Good, bad and ugly from Packers' preseason defeat to Jets

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Packers Wire 22 August, 2021 - 10:58am 39 views

What channel is the Jets Packers game on?

What TV channel is Jets at Packers on? The game will be aired on NFL Network nationally. It will be on WLNY and WCBS in New York and on the Packers TV Network in Green Bay. USA TODAYNew York Jets at Green Bay Packers preseason game: Live stream, time, date, how to watch

Andrew Velazquez had 113 plate appearances in 68 games for three major-league teams from 2018-20 before signing with the Yankees last winter.

Not once did he hit a home run.

So of course the Bronx native, who grew up a Yankees fan and played at nearby Fordham Prep, stepped to the plate in the eighth inning Saturday and added another amazing chapter to this storybook segment of his career.

Velazquez turned on a first-pitch, 92-mph fastball from Twins reliever Ralph Garza Jr. and pulled it roughly 10 rows deep into the rightfield seats. Total distance: 359 feet.

As Velazquez watched the ball’s flight, his smile widened. Up in the stands, a few members of his family shed tears of joy.

With the eventual 7-1 victory already in hand, the Yankees didn’t need late-inning heroics from Velazquez this time. But this was an emotional bonus that felt tough to put into words, adding to this remarkable homecoming stretch from the kid next door.

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Velazquez became the sixth New York-born Yankee to homer for the team since 1993. He joined Tim Locastro, who went deep on July 11.

"Some guy on deck kept screaming at me that I should hit my first one here," Velazquez said. "Every at-bat I got on deck, he was screaming at me, ‘Get the first one! Down the line!’ So I went 0-for-3 before that, and then on the final one, I said, 'Let me take his approach because mine ain’t working.' "

What could have been a disappointing day personally turned out to be magical instead. Velazquez mentioned that he hurried around the bases to get to celebrating with his teammates, but the physics of bashing forearms can be a little challenging for a 5-9, 170-pound shortstop — even one whose feet don’t feel as if they’re touching the ground.

"We didn’t want to knock him over," Luke Voit said, laughing. "Good for him, man. That was a really special moment for all of us — and for him, too."

It was only fitting that retrieving the baseball turned out to be a snap for the Bronx kid, too. Sometimes wrangling the ball away from a fan who catches it takes some negotiating. Maybe a swap for a signed bat or jersey. Possibly multiple items, depending on the prize.

But not this time. Getting the ball back was a breeze. "Whoever it was — thank you," Velazquez said.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the sentimental nature of this Bronx tale, Velazquez isn’t merely a novelty act for these Yankees. He’s not some late-season call-up for a team playing out the schedule. They’ve needed him, and Velazquez has responded in a way no one in the organization could have predicted.

Through 13 games, the switch hitter is batting .242 (8-for-33) with six RBIs. Not bad for a glove-first addition, and with the Yankees’ penchant for nail-biters, his defensive ability already has helped secure a game or two — most notably the ridiculous web gem that ended Tuesday’s sweep-clinching win over the Red Sox.

"It’s been really special," said Gerrit Cole, who grew up a Yankees fan himself, although on the West Coast. "I feel really fortunate to be able to share those emotions with him and watch him flourish on the biggest stage and fulfill his dream.

"Not to mention that it’s propelled us to several wins, to say the least. I can’t imagine what his family is going through right now and I’m thankful that he’s playing really well for us."

The Yankees are 11-2 in games in which Velazquez has appeared, including nine starts.

It took some extraordinarily bad luck from the team’s standpoint to get Velazquez here from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre, as the Yankees lost Gleyber Torres (thumb sprain) and Gio Urshela (hamstring) to the injured list.

On the other hand, they’re also fortunate to have him, and the feel-good aspect of his Bronx origins is the perfect complement to the overall vibe around these resurgent Yankees. You couldn’t make it up.

"Right now we’re rolling, so just taking it one pitch at a time, just trying to stay in the moment, where my feet are," Velazquez said. "That way, I don’t get lost in everything else that’s happening."

That approach is working for Velazquez and for the Yankees. And every day he seems to create another memorable moment.

"It is awesome. We're all excited for him," Aaron Boone said, acknowledging the storybook side. "But he’s playing really well for us and helping us win games with his all-around play. That’s the thing that gets me excited. And he’s come in and fit in and had an impact in the room."

Also a flair for the dramatic. Velazquez had opportunities to hit his first home run for the Rays, Orioles or Cleveland. But he didn’t go deep until he got home to the Bronx, which almost makes you believe it was supposed to happen that way.

David Lennon is an award-winning columnist, a voter for baseball's Hall of Fame and has covered six no-hitters, including two perfect games.

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Green and Gold One-Minute Drill: Aug. 19

TMJ4 News 22 August, 2021 - 02:30pm

Benkert Touchdown Caps Chaos-Filled Drive That Almost ‘Went To Crap’

Sports Illustrated 22 August, 2021 - 02:30pm

With Aaron Rodgers being saved for the regular season and Jordan Love out with a shoulder injury, Benkert started and played almost the entirety of a 23-14 loss against the New York Jets. The 19-play, 81-yard scoring drive “was the longest drive of my life. I’ve never had that happen. It was wild,” Benkert said.

Starting at the 19 early in the second quarter, Benkert rolled out to his right and completed a short pass to running back Kylin Hill to convert a third down. That’s when chaos struck. On first down, he tripped over rookie right guard Josh Myers and landed on his butt. On second down, it was a near-replay. Benkert tripped over Myers and fell; this time he got up, broke a tackle and turned nothing into something.

On third-and-8, he zipped a pass to Malik Taylor for the first down. One play later, veteran lineman Lucas Patrick was flagged for holding. On third-and-2, the protection was botched and Benkert was drilled as he tried to complete a pass to running back Patrick Taylor. On fourth down, Benkert connected with Reggie Begelton for a gain of 11. Later, on third-and-5, Benkert’s deep back-shoulder pass to Malik Taylor gained 21 for another first down.

Moments later, on third-and-12, Benkert extended the play to his right and was almost intercepted, but Hill was tackled by veteran linebacker C.J. Mosley to give the Packers a first down at the 11. On the next play, Patrick again was flagged for holding but Patrick Taylor ran for gains of 12 and 4 yards to make it third-and-4 at the 5. Benkert converted yet another third down with a beautiful pass, this one a deft throw over cornerback Bryce Hall to tight end Jace Sternberger for the touchdown.

“We were winded but we had each other’s backs,” Malik Taylor said. “We’re built for it. We didn’t blink. We just kept going.”

To summarize, Benkert tripped and fell twice and a veteran lineman gave away 20 yards with holding penalties. And yet the quarterback who’s in his fourth year in the NFL but has yet to throw a regular-season pass overcame a second-and-13, a second-and-11, a second-and-12 and a first-and-20 by having a hand in six conversions on either third or fourth down.

“The thing that I'm most proud of is that drive that could have went to crap, and it didn’t and we ended up rolling with it,” he said. “I think that's kind of a testament to how I like to play. Just keep on going. I threw a pick and just get out the next drive and keep it going. Don’t be gun-shy because something went wrong. I just let them know that’s how I play and I’m going to do my best to take care of the football and make plays.”

There's no doubt Jets rookie QB Zach Wilson has an NFL-ready arm

Yahoo Sports 21 August, 2021 - 04:45pm

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Matt Harmon, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski

You Pod to Win the Game

We don't know yet if New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson can play. He has looked fine against the two preseason vanilla defenses he has faced. He was good at BYU. But we'll have to wait for the regular season to see what the No. 2 overall pick is made of. 

What we do know already, with no debate, is he already has one of the better arms in the NFL. 

Wilson's arm strength was a huge reason for the Jets' first 10 points in Saturday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. 

On the first drive of the game, Wilson threw a perfect strike to Corey Davis for a third-and-8 conversion. 

— NFL (@NFL) August 21, 2021

That drive ended in a field goal. 

Later in the first quarter, Wilson saw Davis open and got him the ball downfield for a long gain. The velocity on the throw allowed for Davis to catch it before any defensive back could react and break it up. 

— NFL (@NFL) August 21, 2021

Wilson has touch too, as he showed on a touchdown pass to Tyler Kroft to end that drive and give New York a 10-7 lead. 

— NFL (@NFL) August 21, 2021

The second overall pick showed a little bit of everything. Late in the first half he hit Kroft in stride on a short pass and Kroft brought it into the end zone for the pair's second touchdown connection. 

Funny enough, Wilson is practically the only rookie quarterback set in a starting job. Presumably Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer will stop playing games and name Trevor Lawrence his starter, but it hasn't happened yet. 

The Jets aren't wasting time on dumb games like that. Wilson has been their starter since they drafted him, and nothing he has done should make the Jets believe that was the wrong decision. Wilson was 6-of-9 for 63 yards in his preseason debut last week. He was 9-of-11 for 128 yards before the Jets switched quarterbacks for the final minute of the first half. 

We know Wilson will be starting Week 1, barring injury. It seems like he might do pretty well for himself, too. 

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A paramedic working in Plantation General Hospital’s emergency room decided pursuing his sexual desire was a bigger emergency than anything in the ER’s immediate future.

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An ex-Amazon worker claimed in a lawsuit that she suffered from a bowel condition and was fired before she could get a doctor's note.

"FBoy Island" star Garrett Morosky - an L.A. bitcoin investor who called himself the "King of the Fboys" - chose the money over Sarah Emig.

Dr. Karan Raj explained that modern sneaker designs play a part in why human feet repeatedly appeared on Pacific Northwest beaches in the US and Canada.

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Packers: 3 quick takeaways from second preseason game

Lombardi Ave 21 August, 2021 - 02:42pm

Green Bay Packers, Kurt Benkert (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

It was another defeat for the Green Bay Packers in the preseason, as they fell to a 23-14 loss to the New York Jets at Lambeau Field. In a game featuring mostly backups, the result isn’t a concern.

The Packers rested the majority of their starters, including Aaron Rodgers, while second-year Jordan Love missed the game due to a shoulder injury. That meant third-string quarterback Kurt Benkert got a chance to impress as the starter.

What did we learn from the game? Let’s look at three quick takeaways.

Do the Packers keep two quarterbacks or three?

Benkert is making sure it’s not an easy decision for general manager Brian Gutekunst. Benkert played well against the Jets, completing 18 of 25 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown with one interception. He had a passer rating of 83.9.

Overall, it was a solid night for Benkert, who made some incredible throws along the way.

If Gutekunst has any plans of keeping Benkert this season, he may need to save a spot for him on the initial 53-man roster. The more he plays and impresses in the preseason, the more likely another team picks him up on waivers if he’s cut.

If there was any doubt about who will be the RB3 this season, Kylin Hill seemed to put an end to that on Saturday night.

He’s been impressive all summer and put in another good performance on Saturday night, rushing for 29 yards and a touchdown from his seven carries. He broke a couple of tackles on his way to the end zone. Hill also caught both of his targets for 11 yards.

A talented runner and receiver, Hill is a great fit in Matt LaFleur’s offense. The RB3 job is his to lose.

The Packers might need to bring in some more competition for punter JK Scott.

Scott has been frustratingly inconsistent throughout his time in Green Bay, and we saw that again from him Saturday. Scott punted four times, with three going for 42 yards, 49 yards, and 51 yards. That’s fine, but his other punt went 21 yards and out of bounds at midfield.

In the regular season, that could be a game-changing mistake. We see it far too often from Scott.

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