Game two of the NFL preseason is here; for one team at least. The Green Bay Packers (1-0) prepare for the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2) this week as we approach another week of preseason football.
WHO: Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
WHAT: Week two of the NFL Preseason
WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 23, 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Heintz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
The Packers are coming off of an impressive preseason showing from several players, including Scott Tolzien and Datone Jones, among others. Meanwhile, the Steelers are entering the mid-way point of their preseason following a defeat at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Steelers conclusively play five games throughout the preseason due to their appearance in the Hall of Fame game against the Minnesota Vikings, (the rest of the league plays four preseason matches.)
Other than another game of football, there are several key points to watch for in this game. First and foremost, all eyes will be on the re-match of the 2010-2011 Super Bowl quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. This week two preseason game doesn’t have as big of implications, but is a rematch nonetheless.
If you are keeping a keen eye on the starters and their minutes, they likely won’t exceed past a few possessions in the second quarter. From here, the second team typically gets the most amount of work as teams work out the wrinkles in their depth chart.
Another key concept to watch for in this game is the offensive progression and use of different schemes. Here, in the second preseason game, teams get a better look at how players are performing to new plays and schemes. In particular, look for differences in the Packers offense as head coach Mike McCarthy hands down his offensive play-calling duties in 2015 to Tom Clements.
In regards to what the Packers will see personnel-wise from the Steelers, McCarthy isn’t dismissing the fact that they are playing a tough Steeler’s team in the preseason.
“This is the closest we can get to our in-season schedule,” McCarthy told reporters.
As for the Steelers, they will play several rookies on Sunday. First-round draft selection Alvin “Bud” Dupree will make another appearance in preseason action. Dupree is noted as #2 on the Steeler’s depth chart, but will likely get considerable play-time at outside linebacker.
Another interesting aspect to watch for the Steelers is Ryan Shazier, a second-year player that missed a considerable amount of time due to injuries. Shazier has been noted as a key attribution to the team this year, and looks to have a healthy season.
Lastly, the Packers will get a good look at several offensive playmakers for the Steelers, including Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Bell is suspended for the first game of the regular season, but has been taking various reps throughout the preseason, and will likely do the same on Sunday.
As always, there are several position battles taking place for both teams. Watch for positional battles at the receiver positions and linebacker positions for the Packers, and battles at linebacker in the secondary for the Steelers. The Packers have off of practice today before heading to Pittsburgh after a private practice tomorrow.
Tune into NFL Network on Sunday to catch this matchup.