Five things Packers need to address in the bye week

Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

3. Get more consistent pressure on quarterbacks

Rushing the passer was one of the Packers’ biggest strengths on defense last season. The same is true this year, although this group is yet to find the same level of consistency as in 2019.

According to ESPN, the Packers are 29th in the NFL for pass rush win rate, which is far lower than we’d expect. According to Ben Fennell of NFL Network, the defense is allowing 80 percent completions on third down, the worst in the NFL.

This is something the Packers need to improve, but also not something they should be too concerned about just yet.

After all, Kenny Clark is one of the best interior pass rushers in football. He could be back after the bye. Any defense that loses a star player like Clark will be worse off for it.

Za’Darius Smith got back to his best on Monday night with a dominant performance. He finished with three sacks, eight tackles, four tackles for loss, and five quarterback hits. This is the type of performance we’re used to seeing from Smith, and a great sign moving forward.

Rashan Gary has also improved as a pass rusher and has 1.5 sacks in three games. He didn’t play on Monday night.

The biggest concern is how Mike Pettine is using Preston Smith. Despite making double-digit sacks last season, Pettine is regularly asking Smith to drop into coverage, and he’s only made half a sack this year as a result. Smith was signed to get sacks, and Pettine needs to put him in position to do just that.