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Bengals-Packers key players

Michael Johnson, Cincinnati DE

Coming off a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2012, Johnson is still looking for his first this season. He will line up opposite rookie left tackle David Bakhitiari, the Packers’ fourth-round pick.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati QB

He’s doesn’t have to outgun Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, but Dalton certainly will need to be at the top of his game if the Bengals have any hope of keeping pace with the NFL’s No. 1-ranked offense

Reggie Nelson, Cincinnati FS

Nelson will be the last line of defense whether the Packers try to go deep or work things underneath. Green Bay leads the NFL in YAC (yards after catch). If a cornerback misses a tackle, which is bound to happen at least a time or two, Nelson could the difference between a first down and a touchdown.

James Starks, Green Bay, RB

After rookie starter Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion last week, Starks came in and ran for a career-high 132 yards. He is expected to get the start today, and if he can give the Packers anything close to his previous performance, it is going to be very difficult to hold them to a manageable point total.

Clay Matthews, Green Bay, LB

While he’s not as much of an improvisational wildcard like Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu, Matthews is a guy who flies all over the field and always seems to be around the ball. He is going to make plays. The Bengals just can’t allow them to be huge ones.

B.J. Raji, Green Bay DE

The former nose tackle still does a lot of work on the interior of the Packers defensive line and can wreak havoc in both the passing and running game. The Bengals will want to run the ball to eat clock and keep the explosive Green Bay offense off the field, and in order to do that will need to neutralize Raji.

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