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Falcons vs. Packers: 4 Key Matchups for Week 14

The first-place Atlanta Falcons will attempt one of the year's biggest upsets on Monday Night Football.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons have been underdogs many times in the last four-plus decades. Not often, however, are they doubted this much.

According to Bovada, the Packers are 13-point favorites heading into Monday night's prime time showdown -- one of the biggest spreads we've seen all year.  Indeed, earning a victory in Lambeau will be a difficult task.

But it won't be impossible. As we saw last Sunday, Atlanta's offense can be lethal, and the defense has some life. A win is certainly possible, but it's quite a longshot.

Here are four matchups to watch while the Falcons attempt to knock off the heavily-favored Packers.

Robert McClain vs. Green Bay's receivers

Robert McClain had a rough go last week versus Arizona. He'll be thrust into a starting role once more, as Robert Alford remains sidelined with a broken wrist. This could be trouble.

McClain hasn't fared well this season -- his PFF pass coverage rating is -8.1 -- and with Desmond Trufant manning the other half of the field, expect Aaron Rodgers to test the fifth-year DB.

It's hard to say who McClain will be matched up against most. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have 1119 and 922 receiving yards, respectively, and each has 10 TDs. Pick your poison.

Eddie Lacy vs. Atlanta's linebackers

After a slow start, Eddie Lacy has found his stride. The talented sophomore has averaged 5.2 yards per carry over the last three weeks and is starting to once again look like a true No. 1. Atlanta, who is 21st in rushing yards against, will have its hands full.

Yes, Lacy is capable of doing a lot of damage on the ground; what goes under-appreciated, though, is his abilities as a receiver. Lacy has 352 receiving yards in 2014 and provides Rodgers with a dangerous check down option.

Jake Matthews vs. Clay Matthews

This is a big matchup for several reasons. Of course, Clay and Jake are cousins and are members of the famous Matthews clan. Their collective presence will lead to a fun subplot off the field.

The two should see a lot of each other on the gridiron, as well. Clay is one of the league's best best pass rushers; Jake will try to protect Matt Ryan's blindside. Expect them to clash frequently.

Steven Jackson vs. Green Bay's front seven

Steven Jackson had his best game as a Falcon last week, earning 101 rushing yards on 18 carries. Don't be surprised if he turns in a similar performance on Monday.

Run defense is one of Green Bay's few weaknesses. Prior to the bye Green Bay was surrendering 153.5 rushing yards per game, and are now 28th in the league in this category. Dom Capers' unit improved in November, but make no mistake -- the Packers' D is vulnerable.

Which matchups will you be watching?