Packers: Five standout performances from Week 12 win vs. Bears

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

2. Preston Smith

Stat line: 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD

Preston Smith has taken his fair share of criticism over the course of this season. Until recently, Smith has been missing in action and people were starting to clamor for more playing time for second-year player Rashan Gary in place of Smith.

Mike Pettine found a happy medium and used both together. With Chicago in catchup mode for most of the game, the Packers pass rush was able to focus on defending the pass and teed off against the Bears.

Smith was a big reason why the Packers were able to get that lead.

Late in the second quarter, Chicago had ambitions of getting a score before the half. Backed up deep on their own side of the field. Za’Darius Smith beat his man, stripped Trubisky of the ball and Preston Smith was there to scoop it up and take it for a 14-yard return touchdown.

Then in the third quarter, Smith abused Bears left tackle Charles Leno for a drive-killing sack. Smith has been coming on strong the past few weeks and is starting to look more like the player he was last year.

With the Smiths, Gary, and Kenny Clark, opposing offenses have a lot to be concerned with. Add in the Packers’ young, talented secondary and the team has the makings of what could be a dangerous defense.

The run defense is still cause for concern. David Montgomery had over 100 yards in the game including a 57-yard run on the Bears first drive. But if the Packers offense continues to put up points and keeps getting early leads, the team can play to their strength and get after the quarterback.