The Detroit Lions will turn their attention to the Green Bay Packers and how to win a key NFC North matchup on the road in primetime. When the ball is kicked off, it’s clear there will be plenty of matchups that determine who wins and who loses on the big stage when things get going.
What matchups are the top ones to watch for the team? Here’s a look at the battles which will make the biggest difference in the end as it relates to who wins on Monday Night Football.
Aaron Rodgers vs. Darius Slay
If Slay is healthy enough to play this coming week, Lions fans will find out quickly how right he is. Rodgers will not hesitate to test a hobbled Slay to see if he is ready to go and rested. Slay left a game a few weeks ago with a hamstring injury and did not play against the Kansas City Chiefs amid Detroit’s loss. He was sorely missed, but with two full weeks to rest up, there is no question Slay could be good to go. The problem? Hamstring injuries tend to linger, so Slay will be tested. Typically, Rodgers does not like to look in his direction whatsoever, but that could change given the injury. Either way, count on Slay being motivated.
Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith vs. Detroit’s Line
This dynamic duo has not struggled to put pressure on quarterbacks, and finally, it seems as if the Packers have a legit pass rush to depend on. Detroit’s offensive front, particularly their tackles, have played well enough early on in the season, but there is no question this will be a big challenge to keep the duo off of Matthew Stafford’s back. Detroit’s offense works well if Stafford has time to make plays, so keeping these two down will be a significant challenge that the Lions will have to rise to if they want to have a chance to win.
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Trey Flowers vs. Green Bay’s Line
So far this season, Flowers hasn’t gotten off to a quick start, and he needs to step up in a big way during the second half push of the season for the Lions to realize their goals. Flowers was recovering to start the year, so it’s not entirely his fault that he hasn’t dominated games completely yet. This would be a good week for Flowers to come alive and get after Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. Flowers has turned games around on his own before, and Monday would be a good time for him to do that for the Lions.
Kenny Golladay vs. Green Bay’s Backfield
It’s tough to quantify how good Golladay has been so far this season. He’s doing a bit of everything, in addition to hauling in huge passes in order to help the Lions win. The Packers will be tested to keep Golladay down, if not try and eliminate him as best they can from the game plan. The Lions will want to feed Golladay and let him take over, as he could be a significant reason the Lions manage to win a key game on the road. Big plays will be needed, and Golladay can make them. Can Green Bay’s defensive backfield slow him down? Doing so might be the key to winning