NFL Preseason 2014 Preview: Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams
This coming Saturday, the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Rams will face each other in the second week of preseason action. Both teams lost close games in their preseason openers, and both have some unanswered questions that will be further examined in the second week. The Packers lost 20-16 to the Tennessee Titans and the Rams lost 26-24 to the New Orleans Saints.
On the part of the Packers, it will be necessary to further narrow down which tight end will earn the starting role this season. Brandon Bostick continues to make a solid bid for his name at the position and is the best bet in terms of tight ends who can benefit the Packers’ rushing game. Additionally, with Morgan Burnett having not played against the Titans, it will be necessary to see if he performs up to the standard of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Micah Hyde, both of whom played well on Saturday night.
Julius Peppers did just about nothing in his first game as a Packer, and it will be interesting to see if his involvement in the game and positioning will be changed for this Saturday. After Rajion Neal‘s very respectable rushing performance, Packers fans may well see more of him this week, to further determine who will be the third running back, after Dujuan Harris‘ lack of yardage, averaging under three yards per carry. The Rams’ defensive line and linebackers will be great challenges for the Packers’ passing and rushing games.
Finally, look for Davante Adams to try and improve on his performance on Saturday. He made two receptions, but also muffed two punts, hopefully due to rain. Adams will have a good opportunity for more production this weekend, as the Rams’ secondary is still somewhat undetermined.
Turning to the Rams, it will be interesting to see if fans can get a more conclusive showing out of Michael Sam. With a quarterback hit and a tackle in his first NFL game, his ability to play at the NFL level is still uncertain but the outlook is positive. He will have a good opportunity to get some sack opportunities if the Packers’ offensive line plays the way they did last game. On offense rookie tight end Alex Bayer from Bowling Green was able to rack up five receptions for over 70 yards which is a great first game for any rookie. Watch for him to make an impact against the Packers’ secondary and linebackers; especially those further down the depth chart who looked sluggish against the Titans. In much the same way, look to see which wide receivers can step up against this Packers’ defense, as the Rams try to further solidify their depth chart in terms of receivers.
Both teams need to take steps to reduce penalties this week. The Packers lost 60 yards to flags against the Titans, many of which occurred at essential times of the game. The Rams lost over 100 yards and no matter what time of the season it is, that is a headache that no coach wants to deal with.