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October

Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts: Key Matchups

Cedric Benson

Cedric Benson could have a big day against the Colts

This Green Bay Packers head to Indianapolis this weekend to face the Colts, who had their bye last week.  Each team is in need of a win to set the tone heading into the season’s 2nd quarter.  Before we dive into the key matchups, a little bit on each team and this matchup’s history.

Last week, it was announced that Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia.  He will take leave from the team to treat the illness and according to Colts Owner Jim Irsay, it’s very possible that Pagano may not return to the sideline this year.  This is something that is sure to rally the Colts in this game as they will be playing with a bit of extra emotion for their coach.

The Packers are coming off their come-from-behind win vs. the New Orleans Saints.  A week removed from the very controversial loss in Seattle, the Packers were nearly victimized again by the officiating despite the return of the union refs.  They hung on and evened their record to 2-2.

While these 2 teams rarely see each other, these contests have not typically been short on points.  Back in 1997, the defending champion Packers came into Indianapolis heavy favorites but were outdone for 1 of only 3 losses that season.  In 2004, again in Indianapolis, quarterbacks Brett Favre and Peyton Manning duked it out in a shootout that ended with Indianapolis again getting the win at home.  The last matchup was in 2008 at Lambeau Field where the Packers defense starred in the win, taking 2 INT’s back for scores against Manning’s Colts.

While the Packers appear to be clear favorites tomorrow, let’s look at a few keys that will likely emerge as the game progresses.

Aaron Rodgers vs. the Colts secondary

The Packers are and will likely be a pass-first team as long as Rodgers is their QB.  Even with the emergence of Cedric Benson as a more legitimate threat on the ground, the Pack’s success rests on the arm of #12.

Tomorrow will present a good opportunity for Rodgers and the offense to continue some of that success they had last week when he threw for 4 TD’s against the Saints.  The Colts are dinged up in a secondary that was already not top-flight.  CB Vontae Davis, who was acquired from Miami during the offseason, will not play due to an ankle injury.