5. Za’Darius and Preston Smith
This is why the Packers signed Za’Darius and Preston Smith back in March. This is why they gave them the big money. To be big-time players in a big-time game.
Za’Darius Smith is one player who could say they had a good game last time the Packers went out to Santa Clara. It was also the game Mike Pettine debuted the “Z” package that saw Za’Darius roving around the line of scrimmage causing confusion amongst the offensive line. Smith ended up with a sack-and-a-half in that game and was tough for the 49ers to block.
Not far behind him was Preston Smith. Preston finished with a half-sack that he teamed with Za’Darius to earn. If Z. Smith hasn’t gotten home, Preston is usually there to clean it up.
They must continue to be that dynamic duo for the Packers. If and when the 49ers do pass, the Smiths must get in Jimmy Garoppolo‘s face and force bad throws if they’re not getting the sack.
I believe Kevin King, Jaire Alexander, and Tramon Williams will be able to hold their own against the 49ers receivers and allow the Smiths to get home. But the kind of pressure Za’Darius and Preston can provide will make life difficult for Jimmy G and the 49ers offense.
The Packers will need their stars to shine on Sunday. Davante Adams, Aaron Jones in addition to these players listed here will need to be the stars they are to help get the Packers to the Super Bowl.
The outside world isn’t giving the Packers much of a chance. And they’re fine with that. They are a close-knit team that plays for each other and appreciate the way they have been overlooked.
They are going to give the 49ers all they can handle. And if they make the plays and force a few turnovers, there’s no reason the Packers can’t win this game.