Packers: Four players whose future will be determined in final five games

Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith – Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Preston Smith

In Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bears, we saw the Preston Smith of last season.

Smith pressured Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky throughout the game, finishing with one sack, two quarterback hits, two tackles, and he even recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. This was the type of performance we saw regularly last season from Smith, and one we need to see more of down the stretch.

Prior to this game, Smith had struggled to make the same kind of impact as in 2019. He only had 1.5 sacks and five quarterback hits in the Packers’ opening 10 games of the season.

As a result, Sunday’s game was the first of the year that Smith didn’t actually start. Maybe that’s exactly what he needed as he responded with his best game of the season.

If Smith can rediscover last season’s form and build on this performance, he can show why he can still be an important starter in this defense moving forward. With Rashan Gary continuing the improve, there will be competition for a starting spot next to Za’Darius Smith.

For Smith, it’s important to build on his dominant performance against the Bears and become a difference-maker for this defense in the final five games.

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