The Green Bay Packers have looked nothing like the Super Bowl favorites they are supposed to be this year during the first two preseason games. There can’t be too much put into preseason games, but the Packers have failed to get any kind of production on both sides of the ball so far.
The third preseason game is where the starters will get significant playing time, so it will be a good chance for the first string to fix the problems that have been having.
On the offensive side of the ball, it has been hard for Aaron Rodgers to get into rhythm considering that in each of the two games, there have been key players missing from the lineup. In the first preseason game, the left tackle Marshall Newhouse was out due to a concussion and Rodgers was constantly pressured for the short time he was in the game. During the second preseason game, many of Rodgers’ favorite targets weren’t in the game, making it harder to complete passes.
Perhaps the biggest problem so far has been the turnovers. The Packers have not been able to take care of the football and have had four turnovers in both games. There have been six fumbles, which is a concern for the team considering how much emphasis coach Mike McCarthy put on protecting the ball during practices. The Packers are a talented team, but they are full of young players who are careless with the ball, which has to change. The good news for tonight’s game is that Green Bay will have most of the first team in for the first half, giving us a good chance to see how we look with all the starters on the field at once.
Defensively, the Packers have shown some improvements, but there still seems to be a lack of pass-rushing. The Packers put a big emphasis in filling those weak spots on the defensive line and so far there have been some bright spots from first-round draft pick Nick Perry, but not enough to make huge strides.
That’s not to say the Packers starters haven’t been trying, but it seems like there was no interest in the first two games. Perhaps there is a comfort level with the team and they don’t think they need to work on their flaws that much. However, the game tonight is the biggest test the Packers can have to see where they are as a team and the intensity level should be higher. The Cincinnati Bengals are a very good team on both sides of the ball and should provide a good challenge for Green Bay.
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