Jclombardi previews Colts game and headlines.
Guest senior writer jclombardi @ http://lombardiave.com
Basics: Packers (1-1) vs. Colts (0-2) tonight at 7 p.m. (Thursday) at Lambeau Field, Green Bay on prime time ESPN.
Injury report: Packers–S Bigby (ankle), CB Harris (knee) and RB Starks (hamstring) are on PUP list. LB Matthews (hamstring) is out. RB Lumpkin (hamstring) and RB Porter (ankle) are doubtful. LB Jones (shoulder), OL Barbre (back) and DE Jenkins (calf) are questionable. LB Hawk (ankle) and LB Joseph (quadriceps) are probable.
Things to Watch
1. Maturing rookies–How improved will rookies S Burnett, OL Bulaga, DE Neal, OL Newhouse, CB Shields, and TE Quarless play in their third preseason game?
2. Nickel & Dime–Underwood, Lee, and Shields compete for the No. 3 cornerback job and dime spots with CB Harris is injured. Colts QB Manning is a good test to distinguish among them for the spots.
3. Priority is Big 5 O–Packers must get routine series lined up with Driver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson and Finley in multiple formations to get repetitive successes. We will have shootout scenarios in a very tough schedule.
4. Running game–how many carries will RB Grant Get? How will RB Jackson Fare? Will HB Kuhn get many carries?
5. Pass Protection–good test for the offensive line and backups including the veteran tackles against an elite team. They go against two top rushing DEs to see how they will measure up getting ready for the new 2010 season.
6. Special teams–as we get closer to the regular season, Slocum must see how the new personnel, Shields and Underwood, do being in the no. 1 units tonight.
7. Defense–after two shaky games, the No. 1 defense must show improvement. This game is a good test for the defense’s abilities. How much can rookie DE Neal help? Will NT Raji provide an inside rush? The defense will play at least a half with some starting players out, we shall see how they stand against elite QB Manning.
8. OLB Help–Packers will see how rookie OLB Zombo can perform tonight. If Jones (shoulder) is held out, Zombo probably will start at right OLB. Even if Jones plays, the Packers plan to play Zombo extensively to see if he can help pass rush.
Headlines: Young Burnett just needs to do the job. Preview: Colts at Packers. Video: Five things to watch against Colts. Packers-Colts Preview: Things to Watch. Lee maintains team spirit. Packers’ defensive line finds its Jolly-less form. Vandermause: Training camp evolves to keep players healthy.