Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions: Five on the Spot

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Aaron Jones /
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GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 28: Jordy Nelson
GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 28: Jordy Nelson /

Jordy Nelson

With Davante Adams emerging as a big-play threat, an increasing number of teams are opting to put their best cornerback on No. 17 instead of the older, but still productive, Jordy Nelson.

This week, Adams will see a ton of Darius Slay, who isn’t just a big name. The fifth-year cornerback is a physical competitor who can give receivers fits with the way uses his hands to prevent them from getting into their routes.

This means that Nelson will be treated to the better matchups as he’ll likely go up against a combination of Nevin Lawson and Quandre Diggs, both of whom he’ll have a significant size advantage over.

ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 22: Jordy Nelson
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 22: Jordy Nelson /

The 32-year-old veteran is a master at coming back to the ball and making plays in traffic, but Hundley has yet to develop the same kind of chemistry Nelson shared with Aaron Rodgers.

The UCLA product will need to pull the trigger and anticipate No. 87 getting open when he finds holes in zone coverage, as well as laying the ball up there for his guy to snatch in tight man coverage.

There’s little doubt that the cagey Nelson will find ways to break free from Detroit’s defensive backs, but it’s up to his quarterback to trust and recognize those favorable spots during the course of the evening.

He can’t be late on his throws.

GREEN BAY, WI – DECEMBER 11: Morgan Burnett
GREEN BAY, WI – DECEMBER 11: Morgan Burnett /

Morgan Burnett

The Saints had their way exploiting the middle of Green bay’s defense a couple of weeks ago due in large part to the absence of Morgan Burnett, who is technically a safety, but also the team’s best slot corner.

A number of big plays executed by Ted Ginn, who led New Orleans with seven receptions for 141 yards, saw the speedster lined up in the flanker or slot positions and exploit the opposition’s coverage breakdowns.

Both Josh Jones and Ha-Ha Clinton Dix were either out of position or confused as to who to defend at various points of the contest.

Burnett’s return will allow Jones to focus on being a downhill defender instead of dropping back.

The Packers don’t typically allow tight ends to register big stats when the eighth-year veteran in on the field.

GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 27: Strong safety Morgan Burnett
GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 27: Strong safety Morgan Burnett /

Jimmy Graham, Austin Hooper and Tyler Kroft were all held to 3 grabs or less and under 30 yards. And though Jason Witten put up 61 yards on eight catches, much of that was by design since the Packers were willing to let the lumbering tight end get open with the focus being on containing Dallas’ other weapons.

This week, the Lions will have to account for Eric Ebron, who typically cancels himself out by dropping easy balls, but still has the speed to hurt you deep.

In addition, the defense must also keep a watchful eye on Golden Tate, given the slot man’s penchant for turning short tosses into 20 and 30-yard connections.

Burnett’s ability to patrol the underneath zones and use his instincts to make plays on the ball should provide an immense boost to the team’s secondary. The unheralded defender is also a more reliable tackler than Jones, Dix or any of the cornerbacks on the roster.