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Packers vs. Raiders: Five key matchups


1. Raiders guards and center vs. B.J. Raji—Raji is going to see blockers coming at him from both sides and straight at him. The triumvirate of guards Cooper Carlisle and Stefen Wisniewski and center Samson Satele is formidable, especially considering what will be running downhill on Raji, which is to say 245-pound running back Michael Bush. This is the premier matchup on the defensive side of the ball for the Packers. If Raji doesn't hold the point, it'll be a long day for the Packers defense and a short day for Aaron Rodgers.

2. Packers corners vs. Darrius Heyward-Bey—The Raiders wide receiver is pure speed and the Raiders have no doubt detected the Packers' penchant for allowing big plays in the passing game, so expect to see Heyward-Bey test Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams deep on multiple occasions, especially if the Raiders are able to run the ball and force the Packers to commit a safety to the line of scrimmage.

3. Michael Bush vs. Packers safeties—Charlie Peprah and Morgan Burnett don't dare go high on Bush as they did on LeGarrette Blount. The Packers safeties must tackle better than they did in the game against Tampa Bay.

4. T.J. Lang vs. Richard Seymour—Seymour is in his 11th season but he has six sacks and when he gets his motor revved, he plays with grit, energy and a nasty streak. Lang will be a featured performer on the Packers' offensive line.

5. Khalif Barnes vs. Clay Matthews—Barnes is a former left tackle who is in the seventh year of a checkered career. Matthews is coming off his best game of the season, which included a pick-six interception. Is Matthews on the verge of becoming the dominant playmaker he was a year ago? Keep an eye on this matchup. Additional coverage - Dec. 9

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