Packers: Five players to watch in the NFC Championship Game

Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

2. Packers offensive line

We all remember what happened the last time these two teams met. A defensive line led by five first-round draft picks dominated the Packers offensive line. There wasn’t one player on the line who could say they had a good game.

For the Packers to win that has to change. Each starter on the line will need to play up to expectations and hold the 49ers’ fierce pass rush at bay.

Bryan Bulaga suffered a knee injury early in the game and wasn’t able to finish while his backup, Alex Light, was unable to hold his own against Joey Bosa and the 49ers front. Should that happen again, the Packers appear better suited to handle the loss with Jared Veldheer now on the roster.

You could really say all five starters, as well as key backups, will need to be ready to go and play at the top of their game.

The line won’t just have to stop the pass rush, they’ll need to open big holes in the run game as well. Aaron Jones was held to only 38 yards on 13 carries, making it one of his worst games of the year.

The Packers will need more this time around and it’ll start with the line creating the holes.

I do expect Rodgers to have a monster game. I also expect Jones to be the featured player. But if either of those two players are going to have success, the offensive line will have to be the foundation.