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Packers vs. Rams: Performances to watch

Green Bay comes off its bye to face the NFL’s lone unbeaten


LOS ANGELES – The Packers are coming off their bye, while the Rams have won seven straight to open 2018 and are the league's lone remaining unbeaten team.

Here's what's worth watching on Sunday at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

1. On the interior: The Rams' DT tandem of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh is as good as it gets, with Donald coming off a four-sack game and tied for the league lead in sacks with eight. The interior of the Packers' offensive line will have its hands full, particularly LG Lane Taylor and RG Byron Bell. But the key player might be C Corey Linsley, who will be tasked with helping out whichever side needs some assistance against Donald and/or Suh.

2. On the perimeter: CB Sam Shields played six seasons and one game for the Packers before a concussion in Week 1 of 2016 kept him out of football for basically two seasons. Now he's back with the Rams and facing his former team for the first time. Marcus Peters is the Rams' top cornerback and is likely to draw the assignment of Davante Adams. If Randall Cobb stays in the slot, that means Shields' primary matchup would be third-year pro Geronimo Allison, who back in 2016 was an undrafted rookie teammate of Shields', who was an undrafted rookie himself six years prior.

3. In the backfield: Rams RB Todd Gurley currently leads the NFL in rushing with 686 yards, though he's topped 100 only three times in seven games. One of those was a 200-yard performance in a close win over Denver. Gurley will run between the tackles or stretch it to the edge, so the Packers' run defense has by far its toughest task to date in 2018.

4. Under center: The QBs are both Cal guys, Aaron Rodgers and Jared Goff. One is a two-time MVP and the other is in the MVP discussion for the first time as just a third-year pro. Turnovers have been troublesome for both at times, as Rodgers has lost three fumbles and Goff has thrown five interceptions.

5. In the standings: No one in the NFC North is under .500, but no one has pulled away, either, as the Vikings sit on top at 4-2-1, followed by the Packers at 3-2-1, and the Bears and Lions both 3-3. It doesn't get much tighter than that.