Found October 05, 2013 on Packers Talk Radio Network:
The Green Bay Packers return to Lambeau Field following their bye week. Waiting for them is a tough division matchup against what appears to be an improved Detroit Lions team. Here are five matchups that will be key in securing a Packers win to pull them back to .500 on the year. 1. Sam Shields vs Calvin Johnson: Johnson, or Megatron as many have liked to call him is where the Lions offense starts and stops. In previous years it has primarily been Tramon Williams shadowing Johnson as the primary cover man. This year that has changed with the emergence of Sam Shields. Shields has already faced a premier receiver in the league, and performed very well against Bengals’ wide receiver A.J. Green. In the Packers last game before the bye Shields limited Green to four catches for 48 yards and one touchdown. The other receivers for the Lions are young and inexperienced. With Nate Burleson out due to an injury, Ryan Broyles and Kris Durham have been left to pick up the slack on the outside to help Johnson out. When Stafford is uncomfortable he looks to Johnson early, and often, limiting him would go a long way to keeping this high powered Detroit offense in check.   2. Reggie Bush vs Dom Capers: The Packers have consistently struggled with running backs similar to Reggie Bush. Darren Sproles, Giovanni Bernard, among others have had big games against the Packers in recent memory. Bush has emerged as a very dangerous weapon for the Lions this season. Bush signed in Detroit this offseason and has proved to be a bargain. Last week against Chicago, Bush totaled over 200 yards of offense and was arguably the best player on the field through the course of the game. Dom Capers has been under fire for what feels like the past two years, and his task this week is far from easy. In the past he could simply double up on Calvin Johnson and force Detroit’s other receivers to beat him. Now, despite their inexperience at the wide receiver position, the Lions have their other weapon in Reggie Bush. Look for the Packers to play a lot more nickel and dime this week as a way to get Bush matched up with defensive backs as opposed to linebackers. 3. Jordy Nelson vs Chris Houston: Early in the week it looked possible that Chris Houston was not going to play due to lingering injuries. Now it looks like he will be good to go, giving the Lions secondary a boost against a potent Packers passing offense. Jordy Nelson has been one of the best receivers in football this season making plays down the field. Houston has been susceptible in the past to allowing big plays down the field, and there is nobody better in the Packers offense at making those plays than Nelson. Look for Aaron Rodgers to test Houston early to see just how well he is feeling. If he is healthy this matchup will be a battle all day. If he is not, look for Nelson to break the Lions backs down the field. 4. Packers interior line vs Ndomakong Suh and Nick Fairley: The Lions defense starts up front. Despite being known for his dirty play Suh remains one of the best and most disruptive defensive linemen in football. Nick Fairley is not too far behind him as he has grown into a force as well. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the Packers interior of Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith and T.J. Lang. The Lions have holes in their secondary that are able to be exploited, but Suh and Fairley have an ability to ruin games for an opposing offense. The Packers offensive line regressed against the Bengals front two weeks ago, and it has to improve if the Packers want any chance to keep the offense moving. One thing to watch will be the Lions front in terms of stunts. They like to twist their defensive tackles, which could open up running lanes for Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. If the Packers can run the ball it will slow down that vicious pass rush. 5. Aaron Rodgers vs Louis Delmas: Aaron Rodgers was not himself against the Bengals. A lot has been discussed about his inability to lead a clutch drive in the 4th quarter, but had he played up to his normal standards there would have been no need for one of those drives. That debate is something that can be shelved for another day. The bottom line is the Packers cannot win if their best player does not play well. This week he faces a crafty safety in Louis Delmas. Delmas is the quarterback of the Lions secondary, and he had a big game last week against Jay Cutler. The chess match between Rodgers and Delmas will be something to watch all game, because Delmas is a bit of a risk taker, which can lead to shots down the field if Rodgers has time to take them.  Look for Rodgers to rebound this week in a big way as he looks to make amends for the clunker in his previous game. The Packers kickoff at 12 p.m. tomorrow at Lambeau Field in a game that could be the turning point for the season. If they can win the majority of these matchups it should be a good day for the home crowd.   --------------------- Jacob Westendorf is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Jacob on twitter at ---------------------
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Cincinnati Bengals: First quarter review

Fans of the Cincinnati Bengals have a lot to be vexed about after the first quarter of the 2013 year has passed with an upsetting 17-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy stadium last Sunday. After four games and a 2-2 record with a 1-1 split in the AFC North, there are certain intangibles that seem to be missing from the ’13 squad compared to the 2012 team that dominated...

Sam Shields 'was kind of upset' Calvin Johnson didn't play

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- About 75 minutes before kickoff, players inside the Green Bay Packers' locker room began to find out that Detroit Lions' star wide receiver Calvin Johnson was inactive for their Week 5 matchup. While Johnson's absence certainly played into the Packers' favor and their 22-9 victory over the Lions, at least one Green Bay player didn't take it...

Lions WR Calvin Johnson inactive in Green Bay

The Detroit Lions suffered a major setback heading into Sundays game at Green Bay. Star receiver Calvin Johnson wont play because of a lingering knee injury that has hampered him since back in training camp. Johnson scored four touchdowns in Detroits first four games, but he had only 21 total receptions for 312 yards, down considerably from last years record pace. Kevin Ogletree...

The Packers will have to be on top of their game to top rejuvenated Lions

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Five things to watch for in Sunday afternoon's Week 5 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions: 1. How does Aaron Rodgers bounce back from a rare bad game? There haven't been many poor performances from Rodgers in recent years. Therefore, there isn't much of a sample size to draw upon in determining how he responds to an un-Rodgers...

Fantasy Football Injury News: Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson inactive

The Detroit Lions have not won on the road in Green Bay since 1991. It looks as if their chances to win today have taken a major blow. The NFL Network is reporting that the Lions have made WR Calvin Johnson inactive for today’s game against the Packers. Johnson has been battling a knee injury and had been listed as questionable this week. It was expected that Johnson would be able...

Calvin Johnson Returns To Practice

Lions All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson was back at practice on Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday because of a knee injury.Fantasy Spin:Megatron is listed as questionable on Detroit's injury report but we're sure he'll be active Sunday against the Packers. The talented wideout has only missed four games in seven NFL seasons with his last absence coming in...

Lions WR Calvin Johnson inactive for Packers game

Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson is out for their divisional showdown against the Packers. The team's leading receiver had been sidelined two days last week with a knee injury before participating in practice on a limited basis Friday. He had been listed as questionable. The Lions are already without Nate Burleson. Johnson has 21 catches for 312 yards and four touchdowns...

Calvin Johnson Inactive vs Packers With Knee Injury

Fantasy Alert*** The Lions are officially ruling star wide receiver Calvin Johnson out vs the Green Bay Packers Sunday because of a lingering knee injury. WR Calvin Johnson won’t play today. First regular season game inactive since the finale in 2010. #DETvsGB — Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) October 6, 2013

Defense Takes Advantage of Lions Sans Johnson

No Calvin Johnson on Sunday meant little offense for the Detroit Lions. Read what minor adjustment the Packers made in their secondary in the absence of the Lions’ star receiver and how the rest of the defense reacted.

Lions' Calvin Johnson to miss first game since 2010 with knee injury

The Detroit Lions just can't catch a break in this state. They enter Sunday's game at Green Bay with a 3-1 record and share of the NFC North lead and a chance to put real distance between themselves and the Packers. But they'll be without Calvin Johnson. The receiver missed most of practice this week with a knee injury. He practiced during the 30 minutes available...

NFL Week Five: Picks and Predictions against the spread

The NFL schedule heads into their fifth week of the season. As with every week in the regular season, there are some very intriguing matchups this week once again. The Tennessee Titans face a serious test this week. Can the New England Patriots win their second consecutive road game and seventh dating back to last season? The Green Bay Packers come into this week, off a bye, needing...

Jim Schwartz: Calvin Johnson’s Absence had No Impact on Lions Offense

I just assume that myself and Lions’ head coach Jim Schwartz were just watching two games today. Because there’s no way if you watched the Lions 22-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers, that you would think Calvin Johnson not playing didn’t matter. But according to the head coach himself, it made no difference to […]

The Five Best Must-See NFL Matchups In Week 5

The NFL is known by many coaches, players, and fans, as “The Not For Long league”.  The NFL is the most unpredictable and exciting sport in the world.  Fans and media will often make snap judgments on players and teams each week. As a fan of the NFL for 20 years, I want to give fans some insight on the best matchups each week of the NFL season. This article will highlight,...

Packers prepare to face best Lions team in McCarthy's tenure

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Other than being division opponents, it's been difficult to describe the Packers and Detroit Lions as rivals since Mike McCarthy took over as Green Bay's head coach in 2006. With McCarthy's 13-1 record over the Lions, it's been an incredibly one-sided affair. But as McCarthy has studied this year's Detroit team, it's become apparent that...

Lions Injury Report: Calvin Johnson, Patrick Edwards, Chris Houston

It was going to be tough for the Lions without Nate Burleson who is out with a broken forearm. However, it is sure to be harder now, with the biggest news of the day, that all-pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson, will NOT be active in today's game against the Packers. It is the first game that he has missed all season and it will slow the Lions normally explosive offense.Starting...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.