Thursday, August 9th will be the first preseason game for the San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers. Both of these teams will be championship contenders in the 2012-2013 season. This game will be important for the returning players to get into football mode but it will also be important for new players to get out on the field and start making an impact.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Chargers are looking to continue their electric offense. Phillip Rivers is coming off the worst season of his career so look for him to come out gunning the ball to his new weapons. With the loss of Vincent Jackson, the Chargers have picked up Robert Meacham and Eddie Royal in free agency but also kept Malcolm Floyd, Vincent Brown, and Antonio Gates. Rivers is going to have all kinds of weapons to throw to especially with the buzz out of training camp around Antonio Gates looking better than ever. The running game will be tested with a good Packers rush. Look for Ryan Matthews to get lots of carries so that he can be ready to be a franchise back. Fullback Le’ron Mcclain and Halfback Ronnie Brown will help to take some of the weight off of Matthews. The weak point will be the left side of the offensive line. It’s not decided yet on who will be playing the guard and tackle position so watch for guys coming in and out as the coaches try to decide the starters.
The Packers offense has not changed much in the offseason. Aaron Rodgers is expected to have another great season with his team. Wide Receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings will be the main targets this season. The Packers weak points on offense are the running game and the offensive line. The Packers have never been a big threat at running back but coaches are excited for Alex Green to get some carries. Finally, the Packers offensive line woes match up the same with the Chargers. The Packers still do not have the Left Tackle position set and they will be shuffling players in and out as the coaches look for the best.
The Chargers defense has looked very good in training camp. Under the leadership of new defensive coordinator, John Pagano, the defensive rush will be very strong. Linebackers Takeo Spikes and Shaun Phillips will be leaders on the field and always a threat on run and pass plays. The Chargers first round pick, Melvin Ingram, will be a threat at defensive end as he looks to prove his place on the team. Eric Weddle will be a leader for the secondary and is always looking for an interception of every pass play. Brandon Taylor out of LSU will learn from Weddle and look to bring that turnover threat he always had in college. Watch for the Chargers defense to look better than they have in a long time.
The Packers defense has been struggling in training camp. A main problem has been players not being able to make important tackles. Players like Sam Shields and Tramon Williams are under the microscope as Mike McCarthy looks for playmakers on defense. The secondary will be different as Charles Woodson has been playing some safety in camp. This means that young cornerbacks will be trying to get a starting spot. The Packers defense last year was not very good and had to be carried by the offense. Look for the Packers to try and bring the defense up to another level.
The preseason game for the San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers will be important for both teams. Watch for the starters to come out firing but then younger players will come in and compete for a starting spot. The game will start at 5 p.m. PST and will be televised on ESPN.