Packers VS. Seahawks Preview: 5 Things to Watch For

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

For the third preseason game of 2013, the Packers once again take on the Seahawks in what promises to be another totally normal, run-of-the-mill game where absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happens. Yeah.

Looking for something fun to do this Friday night during the game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks? Here's an idea. Create a drinking game for you and your friends where every time the announcers, analysts or sideline reporters say the words, ‘Fail Mary' you have to take a drink. You'll be hammered quicker than the time it takes Mike Silver to say, ‘WTF was that?' on live television. Of course, if waking up hungover and naked on top of a bar with a tattoo of Marshawn Lynch on your inner thigh isn't your cup of tea, there is plenty to keep an eye on during this week's penultimate preseason game. They are:

Physicality

The preseason usually doesn't feature the most intense play, but if you watched the Seahawks go after the Broncos like they insulted their mothers last week, you know that's not the case. This is a Pete Carroll-coached team, after all. The Hawks' style is what it is no matter what week it is.They're strong, they're fast, they're in your face, and they play with the recklessness of Marshawn Lynch after eating an entire bag of Skittles. Not to mention, you know there's some residual feelings left over from last year's game (which aside from the ending, was one helluva contest). Put simply, the Packers will have their ‘toughness' - no matter how cliche it is - tested big-time versus Seattle.

How well they handle a running QB

About ten days ago, Mike Shanahan said he doesn't use email. Coincidentally, the first thing I thought of when I heard that was Dom Capers and how the Packers hardly practiced the read option before last year's playoff loss. Did Capers, like Shanahan probably thought about email back in the day, think the read option is just something the kids are doing nowadays? That it's just some fad that'll go away like Crystal Pepsi? As we know, the read option is here to stay and the Packers have apparently worked on it more this offseason. All things considered, this is probably the best-case scenario for the Packers since they face the 49ers in Week 1. This game should allow us to see just how far they've come.

How the offensive line holds up

Last week gave left tackle and candidate for most botched name pronunciation, David Bakhtiari, a look at what a really good pass rusher looks like in Robert Quinn. This week, the entire line will be tested as they face one of the few truly elite defenses in the league. If you recall, the Seahawks absolutely bloodied the offensive line in the first half of last year's game. Now? The Packers have a fourth round rookie and a second year undrafted free agent anchoring the line. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Being that it's the preseason we still likely won't see any clever blitzes from Seattle, but nevertheless, the offensive line faces a huge task in keeping Aaron Rodgers upright.

New wrinkles

One of the players I was really looking forward to see play this week is Datone Jones. In him and fellow defensive end Mike Neal, the Packers have given themselves two hybrid-type players to do all kinds of crazy things with. I thought we might get to see Datone but he sprained his ankle yesterday because apparently, we can never have nice things from our first round draft picks. That doesn't mean we won't see Neal at linebacker along with some other wrinkles that McCarthy and Co. have up their sleeve. They won't give anything away, but since preseason game #3 is typically your dress rehearsal for the regular season, I wouldn't be shocked if we saw some interesting formations. Vince Young at linebacker? Tavvechio at tight end? Go nuts, Mike.

The Micah Hyde show

I'm embarrassed to say this but I'm going to say it anyway - Micah Hyde is just a football player. Yeah he had two bad plays last week but even Darrelle Revis gets beat from time to time. Hyde to this point, has done it all. He's been tough and reads plays well in coverage, he's shown to be willing tackler and effective blitzer. And now he's returning punts! Does anyone need a dog walker or a babysitter because I bet Micah Hyde does that really well, too. With a number of injuries still among the defensive backfield, Hyde should get plenty of opportunities to showcase his ability this Friday. If he performs well against a team as good as the Seahawks, we could see him play even more when the games start to count.

Oh, and don't forget: if you do choose to take the suggestion in the first paragraph and drink every time last year's debacle was mentioned, please do it responsibly.

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