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Preseason Preview: Green Bay at Denver

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he Packers are traveling to Denver on Friday, just a couple days ahead of Barack Obama and the Democratic National Convention.

After watching the 49ers run up a 34-6 score on the Packers last week, it's time to see some better football! But really, it's just the preseason, and it doesn't matter.

Here's all I'm watching for in this game:

  • Will the offensive (specifically left guard) line and defensive line play better than last week?
  • Will the secondary (especially CB Jarrett Bush) play better?
  • Will RB Brandon Jackson actually get several carries, he's started two preseason games so far and racked up a whopping 9 carries total, to get ready for week 1 if RB Ryan Grant is still out with his injured hamstring?
  • Which backups will step forward, make a big play or two, and seize a roster spot?

I will not be watching QB Aaron Rodgers. He was very good against Cincinnati. He played very good against San Francisco too, but you didn't notice because his receivers were dropping passes, the running game was non-existent, and his left guard was a revolving door. He's ready.

Hoosierteacher over at Mile High Report took a look at the game from a Denver perspective, but he's really looking at it like the Packers are trying to win. The Packers are trying to see if their starters are ready and how some of their marginal players hold up. Who should they be keeping after the final roster cuts.

Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders answered some questions earlier this week, and here's his analysis of the Broncos:

Look at all the problems in Denver. Marshall is out two, maybe three games. The offensive line, like in Pittsburgh, is weaker than it has been in at least a decade. The other wide receivers there are just AWFUL. Eddie Royal seems like a talented guy with more technique than the scouts thought before they drafted him, but he should not be an NFL starter this early. Darrell Jackson has lost it. Keary Colbert and Samie Parker never really had it. Obviously we have no idea what the ramifications of Cutler's diabetes will be (i.e., now that he has been diagnosed, will his treatment improve his stamina and thus performance) but that just seems like an awful situation for a talented and improving young passer.