We brought you the news earlier this week of the NFL's preseason schedule announcement. Today we will look a bit deeper at what to expect in each of these games.
vs. Arizona Cardinals:
The Packers defeated the Cardinals 31-17 in Lambeau Field last year, and the Cardinals have not won in Green Bay since 1949 in the regular season.
The first preseason game generally is a game where the starters get some reps, maybe play one or two series, and then watch as the backups attempt to play for spots on the roster. I do not expect much from the Packers offense in this game, and the Packers with McCarthy as coach generally do not give much away in the first preseason game. Even in 2011, the Packers' offense appeared somewhat nonexistent in the first preseason game in San Diego.
The Packers did play the Cardinals in the 2011 preseason, with the Packers winning 28-20. That was the first time the two teams had faced each other since the playoff scoring festival in Arizona after the 2009 season.
Out of the teams not in the NFC North, the Packers have played the Rams more than any other team. Curiously, this game is a rematch of the Packers' 30-20 win in St. Louis in 2012.
By this game, the first cuts will have been made so the players will be more keen on keeping their jobs. The Packers generally let their starters play about a quarter here. As is the case with McCarthy, I again do not expect him to give much away in this game.
vs. Seattle Seahawks:
I can't imagine how many boos will be emanating from the stands at Lambeau Field for this game. Pete Carroll, Golden Tate, and Russell Wilson probably will be among the most vocal targets of the fans. This is currently the only game on the Packers' preseason schedule with a set date and start time, on August 23rd at 7 PM Central on CBS. The bar is set at 6:55 for when we hear (or see) the first reference to the Fail Mary. The over/under on comments in the "Ask Field Gulls" post for this game is 750.
Thankfully, this is the game where the starters generally play at game speed for a half. It will be curious to see how aggressively the Packers approach this game on both sides of the ball. By then, a large portion of the cuts will have been made so the players here will likely resemble the Packers' roster in 2013.
Of course, it's absolutely essential to send the Packers to play at Kansas City, the only team to defeat them in the 2011 regular season. This game is generally a tune-up for the regular season. Generally, the Packers do not give away much in this game. The starters will probably play a few series and then it's off to watch the backups play.
The Packers last played the Chiefs in the preseason in 2012, defeating Kansas City 24-3. Graham Harrell threw for two touchdowns in this game, looking at least for that night like a strong backup.