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When a team wins 15 games during the regular season in the NFL, big things are expected from them in the playoffs. Certainly not a one and done. But that is what happened to the Green Bay Packers last season. Quite the opposite result from a year before in which Green Bay won three-straight road games as the No.6 seed in the NFC en route to a Super Bowl championship.
It was a disappointment for sure. But coming into this season, the expectations are once again high for the Packers.
For the San Diego Chargers, they find themselves in some uncharted territory, having not made the playoffs each of the last two seasons. And with Peyton Manning coming into the division, you can bet things won’t get easier as they embark on a journey back to the postseason.
Green Bay and San Diego meet in the first nationally televised preseason game of the 2012 NFL season this Thursday August 9 on ESPN.
It is the preseason, and we will likely only see the starters for a few series, but oddsmakers at BetOnline Sportsbook have set down a game line for this one. It’s Green Bay who gets the slight edge, going off as 2.5-point favorites over San Diego.
Green Bay will need to win by a field goal to cover the betting line, with a two-point loss or less by San Diego giving the victory against the spread to the Chargers.
Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers might get a series or two in, but traditionally the first game of the preseason we don’t see the starters for very long.
But as far as the expectations go for this team, the Packers are the favorites in the NFC to reach the Super Bowl in New Orleans, and in fact are the overall Super Bowl favorites in the preseason for the second-straight year.
For the Chargers, they find themselves in a bit of an underdog role with the Broncos garnering the majority of the attention with the addition of Manning. San Diego had been pegged as the team to beat in the division for the last several years. It will be interesting to see how the Chargers respond to this role of the hunter versus the hunted. And playing the Super Bowl favorites in the preseason will certainly help.
This will also be the first time a woman will ref an NFL game. Shannon Eastin, who worked in the MAC Conference in college football is set to ref this match up as the NFL uses replacements for the current strike.
Green Bay and San Diego kick off at 8pm ET on Thursday, with the Monday Night Football crew picking up the coverage. BetOnline has the complete NFL Odds for the opening week of the preseason.