Packers: Three things to watch in preseason opener vs. 49ers

Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-WisconsinApc Packtrainingcamp 080122910djp
Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-WisconsinApc Packtrainingcamp 080122910djp /

Football is officially back for the Green Bay Packers.

They will face the San Francisco 49ers in their first preseason game of 2022 on Friday night.

There will be a lot of things to keep an eye on as Matt LaFleur’s squad takes the field. Veterans like Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, Rashan Gary, De’Vondre Campbell, Jaire Alexander, and many others will not be playing in the game.

This gives younger players like rookie receiver Romeo Doubs and third-year quarterback Jordan Love an opportunity to show their coaches and fans what they can do.

It is important for fans to not necessarily focus on the end result. They need to focus on how younger players perform situationally.

So, what should fans be paying attention to as the Packers take the field for the first time this season?

How Jordan Love looks in year three

The former Utah State quarterback has not gotten many opportunities to play in his young career with Aaron Rodgers deservedly owning the starting gig for 18 years.

However, Love will have his chance this preseason to dominate the No. 1 snaps and perform under the lights. It starts in San Francisco Friday night.

Will he play confident and stand firm in the pocket? Have his fundamentals improved? This preseason will give Packers brass a glimpse into how far Love has come and if he will be part of their future or not.

The performances of young receivers

With veterans Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Sammy Watkins all sitting out, rookies Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, and second-year receiver Amari Rodgers will have opportunities to make plays.

When the regular season kicks off, Aaron Rodgers is certainly going to need his younger receivers to step up more than usual.

How will the rookies perform under the lights for the first time in an NFL game? What will Rodgers see from the sideline that can give him confidence that he and his younger receivers can build strong connections?

After an impressive camp from Doubs and others, it is time to see them perform well against a new team.

Impact defenders take the field

Green Bay selected Georgia national champions in DT Devonte Wyatt and MLB Quay Walker in the first round of April’s NFL Draft.

It will be fun to see these two elite prospects take the field to see their talent shine for the first time.

Also, there are players trying to both make the 53-man roster and trying to carve out a role on the team.

Safeties Shawn Davis and Vernon Scott are going to compete at safety.

T.J. Slaton is looking to have a strong start to year two on the interior of the defensive line. On the edge, fifth-round pick Kingsley Enagbare and third-year La’Darius Hamilton will be looking to make impacts too.

This Packers defense has stars at every level. Who is going to step up behind them and play well for this elite unit?