Things to look for:
Aaron Rodgers will most likely be the major draw for many in tonight’s game versus the San Francisco 49ers. Rodgers is expected to play in his only preseason game later this evening, and it is likely that Packer fans will be both excited and fearful to see number 12 out on the field for the Green and Gold. With a revived offense in 2016, Packer fans will once again get to witness the illustrious Rodgers to Nelson hookup, however that will not be the case in tonight’s matchup as Jordy Nelson is not expected to play.
On the bright side, Packer fans will get to witness newcomer Jared Cook receiving passes from Rodgers, a combination that is yet to reach its adolescence. The Packers have not had a significant QB to TE option since Jermichael Finley, Cook brings all that talent and more back to Green Bay. Expect to see Rodgers targeting Cook on a consistent basis in tonight’s game, depending on how many snaps Rodgers plays for of course.
Another intriguing aspect of tonight’s game will be found in the Outside and Inside Linebacking position battles. Arguably the team’s deepest positions, the Packers have a myriad of capable pass-rushers on the edge, as well as solid run-stuffers in the middle. Young and emerging players like OLB Lerentee McCray, ILB Carl Bradford and OLB Jayrone Elliott are all on the chopping block; expect to see explosive plays from these bubble-players this evening as well.
The Packers win tonight if…
The Packers take home the victory tonight if the young defense can ultimately hinder the 49ers quarterback play. Both Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert are primarily run-first type quarterbacks, a theme that has been an area of concern for the Packers in the past. If the Packers’ young defensive players can read the offensive irregularities that head coach Chip Kelly is likely to provide, the team should ultimately be successful. This stout defensive play by the Packers is also very likely, due to many players on the team looking to play well in order to make the cut.
The Packers will also record the W if the Packer offense starts off fast. A scenario that is highly likely due to the return of Aaron Rodgers, Rodgers is likely to dazzle Packer fans and jumpstart the Packers boring preseason offense. If the Packers’ first team can put points on the board quickly, the 49ers will have a hard time fighting back against an impressive, young Packers defense.