Here's a quick look at what to expect in Friday's two NFL preseason tilts.
Seattle at Green Bay (+2, 43)
This is a rematch from the infamous “Fail Mary” game from last year’s regular season that in many ways set the tone for both teams’ regular seasons. For a second straight year, the Seahawks have looked great in the preseason. Last year’s 4-0 campaign introduced us all to the exploits of future MVP candidate (yes, you read that right) QB Russell Wilson, and so far they are 2-0 in 2013, making it six consecutive double digit wins in the preseason under head coach Pete Carroll. That’s a big reason why they are favored here on the road. After humiliating Denver last week, 40-10, the Seahawks have now outscored their two preseason opponents this year 71-20.
Green Bay is 1-1 in the preseason, having responded from a 17-0 shutout loss to Arizona in the opening game with a 19-7 win last week at St. Louis. Reportedly, Mike McCarthy was unhappy with the team’s practice on Wednesday. The coaching staff has not made a decision on how much time the starters will play Friday, but it figures to be longer than the first two games combined. QB Aaron Rodgers has not thrown a TD pass this preseason, albeit he’s only been on the field for four drives total. Both Packers’ starting wide receivers – Randall Cobb & Jordy Nelson - are not 100%.
Chicago at Oakland (+3.5, 38)
Both road teams are favored Friday night. The Bears and Raiders each come into this game at 1-1 SU. The Bears are 0-2 ATS, though the loss of Coach Lovie Smith has not affected the defense’s propensity to force turnovers. In two games, Chicago has an incredible eight takeaways. The problem though is new head coach Marc Trestman was brought in to improve QB Jay Cutler, who has not looked good so far. Last week saw Cutler play a full quarter, and while he completed 4 of 5 passes, the only receiver he targeted was Brandon Marshall. Though they put up 33 points in the win over San Diego, the offense had only 13 first downs and 185 total yards. Thanks to special teams and defense, they routinely benefited from good field position.
Oakland lost last week in New Orleans, 28-20 as six-point dogs. After one quarter, they trailed 17-0. The offensive line stunk, allowing QB Matt Flynn to be sacked five times. The defense was no better, allowing Saints QB Drew Brees to throw for 220 yards and direct five scoring drives. Making matters worse, the team suffered eight injuries according to Head Coach Dennis Allen.