Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions: 5 matchups to watch

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
2 of 6
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

5. Packers D-Line vs Lions O-Line

When looking at the strengths of these two units, they fall in opposite areas. For the Lions, their offensive line strength lies in the play of their tackles, whereas the Packers boast a pair of All-Pro caliber defensive tackles. Kenny Clark is quietly one of the best players at his position, as he ranks seventh among interior defender per Pro Football Focus. For the Lions, Rick Wagner matches him as the seventh-ranked tackle.

TJ Lang (concussion) is expected to miss this week which gives them a weakness at right guard. Clark and Daniels should be in the face of quarterback Matthew Stafford all afternoon, but it will come down to the edge rusher’s ability to keep Stafford from breaking contain. Nick Perry and Clay Matthews aren’t putting up great raw sack numbers, but they are getting pressure. This week, they need to focus on keeping Stafford contained, rather than allowing him to escape the pocket.

When blitzing, the Packers have one of the best pass defenses in the NFL, and Stafford struggles against the blitz. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has been smart to not overuse the blitz, but he could dial it up more on Sunday to cause Stafford to make mistakes. If the Lions offensive line doesn’t hold up in the trenches, then the game is over. Rodgers should pick the Lions defense apart, and the Lions will have to throw to keep up.