Packers: Za’Darius Smith is quietly having another great season

Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Star Packers pass rusher Za’Darius Smith is having another great year.

Za’Darius Smith is once again proving why he is one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL. Smith has already gotten 10.5 sacks this season but why does it seem like no one is talking about it? At this same point in the 2019 season, he had half-a-sack less but he was the talk of Green Bay.

Part of it might be that we now have realistic expectations for Za’Darius, now in his second year in Green Bay. Part of it may also be that the defense hasn’t been as good as it was last season and some of his sacks may seem like empty calories.

While the defense has been horrible at times, there are other players such as Rashan Gary and Jaire Alexander who seem to have taken that next step in their play.

I think a combination of all of these things can be considered when wondering why Smith hasn’t been talked about more. Whichever way you want to look at it doesn’t matter because he has been great this season. Za’Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander have easily been the best and most consistent players for this Green Bay Packers defense all season.

So far in 2020, there has only been two games where Za’Darius hasn’t registered a QB hit. This is comparable to last year when speaking of the number of games, at this point last season he only had one game where he didn’t hit the QB. What you can look at as the biggest difference from last year is his overall pressure.

Through 12 games last year Smith had five more QB hits than he has this season. Some of his success in 2019 can also be attributed to his Smith bro counterpart. Preston Smith had a great 2019 but that has not been the case in 2020.

While he has played a little better as of late, Preston had a very rough start to this season. His poor start can be attributed to getting a little more attention, based on last season’s success. Unfortunately, Preston’s sub-par performance this season may find him as a cap casualty heading into 2021.

Za’Darius has been an absolutely great signing for the Packers. He very quickly became the leader of the defense and has been backing it up with his play on the field. He should be well on his way to another Pro Bowl appearance, as he’s in the top-five in sacks. He’s having another phenomenal season and is deserving of much more praise than he has been getting in 2020.