When the Raiders welcome the Packers to Oakland tonight, fans will see the progress under Jon Gruden. In addition, storylines will abound, as these two teams own a myriad of connections. With that said, here are five storylines to watch surrounding this contest.
The Mack proposition
For the last couple of weeks, media started to detail the “trade interest” from other teams. At one time, Vegas oddsmakers gave the Packers the lead in landing Khalil Mack. Yet, no one knows what that looks like. Media and fans proposed a less than attractive trade package bonanza. Look for fans and announcers to hit on this tired point heavily.
When Jordy Nelson sees Aaron Rodgers, it will be as opponents. Nelson, the former Packers wideout left Green Bay this offseason. Rodgers, the perennially elite passer looks at a receiving corps of questions marks. In fact, this week, he took to the microphone to blast his receivers. While the grass may not always be greener, you do not hear Derek Carr chewing anyone out.
Perhaps the best move by Green Bay all offseason was letting Don Capers go. In his place, they hired Mike Pettine. First, Pettine brings a stellar pedigree to the Packers. Next, Pettine schemes to strengths. Packers’ DL Mike Daniels counts as one. Daniels uses a rare combination of power and leverage to disrupt. In that case, Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele will get to tangle with him well into the second quarter.
On Wednesday, Oakland sign veteran corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Although Cromartie is in his thirties, he brings quality depth. On the other hand, his signing raises questions about Daryl Worley. How long will the league sit him for his offseason arrest and charges?
By the third preseason game, the rosters begin to take shape. The third game is where players make the move towards a roster spot. With so much rising on personal results, watch players that sit lower on the depth chart play with urgency. For the Raiders, no cut will be an easy one. Expect players on the bubble to shine. After all, these players are competing for their professional lives.