Dissecting Best Individual Matchups to Watch in Green Bay Packers' Week 5 Action

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Dissecting Best Individual Matchups to Watch in Green Bay Packers' Week 5 Action
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When the Green Bay Packers face the Detroit Lions for the 166th time (regular season) in their history on Sunday at Lambeau Field, even more history will be on the line.

The Lions haven't won in the state of Wisconsin since 1991. Think about that for a moment. That date was the year before the arrival of Brett Favre to Green Bay.

The Lions have lost to Favre (16 games), Aaron Rodgers (four games) and Matt Flynn (one game) at quarterback in those 21 games in the Badger State.

In addition, head coach Mike McCarthy of the Packers is 13-1 in his career against the Lions.

The contest this time will see two very prolific offenses on the field. The Packers are ranked third in the NFL in total offense, while the Lions are ranked sixth.

Both teams have exceptional passing games, as the Pack is once again ranked third in passing offense, while the Lions are ranked fifth.

The Packers have somewhat surprised the NFL with their rushing attack, as the team is now ranked ninth in rushing offense, while Detroit is ranked 21st.

Things aren't quite as prolific on defense. The Packers are ranked 28th in the league in total defense, while the Lions are ranked 18th.

The Packers have struggled stopping the passing game of their opponents, as the team is ranked just 28th in passing defense. The Lions, meanwhile, are ranked 21st in that category.

Green Bay is much better at stopping the run, as the team is ranked eighth in run defense, while the Lions are 20th in the NFL in that area.

The game on Sunday will have a number of very interesting individual matchups in the contest. I'll point out a few of them.

The Packers will be helped in their pass defense, as it looks like safety Morgan Burnett will be playing, after missing the first three games of the season due to a hamstring issue.

The big threat for quarterback Matthew Stafford in the passing game of the Lions if wide receiver Calvin Johnson. More often than not, Johnson will be shadowed by cornerback Tramon Williams of the Packers.

Johnson has had some success against the Packers the last two years, even though his team is 0-4 in those contests. In those four games, Johnson has had 30 receptions for 554 yards and three touchdowns.

This year, Johnson will be helped by the presence of running back Reggie Bush, who has been outstanding so far in 2013. Bush has rushed for 254 yards (5.3 yard average) and one touchdown, while he has also caught 11 passes for 179 yards and another touchdown.

The defensive front of the Packers has to be aware of Bush at all times, both in the running game and the passing game. Inside linebacker Brad Jones will most likely have to cover Bush at times in the passing game. That will not be an easy task, as Bush is averaging 16.3 yards per reception.

Stafford has never beaten the Packers (0-5) since he took over at starting quarterback in 2009. The one time the Lions beat the Packers in 2010, Stafford wasn't able to play due to injury. In the five games he has played against the Pack, Stafford has thrown nine touchdown passes versus 12 picks for 1,539 yards.

That adds up to a quarterback rating of 68.8.

Rodgers, on the other hand, has always had excellent success against the Lions. Rodgers is 8-1 versus the Lions and has thrown 18 touchdown passes, compared to just five interceptions for 2,285 yards.

That adds up to a quarterback ranking of 111.4.

No. 12 will need some assistance from his offensive line in this game, as the Lions have a very active defensive line led by defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairly.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Left guard Josh Sitton and right guard T.J. Lang need to stop the effectiveness of those big tackles. Center Evan Dietrich-Smith will help out at times in those blocking assignments.

Dietrich-Smith is very familiar with Suh, as on Thanksgiving in 2011, Suh was ejected from the game between the Packers and Lions because he stomped on Dietrich-Smith, who was playing right guard that game.

The secondary of the Lions will have their hands full trying to cover wide receiver Randall Cobb of the Packers. Last year, Cobb had 16 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown in two games.

James Jones has also been a force versus the Lions in the passing game in his career, as he has 36 receptions for 510 yards and four touchdowns.

The other member of the Big Three, Jordy Nelson, has also had success against Detroit. In his career, Nelson has 21 receptions for 316 yards and four touchdowns.

Bottom line: Expect a shootout of sorts at Lambeau Field this Sunday, and based on recent history, the Packers should once again walk away winners.

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