5 Things To Watch For In Green Bay Packers Game Against Kansas City
The Green Bay Packers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night for their last preseason game of the year. This will be a last chance for many players to showcase their talents and convince the coaching staff they can contribute to the 2012 team.
Even though this is only a preseason game, I can guarantee the Packers want this victory. Not only will it give them a 2-2 record, which is far better than 1-3, but Kansas City was the only team to defeat Green Bay in the regular season last year which spoiled a perfect 16-0.
The following are five things every fan should watch for when tuning in for the Packers against the Chiefs:
Battle for starting right CB
If Davon House did not have a shoulder injury, he would be the starting right cornerback opposite Tramon Williams. He must now play with a shoulder harness that could restrict his ability to make plays. This means the competition for the starting job is open with Jarrett Bush, Casey Hayward, and Sam Shields fighting for it. Bush is currently in the driver seat for the position but second-round draft pick Hayward is right on his heels. Shields should have won the job outright but his performance has fallen off since last year. This competition alone is reason enough to watch the fourth preseason game.
Players on the bubble
Players such as Phillip Merling, C.J. Wilson, Vic So’oto, and Sam Shields all must prove they deserve a spot on the 53-man roster. Bubble players will have to have their best performance of the preseason in order to make the team, which means fans should expect to see plenty of quality play. Shields, regarded by many as someone who could get cut, has some job security due to House’s shoulder injury. The last defensive lineman job is up for grabs between Merling and Wilson so expect a battle between those two guys. Look for who stands out Thursday night because chances are they are going to be making plays for Green Bay during the regular season.
Graham Harrell has one more opportunity to prove to the fans, players, and coaches he deserves to be Aaron Rodgers backup quarterback. Packers fans throughout the world are pleading with team management to bring in a veteran backup to be the No. 2 on the depth chart as a precautionary in case something were to happen to Rodgers. Harrell will be playing with the backups and can prove the naysayers wrong with a solid performance. If he does not solidify himself, I am afraid Green Bay will have no choice but to bring in someone such as Vince Young.
Marshall Newhouse will be the starting left tackle but the backup position is still up for grabs. Many were hopeful Derrick Sherrod would be healthy enough to practice during spring training and get some snaps in the preseason but that has not been the case. Herb Taylor has already been released for failing to do his job well, which means Reggie Wells and rookie Andrew Datko will be fighting for the backup position. If something were to happen to Newhouse, the Packers could very well be in trouble considering the left tackle is the most important position on the offensive line. Wells and Datko will have to separate themselves to show the coaches who the clear No. 2 should be.
Battle for safety position
Charles Woodson will be the starting safety but when the Packers defense is in the nickel package, he will be moving to cornerback. That means someone will have to take over at the starting position throughout the game. This is another three-way battle between Jerron McMillan, M.D. Jennings, and Anthony Levine. Levine could very well be the favorite for this spot with his phenomenal preseason performance so far in which he is the leading tackler on the team. Jennings still has a great opportunity to win the job and McMillan has shown plenty of potential to get another look. Just like the cornerback battle, whoever has the best performance will surely get the job.
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