Packers: Five players key to victory in Week 1 vs. Vikings

Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark
Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Kenny Clark

What I just said about Aaron Jones is also true on the opposite sideline for the Vikings. Dalvin Cook will be the ignitor for the Vikings and will probably be used in many of the same ways Jones will be used for the Pack.

Kenny Clark signed a big-money deal (four years, $70 million) just under a month ago.

What better way to start earning that big money than by shutting down the key to the Vikings’ offense and force Kirk Cousins to be the difference.

Clark has to be the force in the middle and control the Vikings’ guards and center and allow Za’Darius and Preston Smith to wreak havoc on the Vikings’ tackles.

Clark eating up blockers will also help the Packers’ new man in the middle, Christian Kirksey. Blake Martinez did a great job making the tackles after Clark’s dirty work but the team is expecting more out of Kirksey. Clark taking on the blockers keeping large players off of him will go a long way.

The Packers’ run defense was downright awful towards the end of last season, so retribution has to be on their mind. For Clark, that goes double. He wants to prove the money won’t change him while he is out for blood in run defense.