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Key Points to Observe in the 2023 Preseason Opener: Packers vs. Bengals

Key Points to Observe in the 2023 Preseason Opener: Packers vs. BengalsKey Points to Observe in the 2023 Preseason Opener: Packers vs. Bengals

Key Points to Observe in the 2023 Preseason Opener: Packers vs. Bengals

Publish – 12 aug , 2023

In the past, a youthful quarterback by the name of Aaron Rodgers embarked on his inaugural preseason appearance as the freshly appointed starting QB for the Green Bay Packers, facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fast forward to Aug. 11, 2023, and it’s a young quarterback named Jordan Love who is poised to make his preseason debut as the newly anointed starting signal-caller for the Packers, taking on the Bengals once again. Love, selected in the first round of the 2020 draft, patiently observed from the sidelines for a span of three years behind Rodgers, and now he’s anticipated to command a few series on Friday night at the Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. This upcoming preseason opener stands as the tangible commencement of a fresh chapter in Green Bay’s football narrative.

Key Points to Observe in the 2023 Preseason Opener: Packers vs. Bengals
Tork Mason-USA TODAY Sports

The usage of snaps for second-year starters Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs remains uncertain. However, the upcoming Friday night presents the initial opportunity to witness an array of rookie playmakers on the offensive front. Notable among them are second-round selections Luke Musgrave and Jayden Reed, third-round pick Tucker Kraft, and fifth-round choice Dontayvion Wicks. The question arises: who will step up to create impactful plays for first-year starter Jordan Love and fifth-round pick Sean Clifford? As the preseason opener approaches, it holds significance as a pivotal stage for the assembly of skill position players. Their rapid acclimatization is essential before Week 1 commences. Keep an eye out for Musgrave’s agility, Reed’s performance from the slot, Kraft’s blocking capabilities, and Wicks’ mastery of route-running.

Despite primarily receiving snaps at right tackle and being designated as the starter in that role, Zach Tom, the Packers are aiming to elicit more stability from Josh Myers as the center. The presumed starter in this position for Friday night’s game is Myers. Nonetheless, it’s evident that his status as a definitive starter is not assured. The Packers are actively preparing Tom to assume the role of center should Myers not meet the expectations. It wouldn’t be unexpected to witness an extended evaluation of Myers at center, with Tom potentially taking over the position during Friday night’s game. The imperative task for the Packers is to ascertain the most adept player for the center position before finalizing the optimal lineup of the top five offensive linemen.

Key Points to Observe in the 2023 Preseason Opener: Packers vs. Bengals
Tork Mason-USA TODAY Sports

Key Points to Observe in the 2023 Preseason Opener: Packers vs. Bengals

Perhaps no position within the roster is as uncertain as safety, with potentially four contenders vying for starting roles as the preseason commences. Darnell Savage appears likely to secure a starting spot, but the likes of Rudy Ford, Jonathan Owens, and Tarvarius Moore are all in contention to take the field alongside him. While Ford initially took the lead, Owens, who held a starting position for the Texans in the previous season, is progressively gaining momentum during training camp. Owens might stand out in a context where tackling can sometimes falter. Also, keep a keen eye on Moore’s impressive speed – he possesses remarkable agility. The Packers are in need of standout performers in their safety ranks. This position group seems to be among the most promising in the Packers’ training camp. Kenny Clark has displayed dominance, Devonte Wyatt seems poised for a significant sophomore leap, TJ Slaton is delivering quality snaps at nose tackle, Jonathan Ford has elevated his performance, according to Matt LaFleur, and rookies Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks consistently exhibit disruptive prowess. The Packers are reliant on these young defensive linemen stepping up around Clark this season. While the training camp has initiated a promising start, the next challenge for Wyatt, Slaton, Ford, Wooden, and Brooks lies in stringing together consistently commendable reps during the preseason.

Key Points to Observe in the 2023 Preseason Opener: Packers vs. Bengals
Tork Mason-USA TODAY Sports

Naturally, all eyes will be on Love, who is anticipated to take the field for a few series. His mastery of pre- and post-snap processes, synchronization with emerging receivers, enhancement of accuracy’s consistency, and prevention of injuries – all these aspects warrant attention in Love’s performance on Friday night. Can Love adeptly read the field, progress through his options, and deliver accurate passes to the appropriate targets? Will his downfield accuracy to fleet-footed players like Romeo Doubs and Luke Musgrave exhibit enhanced consistency? How effectively can he rebound from a hit and regain his live-game rhythm? It might be tempting to hastily evaluate Love based on his outcomes against the Bengals. Yet, quarterbacking demands adherence to a structured process, and the preseason introduces an environment of unpredictability and numerous variables, particularly with a multitude of budding offensive players. It’s prudent to reserve judgment until we can delve into the specifics of his performance in the inaugural preseason game.

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