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Three Key Players for the Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers

Which Three Players in Particular Must Step Up for the Packers?

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COMMENTARY | The Green Bay Packers are going up against the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of last year's playoff game in which the 49ers knocked Green Bay out of the playoffs.

There aren't too many analysts that expect the Packers to be able to knock off a 49ers football team that has been playing great the last few weeks, but with Aaron Rodgers back, there is always a chance.

There are three players in particular that will have to step up in a big way this week for the Packers to have a chance to win:

1. Tramon Williams, Cornerback

In Week 1 of the regular season this year, the Packers struggled to stop the 49ers' passing attack. Tramon Williams has been the main playmaker in the defensive backfield for Green Bay this season, and he will be asked to make plays this week.

The Packers have to find a way to shut down the big play, both on the ground and through the air. San Francisco is able to make plays on both sides of the football, but the Packers will have a much better chance at forcing a turnover or two through the air. Colin Kaepernick has had a few poor passing games this season, and the Packers need Williams to play a complete game to force him to make a couple mistakes.

2. Nick Perry, Linebacker

Clay Matthews has been ruled out once again this week, and that means that Nick Perry will be asked to step up in the pass rush. Perry has only had a couple of good games this season, but the Packers need him to step up in the most important game to date.

It will be very interesting to see how Dom Capers draws up the defense for the Packers this week, especially with the way that Kaepernick destroyed the Packers' defense last year. Perry may or may not get asked to rush the quarterback, but either way he's going to need to step up and make plays with Matthews out.

3. B.J. Raji, Defensive Tackle

The Packers have not received much production from Raji this season, and he very well could be playing for his job on Sunday. San Francisco has a very lethal rushing attack, and Green Bay will need Raji to step up and plug the middle up against Frank Gore and the 49ers' ground game. Raji has shown in the past that he can step up in big games, but it's time to prove it this season. Green Bay needs to win the battle up front on the defensive line to have any chance to defeat a high-powered 49ers' offense.

Overall, the Packers are facing tough odds against a team that has become a bitter rival. There are not many people out there that believe the Packers will pull off a win against the 49ers and move on to the divisional round of the playoffs.

All that being said, the Packers have done some unbelievable things, including their win over the Bears to reach the playoffs, and with Aaron Rodgers they can never be counted out. The entire team is going to have to step up to win this football game, but those three players especially need to play a complete football game.

Evan Massey lives in Indianapolis and has followed the Green Bay Packers for the past 16 years. He has written for many sports websites including,,, and Follow Evan on Twitter at @massey_evan.

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