Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots: 5 matchups to watch

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /
4 of 6
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images /

3. Packers edge rushers vs Patriots tackles

The story is out on how to beat or at least rattle Brady. You need to cause pressure, and you have to cause it often to bump him off his spot. When Brady has time in the pocket, he will pick your defense apart. Unfortunately for the Packers, edge rusher has not been a position of strength for them this season. Reggie Gilbert, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry and Kyler Fackrell have shown flashes this season, but they have been extremely inconsistent.

Luckily for the Packers, the Patriots’ weak point on the offensive line is their tackles. Their starting tackles, Trent Brown and LaAdrian Waddle are a regression from the unit they had last season. It also doesn’t feature first-round draft pick Isaiah Wynn, who suffered a torn Achilles during the preseason. Brady does a great job of getting the ball out quickly, but, if the coverage can stay close, they can cause him to hold the ball longer.

Matthews and Perry have not looked anything close to the players they were when they signed their respective contracts. Neither is able to generate pressure on their own on a consistent basis which hampers the defensive rush as a whole. However, Pettine has come up with some amazing blitz packages this season that he will surely employ Sunday night. If they get home, Brady will have a rough night in the pocket.