The NFL released the official Preseason schedule this past week and it's worth talking about, and debating, the preseason as a whole and then try to figure out what we can expect to learn from those games.
i am not one who devalues the preseason. It is a crucial time of growth for younger players. The game experience is so crucial that I am not in favor of making the preseason schedule shorter. As far as veterans are concerned, there are still one-on-one matchups that can be enlightening. The final score does not ultimately matter, but that does not make the offeseason useless.
The Packers open the preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles. They faced the Eagles in the 2015 preseason as well, and some will remember the overreaction that followed that game. The Packers were "torched" by the likes of Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. Packers fans felt it was a harbinger of a season to come, and pundits praised the offensive genius of Chip Kelly.
Kelly, Bradford and Sanchez have all since departed the Philadelphia Eagles, and so the game is a clear example that final results are not the important point of the preseason.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let's take a look at a couple reasons why this offseason will be important for the Packers.
First and foremost, the trip to Denver in the third preseason game stands out the most. Typically teams play their starters the longest during the third preseason game. The last time the Packers went to Mile High Stadium, Aaron Rodgers threw for just 77 yards.
If Rodgers were to play significantly better in this upcoming preseason game, that may still not mean anything. The change in performance could be scheme related.
However, the Packers receivers will have a chance to go head-to-head with the same Broncos corners that absolutely dominated them in 2015. Can Packers receivers get open going up against Chris Harris in man coverage? This is worth a watch.
In the preseason finale against the Los Angeles Rams, the Packers interior offensive linemen may get the opportunity to block Aaron Donald for a series or two. Donald is a premier defensive lineman in the league, and if the Packers' eventual replacement of TJ Lang at guard can face the top level of competition and survive, it could be noteworthy even in the preseason.
Part of what makes fans upset with the preseason is the fear of injury, and that's understandable. It is also annoying because you see players dressed in uniform and going out on a football field, but it's not the real deal just yet. It lasts a long time and yet lacks hardly any real excitement.
However, it is essential to the development of the team, and if we can analyze individual matchups, I think the preseason can much more exciting and we can learn about the 2017 edition of the Packers.
What are some things you're looking forward to as it relates to the preseason? What other matchups might serve as a litmus test for a particular Packers player or position group?
Go Pack Go.
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