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Brett Hundley impressive in Packers' 31-17 exhibition win over Titans

Green Bay Packers vs. Tennessee Titans: Preseason Week 1

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reacts on the sideline during an NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Tennessee Titans running back David Fluellen (32) rushes against the Green Bay Packers in the first half of an NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer (9) scrambles against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers wide receiver J'Mon Moore (82) reacts after an incomplete pass in the red zone against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers wide receiver J'Mon Moore (82) attempts a catch over the coverage of Tennessee Titans defensive back Kalan Reed (24) in the second quarter of an NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers defensive back Davon House (31) reacts as the Packers are called for a penalty in the first half against the Tennessee Titans in an NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Hundley (7) celebrates after throwing a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jake Kumerow (16) stretches in an attempt to reach a pass in the first half against the Tennessee Titans of a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers defensive back Demetri Goodson (39) celebrates after defending a pass against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins (24) fumbles a kick return in the first half against the Tennessee Titans in an NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers offensive guard Lucas Patrick (62) recovers the ball after Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Hundley (7) fumbled against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) scores a touchdown against Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez (50) in the first half of a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Tennessee Titans quarterback Blaine Gabbert (7) scrambles against Green Bay Packers linebacker Reggie Gilbert (93) and defensive tackle Montravius Adams (90) during their football game Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Tennessee Titans wide receiver Devin Ross (83) runs for a again against the Green Bay Packers defense during their football game Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) pulls down a 48-yard reception against Tennessee Titans defensive back Malcolm Butler in the first quarter during their football game Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams (30) celebrates scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans during their football game Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) warms up before a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer (9) warms up before a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer (9) warms up before a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham (80) warms up before a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) warms up before a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Alex Perez of Chicago proposes to Monica Rayes of Chicago prior to the Green Bay Packers football game Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Members of the Tundra Line entertain fans before the Green Bay Packers take on the Tennessee Titans Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Lambeau Field is reflected in the glasses of Concord Bautista of San Diego as he listens to the Tundra Line perform prior to the Green Bay Packers playing against the Tennessee Titans Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen A younf Packers fan arrives for a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen A young Packers fan watches warmups for a NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Fullscreen Interested 26 2 of 26 3 of 26 4 of 26 5 of 26 6 of 26 7 of 26 8 of 26 9 of 26 10 of 26 11 of 26 12 of 26 13 of 26 14 of 26 15 of 26 16 of 26 17 of 26 18 of 26 19 of 26 20 of 26 21 of 26 22 of 26 23 of 26 24 of 26 25 of 26 26 of 26 Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) pulls down a 48-yard reception against Tennessee Titans defensive back Malcolm Butler in the first quarter during their football game Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. (Photo: Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

CONNECT TWEET LINKEDIN COMMENT EMAIL MORE GREEN BAY – Not long after the misery subsided, and Brett Hundley’s season from hell was over, the Green Bay Packers quarterback locked himself in the film room.

He could’ve burned that 2017 tape. There weren’t many positives to build on. By his own head coach’s admission, Hundley was caught unprepared for the opportunity when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.

Instead, Hundley said, he retraced each painful mistake, intent to learn from them.

“Having actual game footage,” Hundley said, “you can pick apart certain things. Now, when you’re out there training, understand the reads, the looks and stuff like that, because you’ve been through it.”

In the Packers' 31-17 exhibition win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night, Hundley appeared to put into practice some of the lessons he saw on tape this offseason. He finished 9-of-14 for 108 yards and one touchdown, with one interception and a 81.9 rating before his night ended with a little more than four minutes left in the second quarter.

If DeShone Kizer was expected to walk away with the backup quarterback job after the Packers traded for him last spring, Hundley showed he’s at least ready to put up a fight. One of the things he undoubtedly noticed from last season’s game film was a tendency to almost roboticly roll to his right when the pocket broke down.

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Perhaps his most impressive play of the night, then, was a designed rollout left where Hundley set his feet and threaded a pass over one Titans defender and between two others for 13 yards to rookie Equanimeous St. Brown.

Coach Mike McCarthy said it was apparent Hundley had learned from some of his struggles last season.

“I thought he had a couple nice drives,” McCarthy told the team’s television broadcast at halftime.

The big play came in the Packers' opening drive. Hundley connected with receiver Davante Adams — one of the few key starters who played Thursday — in stride for a 48-yard reception down the left side, beating Titans prized free-agent cornerback Malcolm Butler. Adams’ catch gave the Packers a first-and-goal, and they scored three plays later with an 8-yard pass from Hundley to running back Jamaal Williams.

. @bretthundley7 's 48-yard strike to @tae15adams sets up the #Packers TD! #TENvsGB #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/QlZOEaxzmA

— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 10, 2018 Hundley’s pass to Adams was reminiscent of a 42-yard connection between the two down the right sideline late at Chicago last season. Otherwise, those kind of big plays were rare.

“That’s what this game’s all about,” McCarthy said. “You’ve got to hit your big plays.”

It wasn’t a perfect night for Hundley. One of his primary struggles last season was an inability to feel the rush, leading to costly turnovers. On a pair of protection breakdowns, Hundley failed to get rid of the football cleanly.

The first came when Titans first-round rookie outside linebacker Harold Landry beat Packers backup left tackle Kyle Murphy around the edge. Landry got to Hundley quickly, forcing a fumble left guard Lucas Patrick recovered. On the second, Titans edge rusher Gimel President beat Packers right tackle Byron Bell and hit Hundley as he released his pass, leading to an interception.

Hundley did not shoulder the primary responsibility for either play. Indeed, the Packers should hope starting tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga are ready for Week 1 against the Bears, because their backups struggled mightily. But part of a quarterback’s job is to limit damage when plays break down, and two poor protections led to a fumble and interception.

Kizer showed a good example of making a positive play out of a protection breakdown after replacing Hundley late in the first half. Coming out of the two-minute warning, Titans outside linebacker Aaron Wallace beat Murphy. He was in the backfield as quick as Landry got to Hundley, but Kizer made Wallace miss and ran for 5 yards to give the Packers a second-and-5 instead of a first-down sack.

The play extended a drive into field goal range that otherwise could have stalled.

Kizer flashed his athleticism throughout his Packers debut. While Hundley has been reluctant at times to tuck and pick up yards with his legs in the past, Kizer rushed three times for 18 yards.

As a passer, Kizer finished 9-of-18 for 134 yards with no touchdowns, no interceptions and a 74.8 rating.

Kizer showed good arm strength but was also erratic, never more so than on an incomplete fade route to receiver Geronimo Allison on second-and-goal from the 4-yard line before halftime. Kizer had a touchdown if he hit Allison’s back, right shoulder, a throw Aaron Rodgers makes better than anyone. His pass instead drifted to Allison’s front, left shoulder, where cornerback LeShaun Sims had a chance at an interception.

Sims couldn’t get to the ball, but Kizer’s wayward pass took points off the board.

In effect, Kizer got one quarter before fourth-string quarterback Tim Boyle replaced him with more than five minutes left in the third. Boyle, who has impressed with his arm strength in camp but has also struggled with accuracy, finished 7-of-15 for 130 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 116.7 rating.

His first scoring pass was for 15 yards to rookie receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who had a breakout night with five receptions for 101 yards, including a 51-yard reception from Kizer. His second went to Jake Kumerow for a 52-yard TD.

As expected, the Titans played mostly vanilla defense in their debut with new head coach Mike Vrabel. That alone can make all the difference for quarterbacks. Hundley, especially, has excelled at times in the preseason during his career, only to struggle last fall. But in the first significant step foward in the Packers quarterback battle, Hundley and Kizer left with plenty to feel good about.

Even if both also put plays on film they’ll need to learn from.