Packers: Top five performers vs. Broncos in Week 3 victory
By Jesse Fry
2. Za’Darius Smith
Since the two were signed back in March, you have not been able to mention one Smith without the other. After being signed within hours of each other, Za’Darius and Preston have been the main focus of a revamped defense.
For three straight weeks, they have shown why. Za’Darius Smith was once again in the face of the opposing quarterback. Lined up all over the defensive front, Smith was able to either provide the pass rush directly, or do the dirty work to allow others around him to get home.
One play, he’s taking on the double team, allowing Preston to break through for game-changing sacks. On the next, he’s blowing past Garett Bolles to take down Flacco himself.
On top of his play on the field, Smith has taken on a leadership void that has been there since Julius Peppers left. Being voted by his peers as team captain in his first year with a new team proves how much he is valued in the locker room.
The Packers worked in more of Rashan Gary and Kyler Fackrell in this game to help keep Smith fresh. They will need to continue that rotation to ensure they have Preston and Za’Darius in critical moments.
Three weeks into the 2019 season, it’s hard to find two players who have been more valuable to a team, let alone a defense.