This will be the first preseason game for the Packers since the 2019 season. Last year due to Covid the NFL did away with the preseason. This year is also different because of the added 17th regular season game. In adding another in season game, the NFL did away with 1 preseason game.
Preseason games usually feature 2nd and 3rd string, and on the bubble players. Showing up in the preseason can be the difference between making a team, and becoming a fan favorite, or the end of an NFL dream. This year because of only 3 preseason games expect to see even less starters. In previous years the starters may have played a series or two, but it’s almost not worth it for the threat of injury, among other reasons.
The Packers first game is home against the Texans, let’s preview what this game holds for both sides.
For starters (or lack there of) expect to see probably 85 percent Jordan Love. Coach LaFleur said he expects Jordan to play the majority of the game with Kurt Benkert getting late game snaps.
Here it is: Jordan Love will indeed start Saturday’s preseason opener against the Texans and “will play the majority of the game” and Kurt Benkert will finish it.
Coach Matt LaFleur said Aaron Rodgers will “most likely not” play in the preseason. pic.twitter.com/GClSM4L5yG
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 10, 2021
With the future unknown beyond this year with Aaron Rodgers, it’s more important now than ever to see what we have in Jordan Love. If I saw more than 3 or 4 starters during this game I would be surprised. One thing I’m looking forward to is seeing Eric Stokes in a real game. He had a tough go early on in training camp going up against Davante Adams. Amari Rodgers could really break out this preseason and give us a taste of something great. Josiah Deguara is another player to look out for. Deguara showed up early last season but an ACL tear ended his rookie season early.
The Offensive Line Battle
Offensive line may be the most interesting battle as we proceed through the preseason. David Bakhtiari is rehabbing from an ACL tear late in the season last year. He likely will miss some games into the regular season. We also lost Corey Linsley to the Chargers in free agency. There is no doubt that the Packers offensive line will look different come the season opener Vs. the Saints. Elgton Jenkins has been solid in filling in for David. We’ve been able to give Rodgers time recently because of a top 5 offensive line. Having all 5 guys on the offensive line on the same page is very important so that they’re familiar with one another. Keeping Rodgers upright is high priority.
The Packers added 3 Offensive Lineman In the draft. Josh Myers has the best shot at a starting job as a center replacing the departed Corey Linsley. Rodgers recently praised Myers early on in camp. The other two drafted were Royce Newman from Ole Miss, and Cole Van Lanen from Wisconsin. Pair all of those guys with second year guard Jon Runyan who played 160 snaps last year, and you’re in for a treat watching those guys battle it out.
At the end of the 2021-2022 season the Texans may have the worst record in the league. There’s a chance they may not even win a game. The Texans entered the league via the expansion to 32 teams in 2002, and late into 2021 the team is in disarray at best. Beloved Wisconsin alumni, and loyal Texans player J.J. Watt had enough after last season, and is now an Arizona Cardinal. As we saw with the Aaron Rodgers drama we know how important the quarterback position is. That goes for the Packers and it also goes for the Texans. In September 2020 Texans QB Deshaun Watson signed a 5 year deal worth 177.5 million dollars. The Texans future looked bright with Watson at the helm, as he was an established passer in the league.
Then 2021 Happened
In early 2021 Watson seemingly unhappy with the Texans franchise requested a trade. In March of 2020 the Texans released future Hall Of Famer DeAndre Hopkins, that among other inner turmoil within the franchise left Watson unhappy. Not long after, in March accusations of sexual misconduct from several women came to light. I’m not here to go into detail on those things. But the bigger picture is that all of that and the uncertainty of Deshaun Watson’s future has left the Texans in a very precarious situation.
What Does This All Mean For The Texans
Don’t expect to see any of Deshaun in the game vs. the Packers, or likely at all during the preseason. In fact the Texans released their official depth chart yesterday, and Watson was the 4th string. If it’s any indication from the depth chart the Packers will be seeing veteran Tyrod Taylor during their preseason game. With all eyes on Watson this preseason and beyond into the regular season, they may just be a team looking to keep their head above water.
How To Watch
The first Preseason game is this Saturday at 7pm Central at Lambeau. All information on how to watch/stream/listen can be found here.
As always Go Pack Go!
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