Key Battles Week 6: MNF at Lambeau

Here are the Key Battles that will either propel the Packers to victory or give the Lions an upset win at Lambeau.

Like many teams, the Packers find themselves with injuries to key players on their roster heading into their week 6 clash against the Detroit Lions.  Aside from almost stubbing their toe in week 1, the Lions have certainly opened many eyes with their 2-1-1 start.  They played particularly well at home against the Kansas City Chiefs which leads me to believe that they present a real threat.  Over the last two seasons, the Lions have had the Packers number and in order to reverse that trend, there are some key battles that the Packers will need to win on Monday night to come away with a victory.

1. Kenny Clark and Montravius Adams vs. Frank Ragnow and Kerryon Johnson:

The key to stopping the Lions will be to penetrate the A-Gap and make plays in the backfield on Kerryon Johnson.  In order to thwart the Lion's ability to open up the playbook, Kenny Clark will have to dominate Frank Ragnow at the point of attack to pave the way for Montravius Adams to make a play on Johnson in the backfield.  

2. Snacks vs. Aaron Jones:

After an over 180 yard, 4 touchdown performance from Aaron Jones on Sunday against the Cowboys, the Detroit lines have bulletin board material heading into Monday Night.  The Lions have to feel like they can win the game if they can hold Aaron Jones to under 100 yards and keep him out of the endzone.  I suspect Snacks Harrison and A'Shawn Robinson will be looking to win their matchups against Corey Lindsley and the guards so that they can significantly alter the Packers game plan.

3. Will Redmond and Adrian Amos vs. Jesse James, T.J Hockenson and Danny Amendola:

With Darnell Savage already ruled out for Monday Night's contest, protecting the middle of the field will be a key concern for the Packers as the Lions will look to utilize their two tight ends and their most reliable target in the slot.  A big game from James, Hockenson, and Amendola will certainly put the Packers behind the eight ball and give Kerryon Johnson more room to operate in both the running game and the passing game.  

4. The Packers Secondary Receivers vs. The Lions Secondary:

There is not one player in particular that I am highlighting because with Davante Adams sidelined for the foreseeable future, the production from the wide receiver group will be solely a group effort.  The Packers do not need one player to step up and have 5 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown, they need each member of the group to have 3-4 catches at key junctures of the game.  The Lions will be putting all of their focus on Aaron Jones, so it will be key for each of the Packers wide receivers to contribute.  I am targeting a combined 10-12 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown from the wide receiver group in order to take the pressure off of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and Jimmy Graham in the short and intermediate routes.

Keys to Victory:

1. Shut down, Kerryon Johnson.

2. Unleash Aaron Jones.

3. Protect the Middle of the Field.

4. Win the Point of Attack.

5. Continue to diversify the Passing Attack.    

6. Ride JK Scott's leg to win the field position battle. 

Prediction:

I think the Lions are a force to be reckoned with and will contend for a playoff spot in late December.  That being said, I expect the Lions to push the Packers to the limit at home, but when the dust settles, the Packers will emerge with a 21-20 victory.  

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (20)

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 12, 2019 at 07:24 pm

I expect a close one too. The Packers have a lot of their best guys out. I'm just hoping Zs knee does not continue to be an issue.

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cheesehead1's picture

October 12, 2019 at 08:26 pm

Every team has injuries, so we’ll see how this game plays out.

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GBPDAN1's picture

October 14, 2019 at 02:43 am

Exactly my view of this game. Every team has adversity to some degree - and 5 weeks in - injuries especially. Monday night's game will help define our position in the NFC as a convincing win will keep pace with the Forty Winners, the Ain'ts and whoever, however, a loss will tumble our momentum.

Here's to the offense continuing to improve every week even with out D Adams. Not sore Aaron Jones can carry the team every weekl until Adams returns, I hope so. It all comes down to our other WRs....a 6th rd pick and all undrafted FA.....ouch

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albert999's picture

October 12, 2019 at 10:15 pm

Take Stafford out and the game is over

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lucky953's picture

October 13, 2019 at 12:14 am

Good points, but I think the key will be making Stafford uncomfortable. Two picks for the D, another balanced offensive performance, and the Lions go home with their tail between their legs: 31-17 Pack

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 13, 2019 at 02:04 am

Frank Ragnow is PFF's highest graded center. But we need to look more closely. Detroit played ARI (Corey Peters is a solid NT), LAC (Mebane and Justin Jones aren't good DTs), KC (Nnadi isn't good, but Chris Jones is good) and Philly (Fletcher Cox and Co.). Linsley has a below average grade, but he played CHI, MN, Denver, Philly and Dallas. Only Dallas has mediocre DIs. The level of competition isn't something that PFF factors in, as I understand it. That makes Bulaga's very solid grade even more impressive since he has faced a big-name opponent every game so far. Bulaga will face Trey Flowers, a good all-around DE.

Snacks Harrison isn't having a good 2019 so far despite a fat contract extension. I believe Nagler suggested attacking the middle, but I think GB should run Aaron Jones at the edges, since I don't think much of Detroit's LBs. I liked Jahlani as a prospect, but he is a rookie in the middle still, so if Snacks isn't what he used to be, perhaps the middle makes sense. GB does seem better running middle zones. Detroit is giving up 4.8 yds/carry, not so good. Perhaps both the middle and the edges might work.

I was interested in Jesse James as a FA target last March, but he has done little in Detroit. PFF grade of 52.8 and just 5 receptions for 46 yards. Hockenson had a big game in week one, but has done little since (35 yards in 3 games). Hockenson had a concussion in Detroit's last game, but he did play roughly his normal number of snaps. Can Detroit do what Philly did with Ertz/Goedert? IDK.

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Coldworld's picture

October 13, 2019 at 07:49 am

I find myself largely in agreement with all you write.

My gut reaction is that we should look to get Shepherd some time in the slot and use his agility to take advantage of holes created by the likely focus on Jones. Alongside that, with Tonyan out, it seems like a logical game to use Vitale as an option to pound their center occasionally and add another layer in the passing game.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 13, 2019 at 07:26 pm

Thanks for the kind words. My initial thought is that Coleman would cover Shepherd in the slot, and Coleman is good. That could be a good battle. I think I like the Kumerow against Melvin match-up better.

I am wondering if Patricia doesn't re-purpose Coleman against Aaron Jones in some packages on passing routes (both vertical and releases into the flat). I am sort of following the BB model: take away what the other team does best.

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mrj007's picture

October 13, 2019 at 08:40 pm

Good assessment

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SterlingSharpe's picture

October 13, 2019 at 06:41 am

Kerryon Johnson is the key.
But don't forget that Marvin Jones has hurt us before with quick scores deep, & despite our interceptions, our DBs have allowed quick scores deep recently.
Kenny Golliday is a star, and Marvin a guy who has a knack for getting behind our defense. Don't make a mistake & let that happen. Make them march the length of the field.
We're going to have to win some games with stops & no rely on turnovers.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 13, 2019 at 07:37 pm

Detroit looks fairly balanced. Can King/Jaire cover Marvin Jones and Golladay in man? Can old-pro Tramon cover old-pro Amendola (one of the best chain-movers: 7 first down catches already in just 105 snaps)? I'd have to be wishy-washy and predict that all three match-ups turn into battles with each side winning some and losing some battles. I wonder if Pettine uses Sullivan in zone or a robber role against Detroit?

Detroit can run block. Good chance Detroit can run the ball. Detroit is not so good in pass pro. Getting a big lead always helps but is particularly helpful since 4 of the five detroit OL are suspect in pass pro.

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4thand1's picture

October 13, 2019 at 07:28 am

Game plan will be the key. (and execution) What will MLF come up with that's different? The lions have film of Jones and will try to stop him 1st and make AR throw, hmmmmmm. I look for Williams to be involved this week a lot. Pressure Stafford and the Pack should win the turn over battle and the game. Pack 33-20. GOPACKGO

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Grandfathered's picture

October 13, 2019 at 10:55 am

I see Williams getting more early carries and Jones in the red zone. I don't think Jones will get as many touches as last week.

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Spock's picture

October 13, 2019 at 07:44 am

I'm excited to see what Pettine, MLF, Hackett and the other coaches will come up with for this game. What's been interesting to me this season is what IMHO is far more game planning against the up coming TEAM and our (available) personnel against theirs, i.e. match-up vs. match-up. I remember how excited Arod was when MM (re) hired his former coach from Miami because Rodgers loved how he (paraphrasing) "Got us so ready that we knew EXACTLY what the other team was going to do" (something like that) and then part of the rift with MM was that, after practicing plays that should work against that team, MM would never call the plays during the game because he didn't attend the meetings with Rodgers and the coach. What is great this year is there isn't much of "I know what play the Packers are going to call and so does the other team." feelings anymore while watching games. MLF's multiple plays from similar formations has enough on tape that now defenses have to take a split second to adjust to what they "think" the play will be and that is beginning to pay off. I suspect that there will be a lot of A. Jones misdirection plays in this game. Jimmy G. actually had his best blocking game as a Packer last week and may be in the mix more this week too. I can't wait to watch. I truly believe that the Packers reestablish the home field advantage this year and win this one to give themselves a huge division lead. Go, Pack, Go!

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Bearmeat's picture

October 13, 2019 at 07:52 am

I don't think the issue on offense is beating Snacks. He's not going to get any pressure. But he's not moving out of the A gaps either. No, the Kitties are far more vulnerable off the edges. The outside zone is the play this week, not the inside zone. Past that, with Davante out, Slay will lock down one side of the field. The TEs, and WRs 3-6 NEED to step up. On the other side of the ball, David hits the nail on the head.

This is a very scary game for a banged up GB team vs. DET coming off the bye healthy.

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 13, 2019 at 08:52 am

Corey and Nagler talked a lot about how close MVS is to breaking out, and basically called on #12 to quit underthrowing him. If Rodgers can find MVS for a couple of long tosses it will loosen everything else up. I don't think the Lions will respect MVS enough to double him. So I'm going to buck the author here and say that MVS having his first 100 yard game (with a TD) in 2019 is key. This will not even be revolutionary: he notched two 100 yard games last year against the 9ers and the Pats.

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Handsback's picture

October 13, 2019 at 09:25 am

If the Packers don't win in the trenches...they won't win this game. They will need to get movement on the Lion's Dline and plug up the middle when Detroit tries to run. Mt. Adams will be key this game. If they double Clark, it should give him rein to stop runs and get pressure. The Packers need to move Snacks and Robinson in order to get the running game going. If not, Rodgers will be throwing a lot but without his main weapon it could be very dicey. The Eagles won with their dline, and for sure Detroit has had a week to work on this. This has all the makings of a trap game. Just get a win and hope injuries don't derail the Packers this year.

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Lphill's picture

October 13, 2019 at 10:44 am

Rodgers should be able to pass all night against the 30 th ranked pass defense. Let them focus on Jones then make them pay with the pass.

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mrj007's picture

October 13, 2019 at 08:49 pm

My guess is Detroit wins battles #3 and #4. Packers defense gets early TO and a big offensive play in Qtr 1 and builds a 3 score lead in first half. Then GB offense stops functioning and eVeryone has mini-heart attacks in 2nd half as Detroit climbs back into the game. GB wins on failed Lions FG attempt to win with time expiring in regulation and we all talk about how great Aaron Rodgers is......

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PatrickGB's picture

October 13, 2019 at 10:19 pm

I think that Stafford has a big night. I think our run defense suffers. I think there will be some gaffs on our special teams. Rodgers does not do as well with our back up WRs but good with the tight ends and running backs. The Packers will struggle late in the game after they run out of scripted plays. Sadly I think we lose a close one. :-(

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