It’s been a long time coming, but we’re here. Green Bay Packers football is back.
Yes it’s only the preseason opener, but after a long offseason and a few weeks of the Packers playing against the Packers in training camp the Green and Gold finally get to face off against someone in a uniform of a different color.
Tonight the Packers face off against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in the first of four exhibition games. Last season, the Packers beat the Chargers 45-38 in Week 9 to move to 8-0 on the year. The Packers nearly blew the game in the fourth quarter but hung on for the win.
With starters for both teams only expected to see only a few series of action, this is a game in which the second and third string units get a chance to shine and prove that they belong on the roster when the regular season kicks off in earnest on September 9.
The Packers face a plethora of questions as they begin to shape their opening day roster. Will they keep six wide receivers? How about the tight ends? Who will be starting at cornerback opposite Tramon Williams with Charles Woodson now at safety in the base defense? Will the pass rush be improved?
Those questions and more have been at the forefront of Packer fans’ minds all offseason and tonight’s game is only the first small step towards answering them.
Here are some things to watch as the Packers open the 2012 preseason:
The corner battle: Many a fan shuddered when the Packers released their initial depth chart and showed Jarrett Bush as the starter opposite Williams. Bush is known as a decent special teams player but has been shaky to say the least in pass protection. After Sam Shields’ well documented struggles in 2011, Bush is the next man up to take a shot at the starting job vacated by Woodson’s move to safety.
The questioning entering this (and the following) preseason game is how Bush will hold up. He faces a challenge in Philip Rivers and his cast of receivers. Even though Vincent Jackson is no longer on the roster, Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal should give Bush a chance to show off his skills in pass coverage.