Packers: 3 bold predictions for season opener vs. Vikings

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Za’Darius Smith (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Za’Darius Smith (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

Za’Darius Smith doesn’t have a sack

Za’Darius Smith will have a point to prove on Sunday. He would love nothing more than to show the Packers the mistake they made by moving on from him this offseason.

Packers fans know that when Smith has a point to prove, it’s often bad news for opposing offensive lines.

However, the former Pro Bowler won’t make a big impact in this game.

The Packers know how good Smith is at rushing the passer and his ability to line up outside and inside. However, they will also know one area Smith has struggled is against the run.

Matt LaFleur could decide to run in Smith’s direction and limit the number of one-on-one opportunities he has to rush the passer.

There is also a possibility that both David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins could be available for this game. Bakhtiari is a five-time All-Pro and one of the league’s top left tackles, while Jenkins is a Pro Bowler capable of playing all five spots. He’ll have no trouble adjusting to right tackle.

Also, Smith is coming off a significant injury that cost him almost the entire 2021 season. Will he be back to his best in the season opener?

Smith is an excellent pass rusher. The Packers know that. They know his strengths, but they’ll also have a plan to stop him taking over the game.

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