GREEN BAY PACKERS AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (Thursday, ESPN)
WHEN: 8:00 p.m. est August 9th
WHERE: Qualcomm Stadium
TV: Mike Tirico (play-by-play) & Jon Gruden (analyst) for ESPN
RADIO: Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) & Larry McCarren (analyst) for AM-620 and Packer Radio Network
INTERNET: Cheesehead TV Gameday Live Blog
Both the Packers and Chargers come into tonight's game facing issues at the left offensive tackle position. Packers fans are well aware of Marshal Newhouse's absence due to a concussion he suffered last Friday night during the Family Night scrimmage.
The Chargers will also be without their starting left tackle in Jared Gaither, who has yet to practice for the Bolts in 2012. After listing him as "day-to-day" back in July, and then watching weeks pass without any reported improvement in Gaither's condition, the Chargers made a couple of roster moves yesterday, much like the Packers did, in an attempt to solidify their offensive line depth.
Obviously, the big difference here is that the Chargers have been without Gaither throughout camp while the Packers lost Newhouse a few days ago. Fans of both teams will be watching closely to see how the backups at the position fare during the first preseason action of the 2012 season.
From the Dope Sheet:
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:
- Packers vs. Chargers:
- Regular season, all-time: 9-1-0
- In San Diego, all-time: 6-0-0
- Preseason, all-time: 1-1-1
- Streaks: The Packers have won each of the last six regular-season meetings.
- Last meeting, regular season: Nov. 6, 2011, at Qualcomm Stadium; Packers won, 45-38
- Last meeting, preseason: Aug. 12, 2006, at Qualcomm Stadium; Chargers won, 17-3
- Mike McCarthy: 68-36-0, .654, (incl. 5-3 postseason); 7th NFL season
- Norv Turner: 111-117-1, .487, (incl. 4-4 postseason); 15th NFL season
- Head to Head: McCarthy 2-0
- vs. Opponent: McCarthy 2-0 vs. Chargers; Turner 0-2 vs. Packers
PRESEASON ACTION FOR GREEN BAY STARTS IN SAN DIEGO
- The Green Bay Packers’ 2012 season officially kicks off Thursday night when they travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers in a preseason contest at Qualcomm Stadium, the first time the clubs have squared off in the preseason since 2006.
- The ’06 preseason meeting between the teams also came in San Diego and was the head-coaching debut of Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy.
- Thursday’s contest marks the first time since 2005 that the Packers have opened the preseason on a Thursday night. Ironically, that ’05 meeting also came against the Chargers, at Lambeau Field.
- This week’s matchup features two of the most productive offenses in the league. Over the past three seasons, Green Bay ranks No. 3 in scoring (29.4 ppg) and No. 5 in yards per game (380.8) while San Diego checks in at No. 4 in scoring (27.1 ppg) and No. 3 in yards per game (382.9).
- Thursday marks the debut of rookie and free-agent acquisitions, as well as a potent offense that returns all but two of its starters from 2011. Under the direction of McCarthy, the offensive play-caller, the Packers set franchise records for points (560), touchdowns (70), total net yards (6,482), net passing yards (4,924), passing TDs (51) and fewest giveaways (14). McCarthy has led the Packers to a top-10 ranking in total offense in each of his six seasons at the helm, joining New Orleans as the only team to accomplish that feat from 2006-11.
- Thursday’s contest also features a defense in its fourth year under defensive coordinator Dom Capers. In 2011, Green Bay led the league in interceptions (31) for the second time in three seasons (also 2009). That interception total was the best registered by the Packers since 1962 (also 31). The Packers tied for the league lead in ’11 with San Francisco for the most total takeaways with 38.
- As has been the case under McCarthy in previous preseasons, starters aren’t expected to play more than a few series. Maintaining the health of the team will be the ultimate determining factor, as will the need to see a number of young players in live game action for the first time. Teams must make the first roster reduction, to 75 players, on Aug. 27.
- This will mark the second straight year that the Packers have opened the preseason away from Lambeau Field after opening at home the previous three seasons (2008-10). For the first time since 2005, Green Bay’s preseason slate is made up of four AFC teams. The Packers do not play any of their preseason opponents during the regular season in 2012.
- Thursday’s game will be televised to a national audience on ESPN. Over the past 20 preseasons, the Packers have appeared on national television at least once in 19 of those years. The lone season that saw Green Bay not appear in front of a national audience over that span was in 2009.
- Thursday marks only the fourth preseason meeting between the teams and the second in San Diego. The all-time series is knotted at 1-1-1.
LAST MEETING, PRESEASON
- Aug. 12, 2006, at Qualcomm Stadium; Chargers won, 17-3
- In Mike McCarthy’s head-coaching debut, second-year QB Aaron Rodgers completed 9-of-11 passes (81.8 percent) for 124 yards, but the offense was only able to muster three points on the night. Rodgers added 21 rushing yards on three carries (7.0 avg.)
- Rookie WR Greg Jennings led the offense with four catches for 68 yards (17.0 avg.), including a 47-yard grab, in his pro debut.
- Chargers QB Philip Rivers connected on 15-of-21 passes (71.4 percent) for 169 yards and a TD and RB Michael Turner rushed for 43 yards and a score on nine carries (4.8 avg.).
WHERE THEY'LL BE THURSDAY NIGHT
- Coaches often use the preseason as a test to see where players are best utilized. Head Coach Mike McCarthy is on the sidelines, but here’s a look at where the rest of the staff will be Thursday:
- Press Box: Dom Capers (defensive coordinator), Jerry Fontenot (tight ends), Joel Hilgenberg (assistant offensive line), Ben McAdoo (quarterbacks), Scott McCurley (defensive quality control), John Rushing (offensive assistant/special teams) and Joe Whitt (secondary - cornerbacks).
- Sideline: Edgar Bennett (wide receivers), James Campen (offensive line), Tom Clements (offensive coordinator), Mike Eayrs (research and development), Kevin Greene (outside linebackers), Chad Morton (special teams assistant), Winston Moss (inside linebackers/asst. head coach), Darren Perry (secondary - safeties), Shawn Slocum (special teams coordinator), Mike Trgovac (defensive line) and Alex Van Pelt (running backs).
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