A Look At The Key Player Match-ups That Will Affect The Outcome Of The Detroit Lions Vs Green Bay Packers Game.
I’m sure fans of the Detroit Lions aren’t exactly thrilled with a 1-3 start to the season, but the good news is that there are still twelve games still to be played. The Green Bay Packers will be a difficult match-up, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. They lost to a fairly weak Washington Redskins team. They are more banged up than the Lions. Rodgers hasn’t quite looked like himself yet this season.
This is a divisional match-up that is crucial to the Lions’ season. If they win, they are right back in it, and have a week off to hope Ezekiel Ansah and T.J. Lang find their way back to the field. Make no mistake, this is the biggest game of the season thus far for the Lions. Below is an analysis of the key match-ups that I believe the Lions will have to win in order to bring victory to Ford Field on Sunday.
Key Offensive Match-Ups for the Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions’ Golden Tate vs Green Bay Packers’ Jaire Alexander
Golden Tate has been phenomenal this year for the Lions. With 28 receptions for 389 yards and three touchdowns, this is one of the biggest starts he has had to a season in his career. He will have quite the test this week against the Packers’ rookie cornerback Jaire Alexander. Alexander has been fantastic for the Packers this year, but is inexperienced. He has the physicality and athleticism to stick with Tate. Tate however, has the experience and the moves to make Alexander look like a rookie. If Tate can get open against Alexander in the short to intermediate passing it will pull up the safeties, making life a little easier for Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. Speaking of Golladay…
Detroit Lions’ Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones vs Green Bay Packers’ Safeties
Golladay has been nothing short of a revelation for the Lions this season. He has exceeded expectations, and has proven himself to be a threat each week. The Packers have a great safety in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix but have little in the way of safety play after that. The Lions will need to test the deep part of the field to open up the Packers’ defense. With threats like Jones and Golladay, the Packers should have their hands full trying to keep the Lions from having explosive plays. When facing a quarterback like Rodgers, having explosive plays is almost always essential. Rodgers will put up points. It will be up to the Lions’ play-makers to keep up.
Detroit Lions Guard Kenny Wiggins vs Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels
This match-up could be a problem. Wiggins is not a strong player. He’s just not. Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark, on the other hand, are very strong players. If the Packers’ defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is as creative as Packers’ fans hope he is, he will find a way to get these guys across from Wiggins. For the Lions to survive this match-up, it will be less about Wiggins winning than it will be about the Lions having a backup plan. The Lions need to prepare blocking schemes that protect Wiggins from these types of match-ups.
Key Defensive Match-Ups for the Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions’ Darius Slay vs Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams
Darius Slay’s performance will be incredibly important to the Lions’ success in this game. His performance always is, but it will be magnified greatly in this game by the uncertainty at wide receiver for the Packers after Davante Adams. Randall Cobb has already been ruled out of the game, and Geronimo Allison is questionable. After that, the Packers have a trio of rookies: Marquez Valdez-Scantling, J’Mon Moore, and Equanimeous St. Brown. With Quandre Diggs, Nevin Lawson, Tavon Wilson, and Tracy Walker all questionable, there will be a severe lack of healthy depth on both sides. If Slay can do his job and shut down Adams, the Packers will have a tough time finding weapons to thrown to.
Detroit Lions’ Da’Shawn Hand vs Green Bay Packers’ Byron Bell
Fourth-round pick Da’Shawn Hand has been the best interior defensive lineman the Detroit Lions have fielded this year, and it really isn’t all that close. Credit GM Bob Quinn for finding this mid-round gem. He will often be facing off against either backup guard Byron Bell or starter Justin McCray who is questionable with a shoulder injury. Hand has consistently been the best run defender on the Lions while also providing decent interior pressure. With Rodgers’ injured knee, creating pressure will be incredibly important. Rodgers isn’t nearly as dangerous moving outside the pocket as he has been in past years, and interior pressure could force him to move much more than he’d like to. Rodgers is a scary player to face off against, but he has looked much more vulnerable this year than in the past. Hand could provide the interior push necessary to throw him off his game.
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