The Packers Must Decide: Marshall Newhouse or Chad Clifton?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 04: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is helped up by Marshall Newhouse #74 after Rodgers qas sacked by Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 4, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Packers mull Clifton or Newhouse at LT - NFC North Blog - ESPN. I was surprised at how supportive Aaron Rodgers was in this radio interview of Marshall Newhouse. I've been on the fence. Assuming both players are well enough to play, who should start at left tackle?

I've been thinking that if Chad Clifton can get some playing time against the Lions, and he plays well, he should return as the starter. He hasn't played in a couple months, but I've expected that his history with the team, and Mike McCarthy's confidence in him, would give him the nod to start once he's healthy. Unfortunately, he had some struggles earlier this season even before his hamstring injury.

But Aaron Rodgers and the offense has played fantastic (Chiefs game excepted) in every start with Newhouse. It's understandable that Rodgers is getting comfortable and accustomed to him. My main concern has been Newhouse's inconsistency which has been mostly due to the quality of his opponent. Whenever Newhouse has faced an elite pass rusher, he's struggled.

But Newhouse had a good game against Julius Peppers last week, McCarthy gave the offensive line the game ball, and he might have had turned a corner.

Assuming Clifton plays on Sunday and is available for the playoffs, which player would you prefer at left tackle?

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