PFW executive editor and resident Packers expert Dan Arkush presents the first of five key matchups in the Packers' Week 11 game against the Buccaneers Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Buccaneers RB LeGarrette Blount vs. Packers' LB corps
Blount burst out of the woodwork in a big way as an undrafted rookie last season, finishing seventh in the NFC in rushing with 1,007 yards while averaging five yards a carry. But he hasn't been nearly as imposing this season, in great part because the Bucs aren't running as much after frequently falling behind and being forced to focus on their passing game. Blount was held to 34 rushing yards in two of his past three games and has only one TD in the five games in which he has played since Week Two. It's worth noting that the Bucs have a 10-3 record when Blount rushes for at least 66 yards.
A big back with good feet for his size, Blount can break tackles and plays with a good lean, but he's far from being the quickest back in the league. He also doesn't pose much of a threat as a receiver out of the backfield (only seven catches for 66 yards).
Blount will be going up against a Packers run defense that did an excellent job holding Adrian Peterson in check Monday night, limiting the Vikings' superstar back to 51 yards on 14 carries and a harmless TD in Green Bay's 45-7 rout. Packers ILBs Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk (15 tackles combined vs. Minnesota) figure to be the primary adversaries for Blount this Sunday. Sure tackling and consistent gap discipline will be the keys to stopping Blount.