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Following another year of postseason absences, Green Bay and Oakland meet in week three exhibition play up in Winnipeg, Canada. The Packers have split their two preseason contests coming in, most recently dropping a 26-13 encounter vs. Chicago. Meanwhile, after posting the AFC’s worst record in 2018, Oakland is 2-0 this summer after outlasting Arizona last week.
Expect to see limited amounts, if any, of Aaron Rodgers today after the banged-up veteran took another night off against the Bears. On the other side, Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden will extend more minutes to his roster locks tonight while intently noting players battling to survive looming cuts. Gruden recently stated that trimming Oakland’s roster to the 90-man minimum by August 31 will be a tough task for his entire staff.
But that’s the beauty of preseason football. Let’s now consider each team’s top storylines and evaluate how they stack up ahead of what promises to be an entertaining NFC vs. AFC matchup.
Changes Continue During Oakland’s Final Season Before Move
In 2018, Oakland failed to protect starting QB Derek Carr or offer him downfield threats. This naturally resulted in major offensive struggles last season. To help remedy that dilemma the Raiders signed All-Pro wideout Antonio Brown and Super Bowl Champion offensive guard Trent Brown. Though, Oakland lost leading-rusher Marshawn Lynch and leading-receiver Jared Cook this spring via free agency. To recoup his losses, Gruden drafted former Alabama RB Josh Jacobs: Jacobs toted the rock four times while gaining 21 yards vs. Arizona and team personnel loves his cutback ability and believes he can make an immediate impact. Doug Martin will likely serve as Jacobs’ backup while RB’s James Butler and Mack Brown fight for roster spots.
Vision ✓ | Acceleration ✓ | Burst ✓
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) August 18, 2019
Opposite the Cardinals, Oakland’s reserve QB competition heated up as Mike Glennon completed 11-of-14 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. However, in limited snaps, Nathan Peterman completed all eight of his throws for 41 yards. Each will get an extended look against Green Bay after Derek Carr’s first-quarter cameo.
Rookie WR Rico Gafford also shined against Arizona, hauling in a 53-yard scoring strike as Ryan Grant and Tight End Derek Carrier added touchdown receptions. Rookie Keelan Doss grabbed five passes for 38 yards as he tries to join Oakland’s regular-season receiving mix.
The Raiders’ quarterback and receiver play should again be strong tonight against a Green Bay unit sporting secondary issues.
New Coach Hopes To Re-ignite Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers spent much of 2018 pushing through pain, as he suffered nagging injuries in the season opener and was sacked 49 times in 16 starts. This season, Rodgers, who clashed with former head coach Mike McCarthy, gets a clean slate as 39-year-old offensive prodigy Matt LaFleur takes the reigns.
LaFleur’s first order of business is changing team culture. His second is keeping his legendary QB engaged while rebuilding a storied franchise.
— Lambeau Field (@LambeauField) August 9, 2019
For two years running the Green Bay Packers have been absent from NFC playoff football. Last season’s failures can largely be attributed to a defense which ranked 22nd against the run and 22nd overall. Last week the Packers’ defense sputtered and offense underwhelmed as backup QB Tim Boyle completed 12-of-21 passes for 107 yards. Meanwhile, the Ravens gained 343 total yards to Green Bay’s 226. Baltimore also added three sacks.
Rookie RB Darrin Hall added 31 yards in seven carries for Green Bay. And, Allen Lazard caught three passes for 63 yards as WR Darrius Shepherd scored the Pack’s only touchdown to highlight his three-catch performance. Green Bay rounded out its point total with a pair of field goals from just outside forty yards by placekickers Mason Crosby and Sam Ficken.
Packer WR Trevor Davis feels that he is ready to take the next step and coach LaFleur feels that he may be ready to.
“That was encouraging,” LaFleur said of Davis’ impressive practice on Monday, when he got the ball on an end-around, a shovel pass, an intermediate throw or two, and a deep ball, showcasing the various ways he can be used.
“I’m excited to watch him in the game.”
- Under is 3-0-1 in Raiders last 4 games overall.
- Over is 4-0-1 in Raiders last 5 games on fieldturf.
- Packers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games on fieldturf.
Updated on Aug 22 at 11:50am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The Raiders have gotten 58% of the bets, but the game has gone from a pick to Green Bay -2. The Sharps are all over the Packers in this one.
Injury / Weather Report
Green Bay’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: WR Equanimeous St. Brown and RB Jamaal Williams
Out: LB Oren Burks, DB Ibraheim Campbell, and LB Greg Roberts
Oakland’s Impact Injury Report
Out: DB Isaiah Johnson and OG Gabe Jackson
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
With the majority of snaps going to backup QB’s today, I like the duo of Glennon and Peterman against Tim Boyle and DeShone Kizer. Further, Oakland’s secondary, tertiary and fringe camp invitees seem to have more fire than Green Bay’s personnel. Look for a strong aerial attack from Glennon against the Packers’ secondary. Though, expect the Packers offense to bounce back some vs. Oakland’s lax pass rush.
Overall, this will be a hard-fought, competitive contest where Oakland ekes past Green Bay via strong passing and an adequate ground attack.
Prediction: Oakland Raiders
Full-Game Total Pick
Given both teams defensive struggles, it’s reasonable to assume an over for this meeting. As of this writing an O/U isn’t set, but I see this one going over a 40-point total.
Full-Game Prop Bet