Another Thursday. Must mean it’s time for another preseason game.
The schedule gods were kind to the Packers this preseason, giving a regular dose of high intensity preseason football for 4 consecutive Thursdays. Not since The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, and Night Court have I been this excited for must see TV (or computer monitor) on a Thursday night for weeks at a time. If only it could last forever.
It is week 3 of the preseason, which is generally regarded aqs the dress rehearsal for the regular season. The Packers starters (those who aren’t injured anyways) are expected to play the entire first half. The same holds true for the Bengals, as both teams will finally be able to see what 30 minutes of somewhat non vanilla flavored football may look like. Chants of “Go Pack Go!” from the Packer faithful will take on a somewhat more meaningful tone tonight, as this game counts for something. Kind of anyways.
And of course, there is the second half of the game to look forward to, which will include the sub plots of “Will Graham Crack Under Pressure?” and “Will Anyone Pronounce Curenski Gilleylen Properly?” as the battle to see who will make the final 53 takes over the game.
Much like last week, there is a plethora of "5 things to look for during tonight's game" posts currently circulating the inter webs. I like to be a little different, so once again I am giving the world the 4 things I am not looking for during tonight’s game:
1-Cedric Benson: He’s the starter. It should not even be a question at this point. He was signed for a reason, and that reason is to start. In his Packers debut tonight against his former team, he could rush 20 times for -65 yards, and come tomorrow morning, he will still be the starter. I am not paying attention to his stats one bit. Instead, I may pay attention to how James Starks does, as we may be seeing his days as a Packer come to an end quickly. Oh that’s right, he’s been ruled out. Like I said, Cedric is the starter.
2-Mason Crosby: He missed a field goal last week. Normally I would have jumped all over the chance to complain about this, but it’s preseason. I’ve made every effort not to get upset about how the Packers have played because it is the preseason. He can miss every field goal or extra point attempt tonight if he wants. Squib every kickoff intentionally just for the hell of it. As long as Mason is ready come Week 1 against the 49ers, he gets a pass.
3-Graham Harrell: This is someone who I should be paying attention to tonight, but I won’t. Based on his performances the first two preseason games, it is clear that he is not ready to be a number 2 QB. He may someday, but not this year. Maybe it is because he missed an entire offseason last year because of the lockout. Perhaps it is because the two preseason games are the first time he has been showcased on the field (remember the Packers had Matt Flynn last year as the backup to Rodgers). Or maybe it’s because he just isn’t that good. Whatever the case is, he is not the person I want backing up Aaron Rodgers this year. Any game action he gives tonight is just killing time before the Packers make the move to make B.J. Coleman the number two QB out of camp, or go out and sign a free agent before the start of the regular season. Harrell may have received a vote of confidence from Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and Aaron Rodgers in the past week, but that will not mean anything if he struggles again tonight.
4-Jermichael Finley: Always a target ranging from passes to criticism from fans, Finely was expected to play tonight after missing the Browns game with a quad injury. He was with the team in Cincinnati when he tweeted "A blessing has came into the world! #BabyFin." His wife Courtney later tweeted “London Dash William Finley is here! So blessed and complete. Thank you all for your blessings.We couldn't be happier. ” Jermichael is headed back to Green Bay and will not be playing in tonight’s contest. Congrats to the Finleys on the arrival of their son. Packers fans will have to wait another week for the return on Jermichael to the lineup.
There you have it, the 4 things I won’t be looking for during tonight’s game. I eagerly await the playing of either "We Are the Champions" if the Packers win, or a slow funeral procession if they were to drop to 0-3 in the meaningless preseason schedule.
Go Pack Go!
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