Packers-Bengals: Three Keys
Here we go. The third preseason game is traditionally the dress rehearsal for the regular season and there has been much concern about the state of the Packers after two games. Here's a few things to look for Thursday night:
Cedric Benson What role will Benson play? We'll start seeing the answer to that question against Cincinnati. He likely will not play a feature role like he did when he was in Cincy but he brings a between-the-tackles style the Packers will need, especially considering how thin the Pack are at running back.
Green Initiative Giving up explosive plays was a sore spot for the defense last year. The Packers gave up three explosive plays (as defined by giving up 20 yards or more on the play) to the toothless Browns last week. Cincinnati, on the other hand, has a rising star in receiver A.J. Green and if the Packers can limit his explosive potential that will be a good sign. Showing a bit more of a pass rush wouldn't hurt either.
Last chance? The first round of roster cuts is Monday and after that the preseason wraps up quickly so this is one of the last chances players on the bubble get to impress the coaching staff. This will also be one more good look at the rookie defensive players who may start or contribute come September 9. Jerel Worthy, Casey Hayward and Jerron McMillian are the three guys that need to show they're ready for the regular season.