The Packers pushed their win streak to three in their most recent win against Steelers. Green Bay dominated the line of scrimmage, and a 10-point win was not indicative of how much the Packers outplayed the Steelers. A new challenge awaits them in week 5, a date with the 3-1 Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati might be one of the more surprising teams so far this season and second year quarterback Joe Burrow looks fully back from the torn ACL that ended his rookie year. The Packers haven’t won in Cincinnati since 1998, so if they want to reverse the fortunes and move to 4-1, the Packers will need to get big performances in these key matchups.
Kenny Clark vs Trey Hopkins
Each game, there are about a half dozen plays that Kenny Clark just makes your jaw drop. Whether it’s exploding into the backfield or driving a guard into the quarterback, Clark is doing his absolute best to carry the defensive line. Against the Bengals, the Packers will need Kenny to dominate once again. In his matchup against center Trey Hopkins, Clark will need to hold gaps in the run and collapse the pocket in the pass, especially with injuries plaguing the secondary. The best way to help our ailing secondary is to collapse the pocket and create chaos, and that is exactly what Kenny does.
De’Vondre Campbell vs Joe Mixon
One of the biggest surprises for the Packers this season is the play of De’Vondre Campbell. A late offseason pickup, Campbell has been a revelation at ILB. Explosive, good in coverage and a sure tackler, he’s exactly the linebacker that the packers have been missing in the middle of their defense. He also has shown a nose for the football, already raking in an interception and a fumble already. He will need to continue his stellar season in a big way this week. Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon is a dual threat running back having a bounce back season in 2021. He suffered a minor ankle injury in week 4, so at this point it’s uncertain if he’ll be able to play against the Packers. If he is, the best way to beat young quarterbacks is to make their offense one dimensional and Campbell will be key to stopping the run. Campbell is an essential chess piece that the Packers will deploy to counter Mixon or whoever gets the start in his place in both the run and the pass.
Packers Secondary vs Bengals Receivers
All of Packer nation awaits news of the severity of All Pro CB Jaire Alexander’s injury. It’s likely that he will miss at least a couple of games, if not more. That is a massive blow to a secondary that has looked cohesive and together over the last couple of weeks. Alexander’s injury coupled with the unknown timetable of return for Kevin is a scary prospect going into this week against a potent Bengals wide receiver room. Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and First round pick Jamar Chase make a dangerous trio for a potentially depleted secondary. Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry has his hands full this week figuring out how to slow down this explosive group. Safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage will need to come up with big performances this week to support the beat-up cornerback group or else the Packers 3 game win streak will be at risk.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.