1. Aaron Rodgers vs. Glover Quin
Rodgers has played at an MVP level since the Packers’ 4-6 start, capturing both the NFC Offensive Player of the Week and FedEx Air Player of the Week honors for his 347-yard, five-touchdown performance in a 38-25 win over Minnesota. Rodgers fashioned a 129.3 passer rating in the Packers’ first meeting with Detroit, throwing for 205 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-27 win at Lambeau Field. Quin, an eighth-year veteran, has been the rock for a secondary that’s had to battle through injury this year. He’s started each of the Lions’ 15 games this season with 61 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble. He’ll be tasked with helping limit Green Bay’s downfield opportunities. Rodgers has 10 completions of at least 20 yards over the past two weeks.
2. Ty Montgomery vs. DeAndre Levy
Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said the team was placing more emphasis on the run game during practice this week after having only 13 designed runs against the Vikings. Montgomery likely will remain the Packers’ featured running back with James Starks still in the concussion protocol this week. He had a career day against Chicago two weeks ago with 16 carries for 162 yards and two touchdowns, but he managed only 38 total yards on 13 touches against Minnesota. Levy, an All-Pro linebacker in 2014, has been sidelined for a majority of the past two seasons due to injury. In fact, the last time he played against Green Bay was the NFC North title game at Lambeau Field on Dec. 28, 2014. Levy missed 11 games this season with a quad injury but has seen more snaps in each of the Lions’ past three games. While Levy works to gain comfort back in the defense, fifth-year linebacker Tahir Whitehead leads the Lions with 125 tackles.
3. Jordy Nelson vs. Darius Slay
Nelson keeps making one big play after another. After pulling down a 60-yard pass from Rodgers that set up the game-winning field goal against Chicago, the ninth-year receiver caught a team-high nine passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings. He has an outside shot at his first 100-catch season going into Sunday’s regular-season finale with 91 receptions for 1,191 yards and 14 touchdowns. Slay is the biggest playmaker in Detroit’s defense and also the Lions’ biggest question mark. He’s dealing with a hamstring injury he’s already aggravated once before. It sidelined him two games earlier this season before another flare-up forced him out of Monday night’s game against Dallas. Slay returned to practice in a limited capacity this week. If he’s healthy enough to play, Slay could see snaps against both Nelson and Davante Adams, who’s 34 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season.
4. Clay Matthews vs. Matthew Stafford
The six-time Pro Bowl linebacker looked more like himself against the Vikings with three tackles, a critical strip-sack before halftime and two pass deflections. The best news for the Packers might have been that Matthews felt the performance didn’t cause him any setbacks with the shoulder injury he sustained last month against Philadelphia. Pressure is important every week, but it might be even more so this week against Stafford and the Lions. Stafford, playing through a finger injury on his throwing hand, has five turnovers in the Lions’ last three games with one passing touchdown. The Lions’ inconsistent run game has placed more on Stafford’s shoulders this year. While his 93.1 passer rating looks par for the course, the eighth-year quarterback has been the catalyst in Detroit’s eight comeback victories.
5. LaDarius Gunter vs. Golden Tate
The former undrafted free agent cornerback has played 794 defensive snaps after seeing only eight snaps in the regular season as a rookie in 2015. Gunter doesn’t have an interception this season, but his 13 pass deflections lead the defense. He exited against the Vikings with an elbow injury but is expected to play against the Lions. Tate is sitting on exactly 1,000 yards this season, marking his second 1,000-yard season in three years with the Lions. Detroit’s 14th-ranked passing attack has survived in its first season without Calvin Johnson due to an all-hands-on-deck approach. Tate has been Stafford’s favorite target, but former first-round pick Eric Ebron, veteran Anquan Boldin and free-agent signing Marvin Jones Jr. have all had their moments this season. It’ll be incumbent upon Gunter, and fellow second-year corners Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins to neutralize all of the Lions’ weapons.