It sounds almost goofy to talk about matchups for a preseason game but when the Packers come to Arizona to face the Cardinals on Friday night, it'll feel like a regular game (at least for the first half). Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt and Packers' coach Mike McCarthy have said that their starting units will most likely play the entire first half and even left open the possibility that they could start the third quarter. What that means for us fans is that we'll see real football for about 30 minutes. That also means that the Arizona Cardinals revamped secondary should be in for their first significant test of the season. Not only do the Packers bring last year's eighth ranked passing attack to town but quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been very sharp through two preseason games. The 25-year old is completing almost 70% of his passes for a whopping 10.5 yards per attempt, and he's added three touchdowns and no interceptions (good for a sparking QB rating of 142.5). Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are the big one-two punch up in Packer land and the combo should provide Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Bryant McFadden with a very good preseason test.
For all of the questions about the Packers 2009 prospects after suffering through a 6-10 season a year ago, their offense has come out on fire so far. In their first preseason game against the Browns, the starting eleven played in two series, both resulting in touchdowns. Rodgers' didn't have a great game, completing just five of ten passes, but his 53 yard TD strike to Donald Driver was enough to make his stats still look better than average. In the second preseason game though, Rodgers was practically unstoppable. He completed eight of nine passes for 98 yards, two touchdowns and zero picks. His four series resulted in 21 points and the only drive that didn't reach the endzone ended on downs in the Bills' redzone.
For those who don't feel like doing the math yourself, that means that the Packers' starting unit on offense has taken the field for six series so far and they've scored 35 points, 21 of those coming from the right arm of Aaron Rodgers. The Cardinals starting defense on the other hand hasn't allowed a point to be scored on them yet, but Rodgers, Driver and Jennings should be biggest test so far.
Who will have upper hand and can the Cardinals front seven put as much pressure on Rodgers as they were able to get on Phillip Rivers?