Key Matchups: Week 17 Redemption in Mo Town

Week 17, key matchups that will hopefully secure a first round bye and home field advantage.

First, I'd like you to caption the picture of Rodgers and Thielen (I think Aaron is saying, "Hey Adam, your coach is a d-bag, the lights aren't too bright, look at the scoreboard behind you, Go Pack Go!")

Last year's clash in Mo Town was one of the worst performances the Packers have had in years which started them on their path of destruction which claimed the jobs of Mike McCarthy and others on the staff.  The Packers come into Mo Town with a new coach and a defense, hoping to leave town with a first round bye and possibly, a number 1 overall seed in the NFC.  I know having a bye in the playoffs could cause a little bit of concern after the way the Packers played in San Francisco earlier this year, but at this stage of the season, extra rest and preparation can only help your team in January.

Here are some key matchups to help the Packers secure a first round bye:

1. Keep Running Aaron Jones:

With A'Shawn Robinson out and a 1,000 rushing yard, 20 touchdown season in sight, Aaron Jones should see another 22-25 touches.  I think the Packers should give Jones a normal work load and then use the time from the bye to rest him.  

2. Unleash the Pass Rush Against David Blough:

With Rick Wagner and Taylor Decker both listed on the injury report this week, the Smith brothers will be looking to add to their 25.5 sack total.  Last week, the Smith's did not really need any (blitz) help getting to Cousins as they won a majority of their one on one battles.  This Sunday, I see a repeat performance and at least 3 more sacks from the tandem.  

3. Opening up the Passing Game (Davante Adams vs. Darius Slay):

The Lions are ranked dead last in the NFL against the pass giving up an average of 282.6 yards per game (292.7 ypg in their last 3 games).  This is the perfect game to establish the run and open up the play action game, shot plays, and the slant and back shoulder game.  I think Rodgers should continue to force feed Adams the ball and really look to get him involved in the slant game as well as the WR screen game (like last week).  If he can win one on one matchups against Xavier Rhodes, he can win one on one matchups against Darius Slay. 

4. Kerryon Johnson vs. Kenny Clark:

Johnson has been a bright spot for the Lions for the past two seasons and is a threat in both the running game as well as the passing game.  Kenny Clark has been the main reason why the run defense has improved and why the Smith Brothers and company have been able to have more shots at the quarterback.  With Johnson fresh off of a knee injury (returned last week), I look for Kenny Clark to reintroduce himself to the young back early and often in the backfield as he continues to plunge the A gap.  

5. Jaire Alexander vs. Kenny Golladay:

Just like last week, I expect Jaire to play some more lock down one on one reps against Golladay which will open up the safeties to check Jessie James and Tramon and King (and even Savage in spots) to check Danny Amendola.  If Jaire duplicates his performance last week, the rest of the secondary will be free to run wild.  

Prediction:

I think the Packers are focused and playing with a chip on their shoulders, I expect to see a 34-17 win with Crosby going 2/2 on field goals and 4/4 on extra points.  

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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 (19)

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Bearmeat's picture

December 28, 2019 at 11:35 am

I want to get up 14-17 early, then pull Jones, Adams, Rodgers, Bakh, Bulaga, Clark, Z, P, Jaire and King. Play all the backups. allll of them. Who cares about the score. Just win.

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DavidMichalski's picture

December 28, 2019 at 11:48 am

I think we just go all out this week and get the bye. The bye is the reward for playing your starters this week. Obviously you sit Jamaal and anyone else that is dinged up but I wouldn't pull the starters unless I'm up over 20 points with the ball with 5-7 minutes left in the 4th.

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JesseL's picture

December 28, 2019 at 05:34 pm

I feel like they were starting to click on offense last week with the screen game and quick release passes. I would want the starters to play as much as possible, even if it's a blowout. Reps are reps, even during games. We have a week off and we've had terrible cool-downs historically after a bye.

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Bure9620's picture

December 28, 2019 at 12:15 pm

I am interested to see if Jaire or King follow Golladay, Golladay has quietly put together a really good year, the one bright spot the Lions have this year. Dude is ballin. He is a bigger reciever so I would think King?

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CAG123's picture

December 28, 2019 at 02:18 pm

Too much speed for King put hopefully Jaire’s feisty-ness can keep him in check. Give Jaire King’s height and long arms and he’s the ultimate lockdown corner

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fordguy's picture

December 28, 2019 at 03:19 pm

What?????

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holmesmd's picture

December 28, 2019 at 04:28 pm

King has sub 4.4 speed...and unusual length at 6’3. He bites on double moves sometimes but I’ve rarely if ever seen a WR just run past him if he bails out into coverage. He also has a 30+ inch vertical. Remember, Stafford isn’t throwing him the ball either. I’m not that worried about Gol. if they play the run properly.

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CAG123's picture

December 28, 2019 at 06:22 pm

Yeah I remember his draft profile saying him timed speed and play speed seemed different and I think it was correct it was Jaire that chased down Golladay on that deep pass the first game.

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PatrickGB's picture

December 28, 2019 at 12:25 pm

I worry about Jones getting overworked and the possibility of an injury. Both Danny and Jamal look like they are out. Dexter has not shown anything and not been active. Perhaps we see more runs from Irvin? I hope that the short passing game continues because it’s almost like a run. On defense, I expect to see more of what was shown at the bird killer.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 28, 2019 at 05:36 pm

Run 3-4 WR sets and open up the passing game. Jones for a half of football. Dexter a one -cut guy on a fast track may work??

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PatrickGB's picture

December 28, 2019 at 08:55 pm

Yah, that kinda reminds me of MM offense. It might surprise the Lions.

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ricky's picture

December 28, 2019 at 01:05 pm

'Force feed Adams'? Rather than spread the ball around and get more people involved in the passing game to make it harder to focus on one guy? Time for Lazard to have a breakout game, so the Packers opponents in the playoffs will know they have more than just one WR to take away, and therefore limit Rodgers' effectiveness.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 28, 2019 at 02:12 pm

Davante Adams has 904 receiving yards. Adams is going to be forcefed until he gets 1,000. Slay is bad.

I agree that it would be better for the team if Lazard, Kumerow, Sternberger and/or Tonyan had break-out games. MVS getting back on track might help most of all.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 28, 2019 at 01:08 pm

The Lions pass defense made Kirk Cousins and Mitch Trubisky look good. I look forward to watching what they do for Rodgers. He needs 321 for 4k on the year. He hasn't sniffed anywhere close to that since October.

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GBPDAN1's picture

December 28, 2019 at 01:46 pm

Here's to a easy victory, no injuries and a top seed . Go Seachickens on SNF. Go Pack

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 28, 2019 at 02:17 pm

I am curious about the real Clark match-up, which is against Ragnow, Aboushi, and Glasgow, not the RB. Detroit's interior OL are all good. Clark's best days have come against bad offensive lines. Clark's less than great games also roughly corresponded with reports of him being banged up. I will be much more accepting of a truly big-money contract for Clark if he dominates Detroit's OL, and some centers in the playoffs.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

December 28, 2019 at 03:51 pm

Dexter Williams better get some action. He's gotta be ready by now.

Golliday is a beast.

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Bure9620's picture

December 28, 2019 at 04:09 pm

Just released Tony Brown, is Greene getting close? Will K'dar Hollman be active?

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NickPerry's picture

December 28, 2019 at 08:14 pm

Boy David I have to disagree with you on Jones. Get a lead and get him his 1000 yards and get him OUT.

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