NFL preseason week two starts with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Cleveland Browns at historic Lambeau Field.With another easy preseason win with the pick on the Colts, it is time to break down this Thursday night matchup.
NFL Preseason Odds: The most up-to-date lines on this game have the Packers as (-4.5) point favorites with the total set at 38.
More NFL Preseason Week Two Picks Against the Spread Here
As predicted, the Packers lost the opener to the San Diego Chargers and their weaknesses were glaring. The first team could not execute and they struggled to start the game. The Packers are thin at left tackle with injuries to Marshall Newhouse and Derek Sherrod. That leaves Herb Taylor to take the majority of snaps and he looked bad in the opener and was slow off the line.
The positive from the first game was Graham Harrell. The backup young quarterback looked sharp in the game with a strong relief appearance. Harrell was 15 of 27 for 135 yards and passed for a touchdown. What he lacked in elusiveness he made up for with accuracy. He is being given a chance to replace Matt Flynn as the backup and he seems to be taken advantage of it.
The Packers have had their share of injuries as Davon House and Desmond Bishop, are both banged up heading into this contest.
For the Cleveland Browns it may have been a preseason game, but a win is a win. The Browns squeaked by the Lions and rallied late in the game behind quality play by some of their deep reserves.
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Trent Richardson will miss at least the next few weeks to recover from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee but the focus was on another rookie, quarterback Brandon Weeden. In three possessions he turned the ball over twice and it was nearly three times as a sure interception was dropped by a Detroit defender.
Colt McCoy on the other hand, looked great. He completed six of eight attempts for 88 yards and produced a field goal and looked very comfortable in this offense. Penalties but McCoy in tough spots on several occasions, and he shrugged them off and kept momentum with key plays.
Rookie wide receiver Travis Benjamin made a huge impact in the game and will be a player to watch against the Packers.
The defense played well, but they are dealing with injuries and potential suspensions. Coach Jauron faces a big challenge in getting youngsters such as John Hughes, Billy Winn, Buster Skrine and James-Michael Johnson ready to play key roles.[poll id=”17″]
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For the Packers this may be a good chance to focus on the run. The Lions averaged 6.4 yards per carry in the first half, running at rookie tackles John Hughes and Billy Winn. Kelland Williams rushed for 69 yards on eight carries in the first half (8.6 yards per carry), including a 33-yard run. The opening lanes for the run will set up the pass and allow the Packers to hide their weakness at the tackle spot.
It is interesting to note that since 2006, Packers coach Mike McCarthy is 5-1 in the six games that he has played in week two of the NFL preseason.
This will set up for a Packers win at home. It may be a preseason game, but the Packers fans still show up in droves to watch their team.
Take the home team to cover the number in this Thursday night NFL preseason game.