One of the biggest assets that the Packers have this year versus last year is the depth of the team. The identity of a team shouldn't stay static through the course of the year. It needs to change and grow as players develop and players get injured. In 2010 the Packers had this down and in 2011 they struggled with this…
So far in 2012 we are starting to see the face of the Packers change. For example in week 1 the Packers saw Jarrett Bush and M.D. Jennings starting in the defensive line up. Now those two have been replaced by Sam Shields and Jerron McMillian. Then again, Shields is hurt so you’ll see someone else show up instead. This week’s five to watch reflects this mixture of fresh faces and old reliable contributors that the Packers need to show up in order to finally get over the .500 hump that we've been living under so far this year.
RB Alex Green. Green has been lingering on the injury report so far this week with a shoulder injury. He is probably the best answer for a running component and seemingly the most trusted option by the coaching staff. If Green can be healthy and get 20+ touches again this week the offense should be able to handle the staunch Rams defense.
WR James Jones. The knock on Jones has always been that he couldn't keep his head on straight for a long period of time. Could a big game this week change that reputation? So far he’s been a big time receiver for the Packers and a dangerous weapon in the red zone.
CB Davon House. All signs point to this week being the return of House to the lineup. He’s probably going to get a slow start, and will come on the field in the dimeback spot. Even in this small role he could be good since he is one of the better tackling corners the Packers have and can help neutralize the short passing game of the Rams.
CB Casey Hayward. Hayward has been getting rave reviews around these parts the last couple weeks due to some good play, especially last week during garbage time. This week it looks like Sam Shields is out and Davon House is coming back slow. Translation…it’s probably going to be Hayward’s first start. Look for Sam Bradford to test Hayward early and often. If he stays sound in his coverage this could be a very good thing for the Packers as Hayward has shown a knack for coming up with the ball.
NT Ryan Pickett. Pickett was a first round pick of the Rams once upon a time, but has had some of his better years of his career in Green Bay. Now he is going to be an essential piece of the defensive line for the Packers with Raji limited in action due to his ankle injury. If the Packers can shut down the Rams running attack then it’s doubtful the Rams will be able to score many points…Pickett is going to be the key to stopping that running attack.