Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions: 5 matchups to watch

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
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Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images /

3. Packers linebackers vs Lions Running backs

In the past, the Packers have been dominated by running backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield. To correct this, they added converted safety Oren Burks in the third round of this year’s draft. However, Burks was out the first couple weeks of the season with a shoulder injury. Now that he’s healthy, he needs to be spending a lot of time on the field, rather than the sideline, because a player like Theo Riddick is exactly why he was brought on board.

Riddick can catch any ball and take it to the house. He’s been well contained thus far in the season, but he could have a breakout game this week. Antonio Morrison was added from the Indianapolis Colts to give the team more depth at the inside linebacker spot, but he has shown so far that he is decent against the run and not much else. Blake Martinez can also do Morrison’s role much better. Burks has earned his spot in the middle, and McCarthy needs to put him in there.

Another player for the Packers to watch for is rookie running back Kerryon Johnson out of Auburn. Johnson started the year relatively slow, but he has started to come on in the past couple of weeks. He even had the team’s first 100-yard rusher in years just two weeks ago against the New England Patriots. The Packers were gashed by Adrian Peterson two weeks ago, so they will need to contain Johnson, or they could get a repeat of that Week 3 beatdown this week.