Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Packers didn't play well in their first preseason game, but they had only one fumble (recovered), one interception, and four penalties. This really stood out from last season, when the Packers made a lot of mistakes in the preseason. The Packers should have lost their preseason game last season versus San Diego, but managed to win despite nine penalties and six(!) fumbles (3 lost). San Diego outplayed the Packers, but San Diego committed twelve penalties and a few of them were true gifts to the Packers from the refs.

The Packers only played mistake-free football last preseason at Buffalo (except that they were soundly beaten), and they committed a lot of penalties and turnovers against Tennessee and New England. Somehow they managed to go 2-2 last preseason, despite being outplayed during most of those games and making a lot of mistakes via turnovers and penalties. The Packers played better during the 2005 regular season than the preseason, but the turnovers persisted. The Packers managed to improve their penalties and finished near the middle in penalties.

Despite the beating the Packers took at San Diego on Saturday, the quality of play is very likely to improve if 2005 is an indication. What to look for during this preseason is that QB Brett Favre keeps his interceptions low (zero so far), the rookies are improving with each game, and who will win the final roster spots.

Luckily for the Packers, S Marquand Manuel is back in practice. The Packers released S Mark Roman because S Marviel Underwood was playing so well, but with Underwood out for the season, depth at safety has become a concern. S Tyrone Culver played well against San Diego, but he has become all the depth the Packers have at the position. Hopefully DT Kendrick Allen can come back soon. The Packers defensive line didn't look much improved at San Diego, but NT Ryan Pickett and Allen weren't playing either.

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