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The quarterbacks have not been the problem in Green Bay or Oakland. But can the rest of these rosters catch up? That’s the main question hanging over Thursday’s Raiders vs. Packers matchup.
Everyone knows that Aaron Rodgers is an elite talent, but Raiders quarterback Derek Carr doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. Only a few points actually separate the passer ratings of the two QBs. Both players have enough talents to get results from their teams, but other aspects of each squad are going to have to improve from last season if they are going to post better marks this time around.
For the Packers, special teams and tight end are two areas that need improvement. Last season, Green Bay’s special teams ranked a dismal 28th in DVOA. Jimmy Graham is supposed to shore up the Packers’ tight-end situation, but people covering the team think that rookie Jace Sternberger might make for a better longterm solution.
The biggest weakness for the Pack right now is inside linebacker, and the position battle between Ty Summers and Curtis Bolton is a key fight to watch.
For the Raiders, the running game has to improve. The aging tandem of Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch weren’t enough to get it done last season, and first-round running back Josh Jacobs could be a game changer for the team’s rushing prospects.
The Raiders pass rush will also need to improve dramatically. Oakland only managed 13 sacks total last season, and number four overall pick Clelin Ferrell will have to be a difference maker if the defense is going to succeed.
This Week 3 matchup should be the first time that we get to see a lot of these units in a shape similar to what we’ll see throughout the regular season.
Oakland Raiders vs. Green Bay Packers
- When: Thursday, Aug. 23 at 8PM ET
- Where: IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- Streaming: NFL Network (free trials with various streaming services)
How to watch the Packers vs. Raiders online
The Packers vs. Raiders game continues the NFL Network’s run of nationally televising the first week of the preseason, but even if you’ve cut the cable cord or you want to watch it on your mobile device, there are plenty of ways to accomplish that. But first, you’ll need to get acquainted with NFL Network.
What is NFL Network?
If you want to be immersed in pro football, NFL Network is the place to go. There’s plenty to love about NFL Network, including the ability to watch exclusive shows like Good Morning Football, NFL Total Access, A Football Life, Inside the NFL, and most importantly, Sunday’s NFL GameDay once the regular season begins. There’s also daily programming devoted to power rankings and fantasy football that football lovers will geek out over. NFL Network shows most Thursday night games during the regular season, and it’ll exclusively show some of the international games in 2019. Take note, though: NFL Network can no longer be seen via DirecTV Now.
The bottom line: If you want to get closer to the action and catch (almost) every Thursday Night Football game, you need NFL Network.
Raiders vs. Packers live stream: How to watch NFL Network
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
If you want to watch the Eagles vs. Ravens online via Sling TV, you’ll need to be subscribed to either Sling Blue ($25 per month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month). Both of those packages include NFL Network and a number of sports channels—like three ESPN channels, NBCSN, and FS1—and it’s still a nice perk that Sling subscribers can order a la carte packages. Sling TV also offers a special Latino package for bilingual viewers. Sling TV is currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first month of your subscription. That means Sling Blue would cost $15, and Sling Orange + Blue would cost $25. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
- Cost: $54.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
If you’re a big-time sports fan, FuboTV is your best streaming service option. If you love international soccer and you’re a Spanish speaker, FuboTV also offers various add-on packages, including Fubo Latino and Fubo Português. FuboTV’s basic plan showcases nearly 100 channels and includes NFL Network. At $54.99 per month, you’ll also get FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, Pac 12 Network, BeIn Sports, and CBS Sports Network, along with premium channels like FX/FXX/FXM. The only notable omission for sports fans is ESPN. You can add Fubo’s Sports Plus package for an additional $8.99 per month, which allows you to stream NFL RedZone, (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.)
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 5-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
Other ways to watch NFL Network online
1) The NFL app
Cost: Depends on provider
Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, PS4, Roku, Android RV, iOS and Android devices
If you subscribe to NFL Network through a cable provider—or you know someone who does and they owe you a relatively large favor—you can also watch via the official NFL app. All you have to do is download it from your streaming device of choice—Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, PS4, Roku, or Android TV—and then enter in your cable credentials when prompted. You can also stream on any iOS or Android device, or on your desktop. Just visit nfl.com/watch.
Raiders vs. Packers: Why it matters
New acquisitions are going to have to have an immediate impact for both of these teams if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. Though Antonio Brown, the Raiders newly acquired number one receiver, is getting all the media attention, both of these teams have a number of shiny new weapons to step up in a big way.
Week 3 is known as the “dress rehearsal” for the NFL regular season because the starters get the most playing time to date, so this is the time when we should start to see if these offseason investments have paid off.
Will the Raiders mediocre running game and pathetic pass rush take a much-needed step forward? Can the Packers weak position groups like inside linebacker, tight end, and special teams shore up their issues enough for Aaron Rodgers to work his magic again? Or will these teams squander another year with franchise QBs held back by the players around them? We should start to get some early answers to these questions in Week 3.
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Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.