Five things to watch in Green Bay Packers-St. Louis Rams

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By Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Saturday, August 16, 2014

1. Looking for a catch-all: This is going to be a big game for fringe wide receivers Myles White, Kevin Dorsey, Chris Harper, Jeff Janis and Alex Gillett. The Packers might keep only five receivers, which means there's only room for one of those five behind Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and Jarrett Boykin. Janis has the longest way to go but also has made the most of his few opportunities. He should make his preseason debut and could get a snap or two with the first-team offense.

2. Defending for their lives: After an uneven performance defending the run, the Packers will be challenged by a Rams offense that worked hard all week to stress the run game. Starter Zac Stacy carried only four times last week against New Orleans and Isaiah Pead didn't play, but the Rams still ran for 150 yards on 32 carries (4.7 average). This will be a stiff test for the Packers.

3. Old friends: The matchup inside the matchup between the defense and the Rams' running game will be nose tackle B.J. Raji against former Packers center Scott Wells. Those two had their battles in training camp for three years and will be head-to-head come Saturday. It should be a good test of how effective Raji will be playing the nose this year.

4. Sam I am: After a solid performance against the Titans last week, inside linebacker Sam Barrington needs to build off it if he's going to make a run at playing on defense this year. Barrington needs to be so good that the coaches can't ignore him. He's had moments like that but needs to show he can run the defense and be in the right spot 100% of the time to earn the coaches' trust.

5. Steady Eddie: Second-year running back Eddie Lacy made his pro debut in the second preseason game against St. Louis last year and should be making his 2014 debut against them Saturday. Lacy established himself as a potential starter with 40 yards on eight carries a year ago. After being rested last week, Lacy will be expecting some carries against the Rams.

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