Opening kickoff of the 2013 NFL season brought on a whole flood of happy and anxious feelings for me. Being a Green Bay Packers fan, preseason this year was a total letdown, as it usually is. I’m a firm believe that true fans should not watch preseason with any sort of expectations. What we as spectators see on the field, is not reflective of how the starting team will perform. So I really didn’t know what to think…
This year is also my first year where I participated in a Fantasy Football League. Some coworkers and I set up a league, and I couldn’t believe how stressful the draft was. My whole hesitation with playing fantasy came from not wanting to cheer against my team. What I’m not realizing, is i’m not only cheering against my team from time-to-time, but i’m also hoping for big games out of players that my boyfriend’s team is playing against (and vice versa).
In Week 1, the Packers had the 3:30 p.m. game – which meant that I was constantly refreshing my fantasy scores up until that point. Living in Minnesota, I welcome any game that the Packers play that isn’t at noon. If they play at the same time as the Vikings, I get stuck watching a QB making plenty of bad decisions alongside a defense that glimmers with hope before showing their true colors. The Packers and 49ers game was much anticipated by plenty of people, and it sure lived up to expectations. As much as I hate to get a loss in Week 1, I can’t say I was overly disappointed with my boys. Something really telling from this game were the holes in the Packers secondary. I must say, I wasn’t thrilled with Teddy T. when he didn’t do anything to replace Woodson in the offseason. I like that he lets guys like Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian fight and prove their starting positions, however, I’m skeptical on how well this tactic will work this year. It sure didn’t last year, even with Woodson around. The Packers have some good cornerbacks in Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, and I’m confident with one or two more strategic additions to the secondary, the Packers could have the arsenal to stop not only Colin Kaepernick’s read option, but the long passes down field as well.
Three players that really shined in this game for me were Clay Matthews (no-brainer), Jordy Nelson (again, no brainer) and Eddie Lacy. Matthews had a few great plays where he read the play and was on it. I know some people may say he had a cheap shot on Kaepernick, while I would be equally offended if someone hit Rodgers like that, you can’t blame the guy for playing hard. Nelson once again proved to us why the Packers were OK with letting go of Jennings. I’ve really loved to see the receiving core develop for Green Bay over the past few years, and Nelson is a big part of it. Fingers crossed he stays healthy and makes the big plays this season. We need him. Eddie Lacy had a less than stellar preseason, and to be honest, I was indifferent about him. He kept fighting though, and McCarthy kept going back to him. One thing the Packers have seriously lacked is a running game. The stats will prove it. The last time a running back for the Packers rushed for more than 100 yards was in 2010. The Packers need to step that up if they want to be a contender down the road, and I think that Lacy was a great guy to bring in to get the job done. Now for that O-line….well, that’s for another time.
I’m excited and optimistic to see how this season pans out. I’m equally as excited to see the 49ers again come January. I can only hope it will be in Lambeau. I sincerely hope Kaepernick likes the taste of frozen tundra.