3 keys for Patriots to upset the Packers at Lambeau Field

After a tough loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the New England Patriots will be without starting quarterback Mac Jones heading into Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

That means backup quarterback Brian Hoyer will be the starter in Week 4.

The Patriots are 1-2 and looking for a glimmer of hope in what has been an uncharacteristically sloppy start to the season. New England has always been well-coached, and this season feels like a step back occurred on both sides of the ball. However, there is still hope if Jones can return to the lineup.

For now, the team shifts focus to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on the road with Hoyer under center. Without further ado, let’s get right into the keys of the game.

Eliminate turnovers

The Patriots literally and figuratively handed Baltimore the win last week thanks to four turnovers committed by the offense.

If they want to beat Rodgers and the Packers, they’ll need Hoyer to be methodical and play turnover-free football. Relying on Hoyer to win the game over the top will be a difficult ask. As Edelman stated last week, ball security is job security.

The last thing the team wants to do in this matchup is give Rodgers extra possessions.

Unleash the Run Game

The Patriots are coming into the game as one of the top rushing teams, and they’ll be facing one of the league’s worst run defenses in Green Bay. They’ll need a monster effort in the running game to take the pressure off Hoyer and keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands.

To accomplish this, the Patriots’ offensive line needs to have their best game as a unit. Enough time has passed to stop giving them the excuse of a “new scheme,” as they have been through multiple weeks of this being implemented.

Rookie offensive guard Cole Strange needs to prove why the Patriots drafted him so high during this game. Although he has played extremely well thus far, he needs to have a clean game in order to spring forward the rushing attack.

Generating pressure on Rodgers

Judon and Wise have been incredible thus far, setting both edge positions nicely. Wise has especially been a welcome surprise as he has had a very productive start to this season with four sacks on the year.

However, teams are aware of their skill, and with the Patriots being without Lawrence Guy, someone needs to step up along the interior to make it harder for Rodgers. Coverage has been above average thus far, but interior pressure has been an issue.

Christian Barmore is the catalyst for this pressure. Many believed he was the best player all camp on both sides of the ball, but the second-year man out of Alabama has yet to find a way to make a major impact on the game like many believed he would.

Granted, he hasn’t been terrible. He’s still coming into his own, and a strong performance on Sunday would be a welcoming sign for a defense in need of youthful cornerstones.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire