There has been a lot a buzz about Mike McCarthy's preseason record with "overs." Thus far, he is 19-5 to the over in preseason play, which is certainly going to raise eyebrows for anyone looking for an edge.
However, the question must be asked: What is behind this trend? I'm not sure anyone can pinpoint the answer, but let's agree that Matt Flynn's stellar play in a QB-friendly offense has had something to do with it. Norv Turner is the other coach in this equation, and he also boasts an impressive record on totals. To date, he has a lifetime 36-20 record on the "over."
There are no surprises here. Given the high-profile nature of these offenses and track records of both coaches, 68 percent of the early bets have come in on the over. The line opened at 36.5, and it's crossed the 37 all the way up to 38 at some places.
Unlike in years past, neither of these teams have quality depth at the QB position. Matt Flynn set sail for Seattle, Charlie Whitehurst is out with a knee injury and Kyle Boller retired. Billy Volak said thanks, but no thanks to a contract offer.
This leaves the Packers with Graham Harrell and BJ Coleman. Pat Fitzmaurice said it best when he said “Packer fans had better pray for Rodgers' good health.” Coleman is a developmental late-round pick facing the typical ups and downs.
The Chargers have turned to Kevin O'Connell to fill in for temporary backup duties. This will be his fifth NFL team since 2008, and he serves as nothing more than a warm body. The QB to keep an eye on is
undrafted rookie Jarrett Lee. San Diego feels like he's a keeper, so look for him to get a lot of reps on Thursday.
Together, this bunch doesn't inspire very much confidence in the offense department. Unless Rodgers and Rivers give them a big head start, I find it hard to believe the backups are going to go out there and put on a show.
I have a feeling that Mike McCarthy is just going to be happy to get out of this game healthy. Nineteen players missed practice on Tuesday, and 17 of them have been ruled out of the game. This list includes Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley is listed as questionable.
Yet the biggest loss could be LT Marshall Newhouse. Given the importance of Aaron Rodgers' health, his blind side is the last position you want to be worrying about in an exhibition game. McCarthy could pull his starters earlier than usual.
The Chargers have protection concerns of their own. LT Jared Gaither has had back spasms and presents a challenge for coaches on Rivers' blind side.
Both of these teams know what they have on offense, but this isn't the area that either team is looking to improve. Instead, both teams are making a significant attempt to shore up the defense.
Last year, both units were abysmal. Neither team could get off the field on third down in 2011, and Green Bay couldn't pressure the QB or slow down teams in the air.
Both teams addressed this area in the draft, and San Diego elevated John Pagano to defensive coordinator. Pagano has simplified the scheme and focused the players on technique and execution. Don't be surprised if both defenses have success against O-lines that lack depth and QB's that lack quality.
My main concern here comes with the first teamers. After that, this game should take on a much more scrimmage feel. McCarthy could turn to the run a bit more in order to give his depleted club a chance to get off the field, and he'll pull Rodgers at the first sign of problems on the O-line.
San Diego is excited to put its revamped (and healthy) offense to the test, but it will get ugly after Rivers takes to the sidelines. I expect both defenses to win the day after the first quarter.
NFL Pick: UNDER 38 (5Dimes)
Read more NFL news on BleacherReport.com