The good news is, tomorrow night’s game against St. Louis pretty much cannot be worse than last week’s tilt with Arizona. The even better news is that we’ll have a much better idea where the Packers stand at a few key positions after Saturday’s game. With that in mind, here are four things to watch when you sit down on the couch tomorrow night.
1. Eddie Lacy’s debut
First Eddie Lacy was fat. Then he was the hero of the Family Night Scrimmage. Then he hurt his hamstring. And now we get to know what he looks against an actual NFL defense. Since DuJuan Harris won’t be suiting up this week, Lacy has a big opportunity to solidify his spot as the starting running back, even if that’s not what the depth chart says.
2. Harrell vs. Young, Round 2
After his uninspiring performance in the first preseason game, Harrell has probably lost any lead he had on Vince Young in the race to be the number two quarterback. The Packers will still want to give him every chance to win the job given the amount of time they’ve invested into his development, but if Young starts to show he’s picking up the playbook, Harrell could become persona non grata pretty quickly in Green Bay.
Young, for his part, has seemed to be stepping up his game in practice, and if he can cobble together a solid performance on Saturday, he may leapfrog Harrell earlier than we thought possible.
3. Hyde vs. House, Round 2
Quick recap: Davon House was terrible in Week One. Is that succinct enough for you? Well good, because even he called it the worst game of his career. That usually wouldn’t be a big deal in the preseason for someone so highly regarded as House, but Micah Hyde had a solid game and has been getting rave reviews in practice. With Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, and Casey Hayward already ahead of him on the depth chart, House can’t have too many more people jump in front of him before he’s real close to being out the door. Look for him to rebound…or else.
As for Hyde, watch for him to get a long look covering slot receivers. The coaches seem to envision him as a sort of Hayward-lite (which sounds like a beer…kind of fitting for Wisconsin), and if he can demonstrate similar ball skills, Hyde may just be one step closer to a roster spot.
4. Right Tackle Battle
The right tackle battle hasn’t really been a battle in the truest sense. With T.J. Lang battling a few minor injuries and a handful of other linemen dropping in and out of the lineup with ailments of their own, it’s been rare that the Packers have had a full enough complement of linemen for there to really be a good comparison between Marshall Newhouse and Don Barclay. That could change on Saturday, and we’ll have a good idea who has the upper hand right off the bat. If Don Barclay gets the start, that could be a good indication that he has a leg up in the race for right tackle. If not, the two may be even closer than we’ve been led to believe.