Back in 2008, the Green Bay Packers traveled to San Francisco for their 2nd preseason game and it was a disaster. They looked awful and lost the game 34-6. So it might not be a shock if they look flat in this game after two great preseason games at home. Traveling to the west coast can take something out of a team.
Arizona is switching defensive schemes for 2009, and so far they've looked pretty good. Although the starting defense has only been in on six drives so it's a pretty small sample size. Their offense might not be in great shape since two of their top three WRs (Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston) are out with injuries. They'll probably be without their top two draft picks too; RB Chris Wells and DE Cody Brown. With all the injuries, depth is a problem for them, so they might struggle in the 2nd half when the backups are in.
After last week's game against Buffalo, the coaches determined that RT Allen Barbre, RG Josh Sitton, and LB Brady Poppinga would be starters. No one is playing for a starting job in this game. Although I'd expect the starters will play the entire 1st half, and probably the first series of the 2nd half. Some backups might be playing for roster spots in the 2nd half, but I bet the coaches already have a good idea of who will survive the roster cut down to 75 on Tuesday (Sept. 1st).
What to watch for:
- Can the 1st team defense continue to dominate the opposing offense like they've done the last two games? Obviously Arizona's offense is a much bigger test then Cleveland or Buffalo.
- Will the offensive line be able to open running lanes and protect QB Aaron Rodgers?
- See if Arizona opens up their offense in the 2nd quarter. Although the Packers will keep most of the starters in for the entire 1st half, they might pull CB Al Harris and CB Charles Woodson in the 2nd quarter to give a lot of playing time to CB Joe Porter, CB Brandon Underwood, and CB Trevor Ford. All three players are on the roster bubble. Last week, Buffalo was finally able to get their offense moving when that trio came in at cornerback because they give receivers a lot of cushion.