Packers vs. Seahawks: 3 key matchups to watch in Week 10

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If all goes well, both the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks will have their starting quarterbacks back in the lineup this week. On one side, Aaron Rodgers hopes to play but needs to finish his recovery from a battle with COVID-19. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson returned to practice this week after missing the last three games with a finger injury requiring surgery.

The earliest Rodgers can return to the team is Saturday. He’s been virtually present for team meetings all week and is preparing as if he will be suiting up. The Packers look to rebound from their second loss of the season, which came against the Kansas City Chiefs with Jordan Love as the starting quarterback.

Carrying a 3-5 record, Seattle could use a win to stay in playoff contention. The Seahawks went 1-2 with Geno Smith as the starter. Before his injury, Wilson was completing passes at a career rate of 72 percent. Having him back should provide a noticeable boost to the offense.

Quarterback matchups aside, there will be a lot to watch for when these two teams take the field. Let’s take a look at a few key matchups that could define this week’s outcome.

Packers CB Kevin King vs. Seahawks WR DK Metcalf

(AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

King may be the best corner Green Bay has to match up against Seattle’s most physically imposing wide receiver. Assuming Eric Stokes (questionable, knee) is ready to go this week, he would likely be the better option to cover Tyler Lockett. Rasul Douglas has been a fine addition to the Packers’ secondary, but this could be a week to limit his snaps as Metcalf might be a little too fast for him. King is the taller and faster corner compared to Douglas, giving him a better shot of disrupting Metcalf’s impact. King is also coming off a strong game against the Kansas City Chiefs, in which he was the team’s top-rated defender, according to Pro Football Focus. He nearly intercepted Patrick Mahomes and allowed just 21 receiving yards on six targets.

Packers OLB Preston Smith vs. Seahawks LT Duane Brown

Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Could Smith get his first sack since Week 5? Smith has been relatively quiet of late, but this is a chance for him to make some noise against a struggling left tackle. This week, he will likely spend a lot of time going up against Brown, who has allowed a team-high six sacks and 17 quarterback pressures in 2021. Smith logged just one pressure last week against the Chiefs, but had a much tougher opponent in Orlando Brown Jr. Smith has been outshined by Rashan Gary in recent weeks, but Green Bay will hopefully get a stronger performance from their other starting edge rusher on Sunday.

Packers RB A.J. Dillon vs. Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner

Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon (28).

Dillon has had two solid weeks to follow up one of his worst games as a pro. Against the Washington Football Team, Dillon put the ball on the ground twice and carried the ball three times for just six yards. However, over the last two games, he has 124 rushing yards and is averaging over 5.0 yards per carry. Dillon has been running tough behind his pads, but he has a worthy contender this week in Wagner. Now 31, Wagner is still one of the best inside linebackers in the game and is currently tied for the NFL lead in tackles. If he and Dillon meet up in the hole, it will be interesting to see who wins.

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