Game recap: 5 takeaways from Packers' preseason win over Seahawks

Where things stand with Jordan Love, offense after three warm-up appearances

Green Bay Packers QB Jordan Love

GREEN BAY – The Packers wrapped up their 2023 season with a 19-15 victory over the Seahawks on Saturday at Lambeau Field.

Here are five takeaways from the afternoon:

1. Jordan Love and the No. 1 offense are in a pretty good spot.

The first-team offense – minus left tackle David Bakhtiari, running back Aaron Jones and receiver Romeo Doubs – played three series, producing a field goal and touchdown sandwiched around a three-and-out.

The TD drive spanned the break between the first and second quarters, and as the first quarter wound down, the Packers went no-huddle to simulate a two-minute drill, which Love & Co. hadn't executed in a game setting yet.

Head Coach Matt LaFleur called it "good work" for all involved, and Love capped the 80-yard drive with a 6-yard scoring pass to Christian Watson on first-and-goal.

The positives included stellar pass protection and Love using his legs to scramble for yards when needed. He rushed for 21 yards on three attempts while completing 9-of-15 passes for 63 yards and the TD.

"They did a great job the whole preseason," Love said of the linemen pass protecting up front. "I don't even think I got hit in the pocket at all. I could be wrong. But I think they did a really good job just keeping me clean."

LaFleur was calling the plays with Love in the game for the first time this preseason to get him accustomed to the Week 1 operation before turning it back over to offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich to make the calls, as he did in the first two preseason games.

All told, the No. 1 offense had eight series over the three preseason games, producing one touchdown in each game, plus the early field goal Saturday. Love's final preseason numbers: 21-of-33 for 193 yards with three TDs, no interceptions and a 109.8 rating.

Love declared himself ready for the preseason after the second game, and there was certainly no change of thought from him or his teammates with the third game in the books.

"I think we've all known from the jump that Jordan was ready to go and ready to have his opportunity," Watson said. "I think that he's been able to show his poise and his ability to command this offense and command this team. Like I said, we're ready to go."

2. There were a couple throws Love would like back, though.

Specifically, he mentioned a deep ball to Watson that was broken up and a pass for rookie Jayden Reed over the middle when scrambling to his left.

Both throws came up a bit short, and as Love looks ahead to Week 1 at Chicago, he mentioned consistency, particularly when big-play opportunities present themselves, as his primary focus.

Love's 42-yard connection to Doubs in the second preseason game was the No. 1 offense's biggest play in game action over the past three weeks, but he definitely felt as though there should've been more.

"You've got to find a way to hit those, especially when Christian's wide open like that," Love said of the near miss Saturday. "It's a touchdown right there.

"That's going to be the test of the season. But right now, going into it, I'm confident in the offense. I think when we get to being consistent, hitting on all our big plays, I think we're going to be tough to stop."

3. Rookie K Anders Carlson continued his strong run inside Lambeau.

The rough spots in Carlson's training camp have come at Nitschke Field and in Cincinnati. At Lambeau, he was 9-of-10 on field goals during Family Night, made a 52-yarder plus two PATs last week vs. New England, and drilled field goals from 43 and 57 yards on Saturday, plus one PAT.

He did have a point-after blocked by the Seahawks when the protection broke down, but that was not on him. Impressively, the 57-yard field goal with 14 seconds left in the first half was good by plenty, distance-wise.

"That was really encouraging to see, a 57-yarder right there," LaFleur said. "It looked so casual when he kicked it. He's got a big-time leg, so I think he's shown improvement.

"Like any young player, there's going to be some ups and downs, but we've got total confidence he's got the ability to play in this league for a really long time."

The Green Bay Packers hosted the Seattle Seahawks for their preseason finale at Lambeau Field on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023.

4. There is no injury concern with backup QB Sean Clifford.

The rookie quarterback came out of the game shaking his arm after converting on a fourth-and-1 sneak on the final play of the third quarter.

But LaFleur said he just got hit on his funny bone and was fine. He would've stayed in the game had it not been the fourth quarter, which was Alex McGough's time to take over.

Elsewhere on the injury front, Doubs was held out of the game due to a hamstring injury, which LaFleur termed precautionary, though he didn't dismiss concern. Linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, who has missed the tail end of training camp with an ankle injury, spoke to reporters and isn't guaranteeing, nor ruling out, his availability for Week 1. "We've got two weeks, so we'll see," he said.

Back to McGough, he drove the offense into the red zone, only to get stopped on a fourth-down run. With one more crack late in the game, he hit receiver Jadakis Bonds for 52 yards down the sideline to set up the game-winning TD just after the two-minute warning. The defense made it hold up with Benny Sapp III's interception at the goal line with 13 seconds left.

5. The late-game celebration said something about this team.

Preseason or not, it's always a lot more fun to win, and the celebration after Sapp's interception showed as much.

"To see the genuine enthusiasm from Benny's teammates surrounding him was really cool to see, to experience," LaFleur said. "I think it's just kind of an indication of how close this team has come together."

Roster decisions loom on Tuesday for General Manager Brian Gutekunst and the personnel department.

"I feel really good about the guys that we have in the locker room," LaFleur said. "Obviously it's a tough time of the year when we have to make some really tough decisions, but that's a credit to the effort and the type of locker room that we have. Gutey and his staff have done a nice job getting a very competitive roster, especially at certain positions.

"But it's on to the regular season now."


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