Countdown to Paydirt: at Green Bay Packers

The Raiders are in Green Bay to take on the Packers in their third preseason game which serves as a so-called “dress rehearsal” for NFL teams.

The Raiders are coming off of a 27-26 comeback win in which second-year quarterback Matt McGloin threw the game-winning touchdown with just six seconds remaining on the clock.

McGloin will get some additional playing time this week as he plays with the “twos” with the coaching staff choosing to rest rookie quarterback Derek Carr with his sore ribs.

As the “dress rehearsal”, the starters will likely play into the third quarter.

This means that veteran quarterback Matt Schaub will have an opportunity to build on last week’s eight for 13 completion rate for 87 yards and one touchdown. Granted, the interception Schaub threw likely should have been caught by wide receiver James Jones who had it bounce off of his hands and into the hands of the defender. This week, Jones will be returning to Green Bay for the first time since departing to the Raiders in free agency.

The added time should be beneficial to a passing attack that features numerous newly acquired wide receivers as well as Schaub, who was acquired via a trade in the offseason.

Schaub and the passing offense will face a Packers secondary that ranked 24th in the league last year, giving up 247.3 yards in the air per game.

Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack played deep into last week’s game and earned his first NFL sack when he got to Kellen Clemens. The following play, Mack made a nice tackle for a loss in the backfield.

The plays couldn’t come soon enough as Raider Nation and some media were beginning to wonder where the “wow” plays were.

Playing further into the game and getting more reps will only benefit Mack as he make his transition to the NFL.

The game at Lambeau Field also marks the return of veteran safety Charles Woodson and defensive lineman C.J. Wilson.

Woodson and the Raiders defense have their work cut out for them as they take on Aaron Rodgers and an extremely potent Packers passing attack. Even with Rodgers missing seven regular season games last year, the Packers offense averaged 266.8 passing yards per game (sixth overall in the NFL).

While the Packers have had a potent passing attack for quite some time, they now have a strong running back in Eddie Lacy to compliment it.

Lacy made a huge contribution his rookie year, carrying the ball 284 yards for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns after being drafted in the second round last year.

The combination of the Packers passing attack and Lacy on the ground produced the third-best offense in the NFL with 400.3 yards per game.

After struggling with the starting offenses of the Vikings and Lions, this will be an even tougher test but a good way for the Raiders to see exactly where they’re at with their starting defense.

The Raiders will return home to take on the Seahawks in their final preseaon game before heading back out on the road to New York City to take on the Jets in their season opener on Sept. 7.

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