With Mac Jones currently on the shelf, the Patriots will most likely head into Lambeau Field to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers with Brian Hoyer under center. If you want to call it an epic mismatch, I won’t blame you. Rodgers has won back-to-back MVP awards while Hoyer is riding an 11-game losing streak as a starting quarterback that stretches all the way back to 2016. The good thing is there are plenty of other key matchups to watch as the Patriots try to pull off a road upset.
Key matchups for Patriots in week four
Patriots offensive line vs Green Bay rush defense
I would be stunned if the Patriots rely on the arm of Hoyer in this one, so I expect there to be a lot of emphasis on the running game. A good comparison might be the Packers’ week two victory over the Chicago Bears, where the Bears only threw the ball 11 times but were able to rack up 180 yards on the ground. The Packers have given up a healthy 4.9 yards per rush and teams were averaging 153 rushing yards over the first two weeks, before only allowing 34 rushing yards to Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers rightfully leaned on the arm of Tom Brady in week three as he attempted 42 passes to the team’s 14 rushing attempts.
Knowing that the Patriots are starting Hoyer, it will be interesting to see if the Packers stay in their zone defense and allow the Patriots to gain good chunks on the ground or if they decide to stack the box and force Hoyer to beat them with his arm. Either way, I do expect the Patriots to stick with the running game to hopefully use some clock and use Hoyer as a game manager.