Detroit Lions: 3 key matchups for the Week 2 versus Packers

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Here are three key matchups that the Detroit Lions will need to win to upset the Packers and get the bad taste of last week out of their mouth.

The Detroit Lions kicked off their season with a heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Bears after blowing a 17 point fourth-quarter lead. Despite the discouraging loss, there is still a lot of time for the Lions to turn the season around.

It will not be easy with a matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Take a look at the three key matchups that the Lions will need to win to come out on top against the Packers.

Matchup #1: Jamie Collins v.s. Aaron Jones

Jamie Collins will need to stay in the game in order for this to be a match up, but assuming no boneheaded mistakes, he will likely be tasked with stopping Aaron Jones. Aside from Davante Adams, Jones is the premier weapon for the Packers in both the run and pass game.

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On the other hand, Collins is easily the best linebacker in pass coverage on the Lions.

If Collins successfully limits Jones, it will remove one of Rodgers’s safety valves, who is a key cog to the Packers offense.

This is the first matchup the Lions will need to win to succeed against the Packers; up next, first-round pick Jeff Okudah could get his first shot.

Matchup #2: Jeff Okudah/Amani Oruwariye v.s. Allen Lazard

Davante Adams is one of the best receivers in the leagues, and would be hard for any corner to stop in one on one coverage. The Lions would be wise to always have safety help on whoever is tasked with covering the elite receiver.

This will force the other corner to be on an island verse Allen Lazard, the Packer’s number two receiver. Lazard is not an elite receiver by any means, but he was able to capitalize on all the attention placed on Adams in Week 1 with a solid performance.

With Desmond Trufant out, Okudah will likely be making his first start in the NFL. Either he or Oruwariye will need to play good coverage on Lazard, allowing Tracy Walker and Duron Harmon to help on Adams.

Matchup #3: Lions Tackles v.s. Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith

The Lions offense played pretty well against the talented Bears defense. The offensive line performed exceptionally well, limiting a pass rush featuring Akeim Hicks and Khalil Mack to just one sack.

The line is facing another talented pass rush of Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith. The duo combined for 25.5 sacks in 2019 and should be a force for the next few years (Pro Football Reference).

Taylor Decker and either Tyrell Crosby or Halapoulivaati Vaitai need to play well to give the offense a chance to function. If they can hold up against the Smith duo, Matthew Stafford and the rest of the offense could have success attacking an average Packer secondary.

The Lions have a tall task against a talented Packers team coming off a big win over the Vikings.

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If Jamie Collins and the corners are able to limit Aaron Jones and Allen Lazard, and the offensive line is able to limit the pass-rushing duo, the Detroit Lions should have a pretty good chance to get a victory in Lambeau.