3 key matchups for Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers in Week 18
By Zach Payne
Matchup 3: Lions CBs Jerry Jacobs and Mike Hughes vs. Packers WR Christian Watson
Back in Week 9, Watson hadn’t become the threat he is now for Green Bay. That’s part of the reason the Packers’ offense was so broken– no true No. 1 receiver for Aaron Rodgers. That has changed over the back half of the season. Watson’s combination of size and speed makes him very dangerous, especially against a secondary that has struggled like the Lions’ secondary has.
It’s possible that the Lions have a new starter at all three corner spots next year. It’s been that bad. Amani Oruwariye fell off hard early in the season and has barely seen the field, Jeff Okudah has been benched in back-to-back games now and Will Harris, while versatile, still struggles in coverage. Jerry Jacobs and Mike Hughes stand alone as the only serviceable corners right now.
Given how frequently Detroit has been playing Cover-1 this season, it’s going to be very important to negate Watson’s speed by jamming him at the line of scrimmage. For that reason Jacobs will likely face off against him more, since he is the most physical corner the Lions have. It will be paramount to not let Watson get loose easily. If he gets deep too easily or gets the ball with room to run too often, it’ll be a very long night for the Lions’ defense.