Packers: Five players key to victory in Week 8 vs. Vikings

Green Bay Packers, Jamaal Williams (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Jamaal Williams (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

5. Preston Smith

After being missing in action for most of 2020, Preston Smith was showing signs of life last week against the Texans. If not for Deshaun Watson’s superb athletic ability, Smith may have come away with a sack or two against Houston.

Hopefully, that game is the springboard to get Smith back to the form he had last year.

After having 12 sacks last year, Smith is still sitting on half a sack.

The Packers defense worked best when the Smiths were the two-headed monster terrorizing quarterbacks from both sides of the line.

The Packers defense looked as good as it has at any point in 2020 last week. That could be the building block this team needs.

I can’t help but think back to 2014 when the Packers moved Clay Matthews to the middle and the team took off. Smith isn’t moving positions but Martin showing he can hold up against the pass should open up more opportunities for Smith to do what he does best and charge forward instead of dropping back.

One player can make a difference. And one player can cause a domino effect throughout the defense. If Smith can get going and Kirksey comes back to pair with Martin, the Packers defense can reach a new level in 2020.

Nothing is more important than division games. So far, Matt LaFleur is undefeated in the NFC North. If he wishes to reach the playoffs and be kings in the north for the second year in a row, finishing the sweep of the hated Vikings will go a long way.

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