Tonight is first step to a Green Bay Packers Super Bowl repeat and there’s no better test than the [intlink id=”234″ type=”category”]New Orleans Saints[/intlink].
Here are three key matchups to keep an eye on.
Packers interior offensive line vs. Saints defensive tackles
If you had to choose a weakness for the Packers it would have to be the offensive line, as evidenced by the preseason. Tonight’s game will be a good test for [intlink id=”583″ type=”category”]T.J. Lang[/intlink], Scott Wells and [intlink id=”90″ type=”category”]Josh Sitton[/intlink]. They’ll face more than 650 pounds of defensive tackle in Shaun Rodgers and Sedrick Ellis, who are also quick for men their size. Lang is the biggest question because he’s a first-year starter. If he can gel with Wells and Sitton, the Packers offensive line should have a solid night. If they start screwing up their blocking schemes then [intlink id=”25″ type=”category”]Aaron Rodgers [/intlink] better watch his back and the running backs better head for the outside.
Packers secondary vs. Saints receivers
The Packers have what some people consider the best secondary in the NFL. [intlink id=”82″ type=”category”]Tramon Williams[/intlink], [intlink id=”162″ type=”category”]Nick Collins[/intlink], and [intlink id=”143″ type=”category”]Charles Woodson[/intlink] are among the top players at their positions and can fly around like they’re wearing capes. The Saints could come out with some four- and five-receiver sets, something the Packers don’t see very often. Lance Moore is out for tonight’s game, but the Saints still have Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and tight end Jimmy Graham. The Packers safeties and corners will have to be on the same page, especially guys like [intlink id=”1061″ type=”category”]Sam Shields[/intlink] and [intlink id=”88″ type=”category”]Jarrett Bush[/intlink], to cover the multiple routes and sets they’ll see. If they can’t, this game will be a shootout that may not go in the Packers’ favor.
Payton vs McCarthy
It’s the cliché, but true. Whichever team is best prepared will win. Sean Payton and [intlink id=”67″ type=”category”]Mike McCarthy[/intlink] both know what it takes to win a big game. Both are excellent play callers and can make adjustments during the game. The winner will be the man who makes the better call first and last. To use an overused term, this should be a chess match.