Well, the third preseason game is here. And, as Denny Green once famously informed us, this is the one that teams do not, in fact, play like it’s bull(expletive), bull(expletive)!
That could be especially true in this one, as the Green Bay Packers take on the Indianapolis Colts and some cat named Peyton at Lambeau Field tonight at 7 p.m. Lambeau Time on ESPN.
As usual in game No. 3, we should see the starters for each team play at least one half. That’ll be good, but here’s what I’d like to see from the entire team – starters, backups and guys who will be bagging groceries in a week:
- A clear-cut winner emerge in the Daryn Colledge/Bryan Bulaga battle at left guard. Of course, that doesn’t mean I want to see one player struggle more than the other (even I don’t dislike Colledge that much). Rather, I’d like to see one guy turn in a dominating performance and win the job outright. It’s time to get the starting five set.
- A lot of the running game in the first half, Brandon Jackson in particular. We all know what Ryan Grant can do and, while I think he should get a decent amount of carries, Jackson should be the main guy when the starters are in. He’s been good in the first two games, but it’s time for him to be tested against another team’s starters.
- Greg Jennings on the sidelines in sweats, please. Don’t need his back spasms getting any worse.
- Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson and James Jones make some plays in the first half. Those guys have been quiet in the first couple of games – Driver was out last Saturday, though – and it’d be nice to see them become involved.
- Jermichael Finley just keep doing what he’s been doing.
- A clear-cut winner emerge in the Quinn Porter-Kregg Lumpkin battle for the No. 3 running back spot. Both are injured and I’m not sure of either’s status. But at least one of them needs to suck it up and get through this – after all, an NFL job is on the line.
- Matt Flynn build on his nice showing from the Seattle game. These next two games are potentially huge for his future if he wants to be an NFL starter someday.
- Spencer Havner and/or Andrew Quarless make some big plays. The Pack are going to keep four tight ends, as much as that baffles me, so the bottom two might as well be good.
- Breno Giacomini finally add some “Steak” to all the “Sizzle” the coaches have sold us on with him for the entire offseason. His future in Green Bay depends on it.
- Some pass rush from someone in the starting unit. I know, I know – Green Bay may once again be without its entire starting linebacking corps (A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Clay Matthews and Nick Barnett). And I know that it’s really, really hard to get pressure on the great Peyton Manning. But whoever may happen to be starting on defense, it’s imperative that some form of a pass rush gets established here, just so the team can be more sure in that area heading into Philly on Sept. 12.
- B.J. Raji get some real push up the middle. The big fella’s been solid, if unspectacular, during camp thus far. Let’s see a little spectacular tonight.
- Cullen Jenkins join Jennings on the sidelines in sweats, please. That ankle has to be ready for the games that count.
- Manning challenge Charles Woodson at least a couple of times, so we can see what really happens when two elite talents go right at each other.
- Pat Lee and Brandon Underwood be less terrible than they were last week. With Woodson returning, these guys will draw the nickel and dime spots, respectively, and should get a good test against a deep Colts receiving corps.
- Morgan Burnett do better. It’s time for him to start coming around a bit, rookie or not. And, even though it’s a game that doesn’t count, you know Manning will throw right at him.
- Someone emerge at d-line from the group of Justin Harrell, C.J. Wilson and Jarius Wynn. A key spot in the rotation is there for the taking, fellas.
- Sam Shields make some plays so he can shut all the doubters up. Come on, man – you’re “My Guy” for 2010 training camp. Don’t make me look silly.
- Two words: More Zombo!
- Mason Crosby keep doing what he’s been doing over the past 10 days.
- Everyone else be much, much, much better in every single area. That is all.
And, as usual, I’ll end this with the thing I’d like to see more than any of the rest: NO INJURIES!!
We’ll be back afterwards to wrap it all up. Enjoy the game, everyone.