2. Za’Darius Smith
Za’Darius Smith was shut out in the sack column last weekend against an immobile 43-year-old quarterback. Yes, that quarterback was Tom Brady but Tampa has had problems protecting him in the early going and big players are supposed to make big plays in big games.
Smith did not do that.
He barely even pressured Brady during the game.
Smith will now face an athletic quarterback with tons of mobility who can make plays with his legs or his arm.
Smith rounding back to form will go a long way to helping the Packers leave Houston with a win.
Deshaun Watson is as dangerous a quarterback the Packers have faced. This will be the first time in his young career he has played the Packers in the regular season but he did get to practice against them last summer during training camp.
There isn’t much Watson could have learned during that week that will help him now. The Packers are now in year three of Mike Pettine and year two with Smith so there’s probably more than a few looks Watson hasn’t seen. Plus, it’s the regular season where the intensity is taken up a few levels.
If Smith can make life uncomfortable for Watson and give him little time to throw, the Packers should be able to handle the Texans’ receivers.
Smith may gain an advantage as Laremy Tunsil is battling a shoulder injury and was limited at practice to start the week.