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Cheese Curds, 1/19: Packers’ OL vs. Bucs’ pass rush will be the matchup to watch

If Green Bay’s line can keep Aaron Rodgers clean, then the Packers will have a great chance to make it to the Super Bowl. If not, things get much more dicey.

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NFL: OCT 18 Packers at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


That is the number of sacks that the Green Bay Packers have allowed this season over 17 games. Aaron Rodgers has been left untouched in more games this season (five, including last week’s Divisional Playoff game) than the number games in which he has been sacked multiple times (three).

But one of those three games, the week six loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was a mess from a pass protection standpoint. Rodgers took four sacks, including two on third downs, and the Packers’ line allowed a fifth after the team put Tim Boyle in late.

This week, the Packers will not have David Bakhtiari, who was in the lineup in the previous meeting but left with a chest injury early in the second half. However, Billy Turner has played extremely well in his place both while Bakhtiari missed some games following after Bakhtiari’s torn ACL. He will have his toughest test yet while playing on the left side of the line, however, with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett providing a tremendous challenge.

How he and Rick Wagner hold up could well be the deciding factor on whether the Packers finally get back to the Super Bowl.

Packers’ first meeting with Buccaneers ‘really doesn’t matter’ |
What LaFleur is talking about is the result of that game -- the Packers are past it and they won't dwell on the previous loss. The film matters, of course, as the Packers will look back and try to correct many of the mistakes they made over a 45-minute span.

Packers must win pressure battle vs. Bucs in NFC title game | Packers Wire
The most critical matchup in Sunday's game will involve how the Packers' offensive tackles hold up against the Bucs' pass rush. Green Bay's interior is as good as any in the NFL, but the tackles struggled in week six, even with David Bakhtiari healthy for the first half.

Packers' Offensive Line Rebounded After Poor Performance at Buccaneers - Sports Illustrated
Of course, since then the offensive line has been tremendous, only having one real stinker of a game against the Panthers. One component to this will be maintaining some level of balance on offense and staying out of third-and-long situations.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers whip Rams to reach NFC title game – The Athletic (subscription)
On Saturday, the Packers posted the most yards against a #1-ranked defense in a playoff game since the 1970 merger, so if any team can solve this very good Buccaneers D, it's LaFleur and company.

Crowning achievement: Packers receivers prove worthy once and for all - ESPN
A big reason for that outburst was a huge day from the Packers' secondary receiving options, who are showing up big when the team needs them most.

Brothers' all-day rum and games binge ends in violence and one of them being tasered twice - Leicestershire Live
Look, who doesn't enjoy a day of goofing off with your siblings? Maybe don't get into a drunken brawl and then resist arrest.