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Packers-Lions matchup of the day: Saturday

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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By Dan Arkush

Here’s a look at a key matchup heading into the Week 14 game between the Packers and Lions at Detroit.

Packers CBs Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields vs. Lions WR Calvin Johnson

Johnson is proving again this season that he is one of the league’s more formidable wideouts, scoring 12 TDs despite the fact starting Lions QB Matthew Stafford has missed almost the entire season. In the first game against Green Bay in Week Four, Woodson primarily defended Johnson, with Shields sidelined by a calf injury and Williams manning the other side of the field. The results were mixed. Woodson scored a touchdown on an interception return of 48 yards, but Johnson had a pair of TD passes (23 and 21 yards) among his six catches for 86 yards.

Lately the Lions have been lining up Johnson tight near other receivers to make it difficult for defenders to isolate on him. Such was the case in Week 13 against the Bears, when Bears nickel CB D.J. Moore got burned by Johnson for a 46-yard score.

With Woodson at less than full strength with toe and ankle injuries, it’s quite likely Williams and Shields will share in defending Johnson. Shields, who has been increasingly reliable the last couple of games, will no doubt catch Johnson’s act more than a few times out of the slot. Williams continues to play at a Pro Bowl level and is earning every penny of his new contract.

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