5 standouts from Packers’ preseason loss to New York Jets

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It was a fun game to watch, but the Green Bay Packers fell to the New York Jets by the final score of 23-14 on Saturday at Lambeau Field. The Packers remain winless through the first two weeks of preseason.

Without the starters, Joe Barry’s defense has had major lapses. Last week, the run defense was almost nonexistent, and things continued to look out of sorts in Week 2. Poor tackling and communication plagued Green Bay’s defense in a substandard showing against the Jets’ offense. However, the offense managed to keep things interesting despite only two scoring drives.

Here are five standouts from the Packers’ second preseason game:

RB Kylin Hill

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In back-to-back weeks, the Packers' seventh-rounder has scored a touchdown. Last week, Hill caught a 22-yard screen pass and scored the team’s only touchdown in a 26-7 loss to the Houston Texans. This week, Hill scored on a 12-yard rushing touchdown in another strong outing. He had nine touches against the Jets, finishing with 40 total yards. Right now, Hill is the clear-cut No. 3 running back behind Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.

WR Malik Taylor

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Taylor made the 53-man roster a season ago and isn’t going away quietly in 2021 despite steeper competition. Taylor looked like the best receiver on the field for the Packers, totaling four receptions for 66 yards. Granted, no starters dressed for today’s game, but Taylor had a good connection with quarterback Kurt Benkert. All four of Taylor’s catches went for first downs, and two helped extend a pair of touchdown drives. The former undrafted free agent is making another strong case for his place on the final roster.

DL TJ Slaton

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After a relatively quiet debut, the fifth-round selection flashed with an impressive sack on quarterback Mike White. Slaton busted through the middle before driving White into the ground for a seven-yard loss. The sack set up a third and long, and Slaton's pressure on the ensuing third down helped force a long field goal attempt. The rookie defensive lineman made a name for himself as a run defender at the University of Florida, and now he is starting to show upside as a pass rusher.

QB Kurt Benkert

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It wasn’t pretty, but Benkert made this game enjoyable in the absence of Jordan Love. From bobbled snaps to back-to-back plays where the quarterback appeared to trip over his lineman’s feet, Benkert managed to complete 18 of 25 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. His one heinous mistake was an interception thrown way behind running back Patrick Taylor, yet he still turned in a solid day overall. The third-string quarterback led a 19-play, 81-yard touchdown drive that almost took up the entire second quarter and also converted multiple third downs with some impressive throws. If the Packers don’t keep three quarterbacks on the roster, Benkert could have a spot saved on the practice squad.

S Christian Uphoff

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Uphoff hasn’t made much of an impact on defense, but special teams have been a different story. As a gunner, Uphoff was the first one down to force a fair catch and then made an impressive tackle after being pushed to the ground. The rookie undrafted free agent might have a spot on this year’s team thanks to his work on special teams.

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