Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Since we gave time to the Colts earlier, APC examines which Packers will make a difference on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
I touched on a few Colts to keep an eye on earlier, so now we move to the Green and Gold. The Packers' offense should continue to click this week, and you will likely notice a few parallels to the Colts players that I mentioned earlier. Here are five Packers whose matchups will decide the course of the game.
RT Bryan Bulaga
Bulaga will likely see a heavy dose of Colts' OLB Robert Mathis this week, and will need to be on his game to keep Aaron Rodgers on his feet. Mathis has at least one sack in each of his last six games dating back to last season, and that's with him working through ankle issues. He'll be rushing from both sides if Dwight Freeney can't play, but he'll see the most action matched up with Bulaga.
WR James Jones
The Colts are missing a starting corner and may not have their nickel back available this week either. That's a great recipe for James Jones, who will likely start at wide receiver this week with Greg Jennings out. Jones has three touchdowns on the young season and should get his share of good one-on-one opportunities. Oh, and don't think that Aaron Rodgers has forgotten that catch at the end of last week's game. My guess is his confidence level in Jones is sky-high right now.
Benson should get some good opportunities to run the ball this week. Not only is Freeney banged up, but Pat Angerer, one of the Colts' starting inside linebackers, was just ruled out for the game. This could be Benson's chance to break a big run. He's been productive with his consistent 4- and 5-yard gains, but it would be really nice to see him break a few for 15 yards. He should continue to be active in the passing game again and make a few catches out of the backfield.
CB Sam Shields
The Colts' depth receivers are not polished, but they are fast. Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton are burners - both of them run their 40-yard dashes in around 4.3 seconds. It seems likely that Tramon Williams will shadow Reggie Wayne much of the afternoon, while Shields will have his speed put to use against the younger, faster receivers. If he can keep up with them and not get his coverage assignments mixed up (like last week), it should be a good day for the Packers defense.
ILB D.J. Smith
Smith gets to deal with another athletic tight end this week, although Coby Fleener isn't at the level of Jimmy Graham yet. Fleener is right in the same mold physically, though, coming in at 6'6" and 250 pounds while running in the 4.5s. With the Packers' recent success against the run and the Colts' lack of a rushing game lately, Smith will likely be on the field a ton in nickel and dime packages, and his coverage abilities will be put to the test again.
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