Last season, the Green Bay Packers went 15-1. In their preseason game last week against the San Diego Chargers, they didn't exactly get off to the best start toward accomplishing that feat again, losing 21-13.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said this (via Packers.com) about last week's game, “We have a lot of work to do. That’s evident... I feel like you normally do after your first preseason game. The way we handled the football to start the game, I’m not happy about that. We need to spend some time on handling the football.”
As the Packers get prepared to face the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, expect a statement game from Green Bay. With the start of the season just over three weeks away, the Packers are going to want to nip any problems in the bud.
While it's only preseason, a team like the Packers does not want to go 0-2.
No. 2 quarterback Graham Harrell didn't play badly last week, but he knew they had problems moving the ball.
“Once we kind of got a first down and got it moving, we had some really nice drives," he said, "but we went three-and-out way too many times... So if we can move the ball consistently, I think it will be a good day.”
Harrell will more than likely get the most playing time, but I would not be surprised to see Aaron Rodgers get way more than the three series he played last week. If only to send the message that the Packers are not going to lose another game like they did last week.
This week's game also being their home opener, the Packers are going to want to get off to a better start. Last week, they didn't get their first score until there were 32 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Packers only seem to play the Browns in preseason play, with their last regular-season matchup happening in the 2009 season. So, there is not much recent history between these teams, and this game could end up going either team's way.
The Packers sure hope that Thursday's game goes their way so they don't have to deal with a week of the media asking them about how they are going to stop the bleeding of two straight losses.
Having not lost two straight preseason games since 2008, they don't want to break that streak.