons and had hoped to draft Favre. In his only season with the Falcons, he threw just 4 passes (0-for-4) over 2 games, and two of those were picked off with one resulting in a defensive score. Favre wanted out of Atlanta, While Wolf still wanted him badly enough in Green Bay to trade a first-round pick for the future Hall-of-Famer.

How did the Favre and Rodgers eras begin? Quite heroically, actually.

In the third game of the '92 season, starter Don "Magic Man" Majkowski suffered an ankle injury and Favre entered the contest in the first quarter against Cincinnati. After fumbling and bumbling his way for most of the game, he led the team to two touchdowns on two possessions in the 4th quarter. The last TD came with 13 seconds left and capped a 92-yard drive that began with 1:07 to go. And so the Favre era began. Green Bay would go on to finish 9-7 that year after an 0-2 start without him. Five years later, the Packers won the Super Bowl.

The story was different in Rodgers' first game. He had time to prepare to be the starter, and his first outing against division rival Minnesota was a 24-19 win while completing 18-of-22 passes on September 8, 2008. On young legs, Rodgers also had 8 rushes for 35 yards, four of which converted first downs, and the winning 1-yard touchdown sneak. Despite Rodgers' throwing for 4,038 yards and 28 TD's, Green Bay sank to a 6-10 season, including 4 straight losses by 4 points or less in November and December. Two years later, the Packers won the Super Bowl.

The 2023 Green Bay schedule leads off with Chicago at Soldier Field on September 10, while the first month concludes with a Thursday night game at home against the division betting favorite Detroit Lions.

Green Bay will be featured the following week on Monday night, October 9, at Las Vegas. The Packers will host defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City on Sunday night, December 3.

Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon return at running back where they produced yards, but few rushing touchdowns, a year ago. Jones ran for 1,121 yards with just 2 scores, though he added 5 on receptions. Dillon rushed for 770 yards and 7 touchdowns, but zero scores on receptions.

Leading receiver Allen Lazard (788 yards, 6 TD's) is in New York with Rodgers, along with Randall Cobb (417 yards, 1 TD). That leaves Christian Watson as the top returning pass catcher with 611 yards and 7 scores a year ago.

Safety Adrian Amos also joined the Jets on a 1-year deal in June.