3 Keys for the Packers Advance to the Playoffs

Number 1: Establish the run game early.
It’s no secret that when the Packers run the ball, they are very successful offensively, as seen on Sunday, when they slaughtered the Vikings defense. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for 152 rushing yards and 1 TD, with Aaron Jones being more of the workhorse and AJ Dillon being the power back. Part of the reason they were successful was due to the left side of that offensive line, with David Baktiari and Elgton Jenkins clearing up holes for the RBs to work with. Another key Contributor to the run game’s success was thanks to Marcedes Lewis. Marcedes was the highest Packer graded according to Pro Football Focus, with an impressive 90.8 offensive rating, and a 88.0 run blocking grade. Long story short, this offensive line and tight end group has been putting in work in the run game. The Packers should have no problem running the ball on the Lions, who rank 32nd in the league for rushing yards, with an abysmal 142.9 rushing yards per game, and a staggering 5.2 yards per attempt, according to Covers.com. It also helps that the game is going to be held at Lambeau, during a cold January night where defenders will have to put their body’s on the line to try and tackle AJ Dillon. Ultimately though, it’ll all come down to Matt Lafleur and what he decides will be the best course of action throughout the game. In the last matchup between these 2 teams, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for just 20 carries and 70 yards. In that game, Matt Lafleur moved away from the run game completely, which caused utter chaos for our offense, which led to a horrible 9 points put up. If the Packers are going to want to have any success for this upcoming game, they’re going to need to move the rock efficiently and not totally rely on Aaron Rodgers to carry them the whole game. If the Packers can establish a run game early, they can really take control of the game.

Number 2: Keep Jared Goff under pressure.
If the Packers want to stop the Lions on offense, they’re going to need to get in Jared Goff’s face. When the Packers last met up versus the Lions, the Packers pass rushing unit put up a horrendous performance, with 0 sacks, and losing star pass rusher Rashan Gary for the season due to an ACL tear. Since that game however, they have really picked up in terms of sacks. Preston Smith has really stepped up in the absence of Rashan Gary, putting up 5 sacks, and becoming a key contributor to the Run Defense. Other guys like Jarran Reed, Kingsley Enagbare, and the newly added Justin Hollins have also really elevated this group’s performance. The Packers won’t be up against a super strenuous test this upcoming game, with 2 of the Lions offensive line starters being injured, including 2x Pro Bowler Frank Ragnow being questionable, and fill-in guard Kayode Awiska also being labeled as questionable. With Injuries starting to pile up, the Packers are going to need guys like Kingsley Enagbare to step up if the Packers are going to want to win this football game.

Number 3: Aaron Rodgers needs to not try and be a hero.
Aaron Rodgers stats the last time he played the lions were unlike him, and there’s a reason behind that. In the last game Aaron Rodgers played the Lions he put up 3 bad interceptions, along with 291 yards and one touchdown, and a 53.5 passer rating. The reason why Rodgers was playing so off was because he was trying to play hero ball. Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback in clutch time, but sometimes he overdoes things. And it doesn’t help that Matt Lafleur was throwing the ball a lot more than usual in that game. Since that game Aaron Rodgers has really picked things up though, becoming more of a game manager, and it has really worked for the Packers. When the Packers don’t need to rely on Rodgers to make crazy plays and crazy throws, 9/10 the Packers will be a better team. Matt Lafleur and Aaron Rodgers will both need to come up with a game plan for Sunday that doesn’t make the offense rely on Rodgers. If they do this, the Packers will be very successful.

My Final Predictions
I think that this isn’t going to be a close game that a lot of people think it will be. The Packers are riding high on momentum and success after the rout last week over the Vikings. The Lions are a great team, but a slew of recent injuries will definitely impact their performance this sunday. I think that the Packers are and overall better team and should have no problem winning this game if they scheme and adjust right for the game. I have the Packers winning the game 31-17 in an impressive game for the defense and the duo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.
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