Last Updated: 2017-08-30
The Green Bay Packers have a trio of veteran coaches in the important coaching positions as far as preseason bettors are concerned. Mike McCarthy has been the top dog for 11 seasons and his two coordinators, Tom Clements and Dom Capers, have both been with him for at least the past five seasons, so there’s no unfamiliarity and neither of the coordinators has something to prove. McCarthy has a 23-21 ATS record and Green Bay is 26-18 in totals under his command.
If last season is an indication, Packer fans can expect to see very little of Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley and plenty of Taysom Hill and third-string quarterback Joe Callahan, who saw the majority of playing time last preseason. Like Hill, Callahan was an undrafted free agent who caught McCarthy’s eye during spring drills.
McCarthy’s Packers are 8-4 the past three seasons ATS, but have been inconsistent in totals, going 3-1 in 2015 and then checking in with an 0-4 record last year, although Callahan didn’t play that badly. Marquise Williams saw a little playing time and wasn’t all that impressive, but it was the Green Bay defense that responsible for the totals, as they ranked No. 1 in yards allowed and were No. 2 in scoring defense. The year before they were No. 22 in scoring defense.
The Packers open up with a home game against the Eagles and then travel to Washington and Denver before returning home to close out exhibition play against the Rams. Green Bay doesn’t meet any of their preseason opponents during the regular season, but they did lose to Washington 42-24 last season and came away with a 27-13 win at Philadelphia.
Green Bay’s fortunes this preseason will likely rest on the shoulders of Callahan and Hill. Rodgers and Hundley combined to throw 16 passes last preseason, which was one less than Williams threw. Callahan attempted 88 passes and threw three touchdowns to no interceptions, but as young quarterbacks are prone to do at times, held onto the ball too long and was sacked 10 times.
The Green Bay defense wasn’t that good last season, allowing 25 points a game, and surrendering 75 in two playoff games, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where a lot of the team’s focus is in the preseason. With their top two quarterbacks pretty much penciled in, the backups are likely to be on the field more often than not, so Green Bay could very well be an under team once again this preseason.
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