NFL preseason football games might not mean anything record-wise, but they are the best way for teams to gauge their personnel and effectiveness of plays before the real games begin.
The Packers get to play in their first structured game since the upset loss at home against the New York Giants in the 2011 playoffs. On the other side of the gridiron, the Chargers get a chance to install confidence in their fans that they have the ability to reach the postseason in 2012. Here's all the essential information you'll need to watch or listen to the game live.
When: Thursday, August 9 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Live Stream: NFL Audio Pass
Listen: Rock 105.3 FM (San Diego), Newsradio 620 WTMJ (Green Bay)
Key Chargers Injuries
*According to CBS Sports
WR Robert Meachem (knee) is listed as questionable.
WR Eddie Royal (leg) is listed as questionable.
RB Ryan Mathews (undisclosed) is listed as questionable.
Key Packers Injuries
*According to CBS Sports
WR Greg Jennings (concussion) is listed as questionable.
TE Jermichael Finley (concussion) is listed as questionable.
Fantasy Prospect to Watch
New Chargers wide receiver Robert Meachem might not play in this contest. But if he does, fantasy football managers should be watching his performance closely.
Meachem is attempting to fill the shoes left behind by Vincent Jackson in San Diego. He also has a chance to finally live up to his 2007 first-round draft selection now that he doesn't have to deal with being overshadowed by Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham anymore.
The Chargers are looking for either Meachem or Royal to emerge as their premier wide receiver, and if the former Saint can win that battle, he'd be a sneaky player to pick up in a fantasy draft.
What They're Saying
As the replacement referee saga continues, one of the more positive stories to come out of the situation will take place in this contest. As Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times first reported, Shannon Eastin will become the first woman to officiate an NFL game and will be a part of the crew for the Chargers/Packers game.
Eastin has spent much of her officiating career refereeing Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference college games.
Key Players to Watch
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers
Keeping with the running back talk, one of the Packers' two biggest weaknesses last year was their lack of a running game. Starks had just 578 yards on the ground despite being the team's starter in 2011.
Part of that is due to the Packers offensive approach, which is highly pass-friendly. But Starks didn't exactly electrify the gridiron in the 133 attempts he had in 2011. In Starks' two-year career, he's never posted a 90-yard game, let alone a 100-yard performance.
The Packers would be wise to give Starks plenty of carries during these four preseason games and see if he can earn more touches. Green Bay needs to implement more running plays into its offense, but only if Starks shows he can do something with those touches.
Quentin Jammer, CB, San Diego Chargers
The Chargers aren't looking for Jammer to step up his game like the Packers will be with Starks, but rather build off his stellar 2011 campaign.
Jammer posted 53 tackles for his team last season, 44 of which came with no help from his teammates. While he didn't record any interceptions, No. 23 was one of the best cornerbacks in the AFC West.
San Diego's defense ranked 16 overall in the NFL last season and Jammer has been a stable of its defense for a decade now.
The only AFC West team that posted a better defensive rank last season was Kansas City and if the Chargers want to overtake their rival, they need Jammer to have yet another year shutting down opposing wide receivers.
Even in preseason, Chargers fans would love to see Jammer shut down one of Green Bay's many receiving weapons in this contest.
The scoreboard itself isn't of the highest importance in the preseason, but the Packers could end up leaving starters like Starks and some defensive personnel in the game longer than the Chargers.
For that reason, paired with Green Bay having the more talented first-team players, San Diego will open its preseason with a loss at Qualcomm.
Final Score: Packers 27, Chargers 21
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