Packers-Lions: Game plans, key matchups

Grant will have to get past Sims to reach 1,000; Kampman to face Woody

Mike McCarthy plans to keep things status quo at the outset, but some of Green Bay's starters probably won't play much in the meaningless regular-season curtain dropper.

What the Packers want to accomplish heading into a one-week break before their first postseason game is get back to controlling things up front on both sides of the ball after they were overpowered by Chicago across the board in the last game. The defense has been sack-less in three of the last four games, but facing a Lions offense without top weapons Roy Williams and Kevin Jones could provide a welcome tonic.

QB Jon Kitna has been sacked a league-high 51 times, including four by the Packers on Thanksgiving Day. If Brett Favre winds up being a spectator for most of the game, a heavy dose of Ryan Grant's running the football should surface. How Green Bay's unsettled interior of the offensive line handles defensive tackles Shaun Rogers and Cory Redding will be telling.

Packers RB Ryan Grant vs. Lions WLB Ernie Sims

Grant needs 101 yards in the regular-season finale to reach the 1,000-yard plateau, which would be quite a feat considering he didn't become the featured back until Week 8.

A big second half enabled Grant to get to 101 at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. He has rushed for 100 yards every other game the last nine weeks, so the trend indicates that he'll fall short Sunday.

The Lions, though, have been hit-and-miss stopping the run. Sims has been their defensive playmaker, with 158 tackles, so it behooves Green Bay to get Grant running to the strong side.

Packers punting unit vs. Lions punt-coverage unit
Green Bay is coming off a forgettable game for punter Jon Ryan, who had two kicks blocked, shanked another and failed to get off a kick on a blustery day at Chicago. Poor protection contributed to Ryan's foibles.

The winds should be calmer Sunday, but the Lions are a force with which to be reckoned in kicking situations. They lead the league with 21 blocked kicks since 2001, most recently a blocked punt by Casey FitzSimmons in Detroit's win over Kansas City on Sunday.

Run the ball and keep the defense off the field as much as possible. Even though the Packers will pull offensive stars like Brett Favre and Donald Driver at some point, they still have the ability to go four- and five-wide and expose the Lions' thin secondary.

Running back T.J. Duckett has been itching for an opportunity, and now he has it with Kevin Jones sidelined by a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Lions RT Damien Woody vs. Packers LDE Aaron Kampman

Woody who has been impressive at his new position but Kampman has 12 sacks this season. The last time these teams played, Kampman dominated backup offensive lineman Blaine Saipaia, who was pressed into duty when Jonathan Scott suffered a hamstring injury.

After the game, Woody took over at right tackle and stabilized the position. Woody left Sunday's game against Kansas City with a shoulder injury but is expected to play.

Lions RB T.J. Duckett vs. Packers run defense
Duckett had 15 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown Sunday against Kansas City. Green Bay enters the game ranked 16th against the run in the NFL.

The last time these teams played, the Lions' game plan was to run the ball and keep Brett Favre off the field as much as possible. They ran the ball well, rushing for 134 yards. Even though that wasn't enough — they lost, 37-26 — they'll probably do the same thing again.

Duckett is the Lions' No. 1 back now that Kevin Jones has a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He had seven carries for 29 yards against the Packers last time.

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