Week 3 didn’t end quite as well as we hoped, but 1 in the loss column during the preseason isn’t the worst thing in the world. All in all the first team looked good and there were some good moments from the second team throughout the entire game. But now we are on to week 4, and although we won’t see much from the first team there will still be some interesting story lines to watch. Hopefully we’ll be in for an exciting matchup, let’s get to it and break down this week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams!
THREE BURNING QUESTIONS
Which roster bubble players will impress?
At this point in the preseason the coaches and front office decision makers have a pretty good idea of who is going to make the final 53 man roster. However there are probably a few roster spots that are still up for grabs within some position groups. The most interesting one to watch will probably be a very deep receiver group. The Packers will likely be planning to keep 7 receives on the roster out of a group of around 10 guys who could all make a case for a final roster spot.
Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb are all virtual locks to be playing all season long. Gironimo Allison is also very likely to have a spot even though he is suspended for the first game of the season. After that the final three spots get a little less clear. Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis, Max McCaffrey, DeAngelo Yancey, Malachi Dupre and Michael Clark are all competing for a job this season. Keep an eye on these guys to see if any really stand out in an effort to move up the depth chart. This is their last chance to prove that they are worth a spot on the team so they should be very fun to watch!
Will anyone on the second team offensive line stand out?
The Packers first team offensive line is one of the best in the NFL. This group, headlined by bookend tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga is one of the premier pass blocking units in the country. Depth along the front 5 is a major concern though. The second team offensive line has looked lackluster to say the least. Thus far Jason Spriggs has failed to make good on the investment made in him as a second round pick. He has all the tools to be a successful blocker but hasn’t been effective in run or pass blocking. Lucas Patrick and Kofi Amichia have also done little to prove they could be successful in the NFL. Hopefully in this last week of exhibition games one or more of the group steps up and shows the ability to be a reliable reserve lineman.
Will we finally get to see Davon House in action?
During last week’s game against Denver, Davon House was seen warming up with the rest of the team. The coaching and athletic training staff however did not think he was quite ready to play though. This week hopefully will be a different story. Don’t expect to see a lot of the first team defense out this week but it does seem likely that the coaches will look to get Davon House some live reps before the regular season kicks off.
He is still listed as number one on the cornerback depth chart and it’ll be good to see him get some reps against the Ram’s receivers. Although not an incredibly deep group there is some talent in their receiver room including first round picks Sammy Watkins and Tavon Austin. They also have rookie Cooper Kupp who has shown a lot of flashes throughout his first preseason. All in all this should be a good test for House and a good warm up for his regular season reunion with the Packers.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
This game should be a very good final test for a run defense which has looked very stout throughout the preseason. The Rams are a team that is expected to run a very run heavy offense featuring wayward star running back Todd Gurley. Back in the 2016 draft the Rams selected him with the hopes he would be a franchise altering player. In his first year it looked as though they had nailed the pick. He was nearly unstoppable after coming off an ACL injury suffered in his final collegiate season. In his second year though, he regressed to an almost unrecognizable player. He seemed indecisive and didn’t hit holes nearly as hard. Loaded boxes and a very bland offense didn’t make it any easier on him.
Now though, Gurley is looking to get back on the track to stardom and could present a huge challenge to a Packers run defense that has looked very good so far. He likely won’t play a ton of snaps this week but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in for at least a series or two. Watch for the Packers front 7 to try to contain this talented back during the time he is on the field, it could give us an even better idea of what we are in for during this upcoming season.
For most of this game we will likely see mostly reserves who will be playing their butts off in order to make a case for their place on the final 53. We should see a combination of Brett Hundley Joe Callahan and Taysom Hill all firing off passes to the young receivers trying to prove their worth. Although the Rams defense is a very solid unit look for these quarterbacks to continue building on what has been a very good showing for them so far. With those three all taking reps under center there should be plenty of good opportunities for the young receivers to make some big plays. Green Bay’s young running backs should also get lots of chances to show exactly what their made of.
On the other side of the ball expect the Packers defensive unit to give the Rams offense everything they can handle. The front 7 should do a good job of bottling up Todd Gurley which will force the offense to try to pick up some long third downs through the air. In these situations the Packers young defensive backs group to smother receivers and for the pass rushers to pressure the Rams quarterbacks into some poor decisions. All in all this should be a very good game for Green Bay.
FINAL SCORE: Packers: 31 Rams: 13
GO PACK GO