After what felt like an eternity, ladies and gentleman, football season is back. Well, sort of, as the NFL Preseason begins tonight with the annual playing of the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The main storyline of Hall of Fame Weekend is the induction of Brett Favre into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Favre finished his NFL career with 71,838 passing yards, 508 touchdowns, and 6,300 pass completions for a completion percentage of 62%. Favre is a worthy candidate in that respect. However, his relationship with the Green Bay Packers wasn’t so good following his departure from the Packers to the New York Jets.
The greatest highlight of his post-Packer career was leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints. Favre and the Vikes lost to the Saints due to an errant throw, as Favre threw across his body to the middle of the field. A big no no, which resulted in the end of his pursuit for his second Super Bowl ring. All is well now between Favre and the Packers, notably after they honored him at a Packers’ game a year ago. Now he received the ultimate honor at the Hall of Fame.
Favre’s predecessor is staring at a trip to Canton to be inducted into the Hall of Fame Game. Aaron Rodgers is in Canton this weekend, but it’s for his job as the current starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. By all indications, Aaron Rodgers will not be taking a snap against the Indianapolis Colts this evening. With five preseason games on the docket for the Packers, why would they? Rodgers will be ready for the start of the regular season. We won’t be seeing Jordy Nelson either in the Hall of Fame Game.
As you may recall, Nelson’s season was erased in the preseason after he blew his knee out. The Packers’ offense just wasn’t clicking at the rate they wanted it to. The absence of Nelson played into that outcome. Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but he had limited weapons at his disposal. A healthy Nelson should rectify all of that. It’s going to be interesting how well Nelson can play coming off an ACL injury from just a year ago.
The Packers ultimately fell in a wild one to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Wild Card Game. Green Bay tied it up on a Hail Mary to Jeff Janis with seconds remaining, déjà vu of what they did against the Detroit Lions a few weeks prior. Against the Cardinals though, they couldn’t survive overtime and lost 26-20, ending their season. The Packers open their preseason against the Indianapolis Colts, a team looking to make amends for a disaster in 2015.
Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts Hall of Fame Game Betting Odds:
vs. Colts -3(-105)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Packers vs. Colts Pick:
I left last you with a winning pick in the Super Bowl, a winner on the UNDER in Super Bowl 50 between the Panthers and Broncos. On a much smaller stage, let’s look to get back in the winner’s circle. Note that you should play this one on the smaller side. There are some spot bets to be made in the preseason, but it’s always smart to not go overboard before the regular season begins. I have seen people destroy their bankroll before the regular season even gets here.
Aaron Rodgers will be sitting this one out, nor will backup Brett Hundley. This was looking like a nice extra slot to get him Hundley some experience, but he’s going to be on the sidelines with an ankle injury. I was never high on Hundley with UCLA, and still have my doubts about his ability to stick around in the NFL. He ran a spread offense in college, which rarely asked him to throw it deep, when he did, he was woefully inaccurate. This leaves a couple of undrafted rookies to steer the ship for the Packers in the Hall of Fame Game. Joe Callahan played at Wesley, a school not too many people are familiar with in DIII. DIII to starting for the Packers, what a jump. Callahan did everything right at Wesley it appears, tossing 46 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions, but this is an incredibly big jump to the NFL.
I am familiar with the Packers other rookie, Marquise Williams. He was a solid quarterback at North Carolina, but like Brett Hundley, I don’t see much of a meaningful NFL career in store for him. He can make a big play, but often looks a bit confused. Williams can run as well, which helped him out greatly in college, but he is going to have to be able to sit back in the pocket and make plays. I don’t see enough of that occurring for Williams in his NFL career and tonight against the Colts.
Andrew Luck might get a brief taste of action tonight, a season in which is seen as redemption for him and the Colts. Luck finished 2015 with 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, exiting in November due to a lacerated kidney and torn abnormal muscle. Whether Luck starts or not tonight is kind of irrelevant, though. The guy to keep an eye on in the Hall of Fame Game is former Scott Tolzien. The Packers were content letting go of Tolzien and giving the backup duties to Hundley. Tolzien has experience starting in regular season games and has a couple of years of experience in the NFL. Expect him to play with a bit of a chip on his shoulder against his former team. The Colts should win this by 6 or 7 points, resulting in the spread of -3 being covered.
PICK: COLTS -3 (-105)