This Saturday, the Packers will look to remain undefeated in the 2017 NFL preseason as they take on the Washington Redskins. Although preseason does not really matter in the grand scheme of things, the Packers will still take these games seriously to truly evaluate all the young talent currently present on this roster. Although it is unlikely that Aaron Rodgers will play, one can still expect the Packers to remain competitive and potentially win this contest. In my opinion, there are several things that Packers fans can expect to see on Saturday night.
Here are some examples:
1. A Heavy Workload for Jamaal Williams
In the first preseason game, the Packers’ run game was abysmal to say the least. Despite winning the game, the Packers’ players combined for 47 rushing yards on 18 carries. I expect the Packers to lean heavily on the running game against Washington in order to fix the potential issues with it before the season starts.
According to ESPN, starting running back Ty Montgomery is listed as questionable which means that Williams will probably lead the team in carries. The fourth round draft pick out of BYU has all of the tools to be a starting running back in the NFL and I expect him to showcase some of those skills on Saturday. Williams only rushed four times in the first preseason game for 14 yards. I personally can see him getting at least a dozen carries in this contest for over 50 yards.
2. Strong Play from the Backup Quarterbacks
In the first preseason game against the Eagles, quarterbacks Joe Callahan and Taysom Hill looked extremely sharp. Specifically, Callahan threw for 106 yards and completed 10 of his 16 passes while Hill completed 80% of his passes including a touchdown pass. With both of these quarterbacks playing equally well, one has to wonder who will be the third string quarterback on the depth chart when the season starts. Both quarterbacks will face some pressure as one slip-up can potentially blow their chances of being the third string quarterback during the regular season. However, I see both of them rising to the occasion and performing well in the face of adversity.
As for second string quarterback Brett Hundley, he will look to rebound after underperforming in the first preseason game. Hundley only completed eight of his 15 pass attempts and also threw an interception. However, Hundley has already experienced the preseason before and I expect him to settle down and play well in his next game. Expect Hundley to limit potential mistakes and to use his mobility to create several big passing plays downfield.
3. Increased Emphasis on Ball Security
Last week, the Packers fumbled five times. Out of those five, two resulted in turnovers. That is unacceptable. The team also threw an interception which brought their turnover count to three. It is safe to assume that coach Mike McCarthy focused heavily on those turnovers in the film room and expects his team to do a better job limiting turnovers in the future.
One specific player to keep in mind is Ty Montgomery. Montgomery lost a fumble in the first game and will need to do a better job with ball security if he plans on remaining the starting running back for the course of the entire season. However, as mentioned before, Montgomery is a little banged up with a leg injury and might not play. If he does end up playing, look for him to be carrying that ball with two hands for safety.