3. Packers pass rush
Stat line: 3 sacks
Sometimes it’s not what you produce but when you produce. With the game hanging in the balance and Jacksonville with good field position after a poor punt, the Packers pass rush made a stand and secured a win.
Ran through for most of the game, Mike Pettine knew the Jags now had to pass and sent his four best after rookie quarterback Jake Luton, and brought the game home with back-to-back sacks to end the threat.
For most of the game, the rookie sat back in the pocket comfortably without much pressure applied from the Packers defense.
He did throw an interception but that had more to do with his receiver slipping than anything the Packers did. But, with the game on the line, Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Rashan Gary picked up their play, each recording a sack on Sunday.
The defense being able to make a stand at the end of the game regardless of who it was against, is encouraging. To this point there was nothing to give coaches confidence they could. With the game on the line, players made plays.
Something is still seriously lacking form the defense. Fans not being in the stands takes away some of the advantage they have at home. It has also taken away from the energy the players seem to feed off of.
They are still pros being paid to make plays when they need to and will have to make more than they have been making as the season goes on.
The Packers won ugly. But a win is a win and that’s all that matters. The schedule from here on out is going to get tougher and the challenges greater.
For right now though, the Packers can rest after coming away with a hard-fought win, then start preparation for the number one defense and the challenges that will bring.