3 key matchups could decide Patriots’ Week 4 game vs. Packers

The New England Patriots are 1-2 on the season and take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday. With Mac Jones likely out this week, veteran QB Brian Hoyer is expected to take the reins and will face off against the 2-1 Packers.

The last time Hoyer started was in 2020 against the Kansas City Chiefs, when then-starter Cam Newton had COVID-19 and had to miss the game. Hoyer was later benched for Jarrett Stidham, as New England fell to Kansas City 26-10.

With that in mind, we take a look at the key positional matchups for this week against Green Bay

Rashan Gary vs Trent Brown/Isaiah Wynn

Brown and Wynn will have their hands full as Rashan Gary, one of the best pass rushers in the entire NFL, will be able to pin his ears back and get after Hoyer. Luckily for the Patriots’ tackles, they will have a veteran under center, who knows this offense extremely well. He’ll be able to check down and throw out of some bad situations that Gary will certainly cause.

If the Patriots can do a good job at limiting his pressures, they stand a chance at allowing their passing game to spread a little wider net than just three-to-five yards.

Matthew Judon vs Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks we have seen in this league. He has sneaky good speed to extend plays, and of course, he’s an accurate and powerful passer who makes good decisions. Matthew Judon has had a great start to the season, but he needs to be better at setting and containing the edge so that Rodgers can’t break outside to extend plays that break down.

If the Patriots and Judon can protect the edge and keep Rodgers in the pocket, there is a better chance of winning this game than letting him have his way along the field of play.

Christian Barmore vs Packers IOL

Outside of Judon and Deatrich Wise, there hasn’t been much pressure to the QB, especially in the middle of the defense. Barmore has to do a better job at pushing the pocket after a strong camp to contain Rodgers and Aaron Jones.

After having a great offseason, Barmore has been quiet thus far. If he can fully unlock his potential in this game, the Patriots may slowly make noise as one of the better defenses in the league.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire