3 matchups Packers must win in season opener vs. Saints

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

Packers’ front seven vs. Saints offensive line

Jameis Winston will be starting his first game since 2019. The Saints have concerns at the wide receiver position while Michael Thomas is out with injury. For New Orleans to find success on offense, it’s going to need to be strong up front. Unfortunately for the Packers, the Saints have one of the best offensive lines in the league.

Kingsley Keke had two sacks against the Saints last year, but the Packers didn’t have a great deal of success rushing the passer. They would allow 30 points and 397 yards of offense.

To make matters worse, the Packers could potentially be without top pass rusher Za’Darius Smith. He returned to practice this week but has been out a while with a back injury. If he’s unable to go, the Packers will need Preston Smith and Rashan Gary to step up.

It will be a tough battle for Green Bay’s edge rushers up against New Orleans’ dominant tackle pairing of Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk.

This Saints offense isn’t as strong as it has been in recent years, especially without Drew Brees, but their biggest strength is the offensive line, one of the best in the league.

The Packers’ front seven needs to put in a strong performance to pressure Winston and keep the Saints’ run game in check.

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