Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals Free Pick- 8/9/13
Arizona Cardinals (0-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-0)
NFL Football: Friday, August 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Lambeau Field)
The Line: Green Bay Packers -3.5 -- Over/Under: 36.5 See the Latest Odds
The Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals face off on Friday at Lambeau Field as they kick off their 2013 NFL Preseason schedules.
The Green Bay Packers are thinking Super Bowl this year, but they know it is going to take a team effort and some luck to get there. Aaron Rodgers is still one of the top QB’s in the NFL and a contender for the MVP award, but even he can’t do it alone and if anything should slow him down, the Packers are left with Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman. The hopes are Eddie Lacy injects life into what has been a lifeless running game, but another rookie, Jonathan Franklin can play as well, while DuJuan Harris and Alex Green will compete for time. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson missed last week’s scrimmage, but he is one starter with Randall Cobb and the ever productive James Jones is back while, Jarrett Boykin, Charles Johnson, and others are looking for a spot. Jermichael Finley is the starting tight end, despite his issues holding onto passes and Andrew Quarless, Mathew Mulligan, and D.J. Williams look to show what they have.
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The Green Bay Packers defense has been the sore spot for the team in recent years and they are going to need to step it up if the packers have even a shot at the Super Bowl. B.J. Raji is still in the middle of the three man front, with Datone Jones and Ryan Pickett at the ends, and C.J. Wilson, Jerel Worthy, and Mike Neal making up the second unit, and the depth chart continuing four deep in some spots. Clay Mathews has been banged up in recent years, while A.J Hawk has improved and with Brad Jones and Nick Perry, they make up the starting LB’s, and Terrell Manning, Jamari Lattimore, Dezman Moses, and several others will be in a backup role. The Packers take chances in the secondary and they have the athletes to do so with Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Morgan Burnett, Jerron McMillan as the starters and capable backups like Casey Heyward, Sean Richardson, Jarrett Bush and several others looking for playing time and to make the roster. The biggest battle is at kicker where Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tevecchio are looking to be in the fold for the 2013 season.
The Arizona Cardinals got off to a strong start last year, but then it turned into a season long losing streak as they limped through their final 12 games. Carson Palmer takes over at QB where he will be backed up by Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley. The Cardinals picked up Rashard Mendenhall but he is dinged up as is Ryan Williams so for this game we should see Andre Ellington and rookie Stepfan Taylor. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the top wide receivers in the NFL, but he hasn’t had a solid compliment in many years so the hopes are Michael Floyd steps up his game and if not Andre Roberts, Jarett Dillard, LaRon Byrd or someone else could be the answer. Rob Housler is listed as the starter at tight end followed on the depth chart by Jeff King, Kory Sperry, and D.C. Jefferson.
The Arizona Cardinals defense is one of the better units in the NFL, but they were often left in compromising spots by the inept offense a year ago. Calais Campbell is a Pro Bowl caliber end as is Darnell Dockett and Dan Williams is solid in the middle of the defensive line, while Matt Shaughnessy can bring the heat as can Frostee Rucker and all of the others currently on the roster. Daryl Washington is the best pass rushing inside linebacker in the history of football and he is next to Jasper Brinkley with Lorenzo Alexander and Sam Acho rounding out the starters, but with backups like Kevin Minter, Alex Okafor, Karlos Dansby and others, we should see a lot of different names on the field. Patrick Peterson took some criticism at corner last season and Antoine Cason starts on the other sid,e while Rashad Johnson and Yeremiah Bell are the safeties. A lot of the talk will surround rookie Tyrann Mathieu, while Jerraud Powers is a proven commodity as is Javier Arenas in a secondary that is four deep across the board.
The Packers are a big favorite, but most of these preseason games seem to be close and with the kicking issues, we have to figure this one will be as well. If it were 60 minutes of the Aaron Rodgers show, I might feel differently.