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 Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images /

2. Packers O-Line vs Lions D-Line

Until the Packers become the impenetrable wall, this will be a matchup to watch every week. While Rodgers practice load has increased and the team protected him well last week, they still have work to do to keep him upright in the pocket. Rodgers is fighting through pain, but the less he has to move around the better for him and the team in the long run. Their protection also allows him more time to find open receivers, build a big lead and run the ball to work the clock.

Ziggy Ansah is expected to miss this week, which will be a relief to Rodgers, but they still have to be aware of Da’Shawn Hand up the middle who has been one of the best interior defenders this season. The area where the Packers have struggled the most on the offensive line has been right guard. Byron Bell played well last week, but the Buffalo Bills line doesn’t boast a player playing at the same level as Hand is right now.

Rodgers and the Packers running backs work best when they have room to work. Aaron Jones has been great in far too limited action this season. If the Packers can jump out to a big lead, the Lions should have to deal with an increased workload from Jones and Jamaal Williams as they attempt to run out the clock. The more they stay healthy means the more continuity they will build. This can be a great unit individually, but they need to be a great unit as a whole.