3 matchups Packers must win in season opener vs. Saints

Green Bay Packers Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Packers offensive line vs. Saints defensive line

This is the first real test for a new-look Packers offensive line.

Last season, the Packers ranked first in ESPN’s pass block and run block win rate metrics. They were dominant. However, they’ve since lost All-Pro center Corey Linsley via free agency, while star left tackle David Bakhtiari is on the PUP list and will miss the opening six weeks of the season.

We don’t yet officially know Green Bay’s starting five offensive linemen, although the team’s updated unofficial depth chart could give us a clue. This is the starting offensive line, according to the depth chart (from left to right): Elgton Jenkins, Lucas Patrick, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Billy Turner.

Jenkins is a Pro Bowler no matter where he lines up, while Patrick and Turner were great last season. The concern is that the Packers could start with two rookies. Myers and Newman had fantastic summers and deserve to be in the lineup, but playing well in the regular season is a different challenge to the preseason or practice field.

The Saints’ defensive line is one of the best in the league. Six-time Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport will test the Packers’ tackles all game long. There is less experience at defensive tackle, but overall, this is a strong defensive line.

Protecting Aaron Rodgers is priority number one. Being able to run the ball will also be important.

It starts up front.