The Green Bay Packers have been a force along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football, despite significant injuries on both ends. That has been integral to their success, and will continue to be.
The Green Bay Packers defense is without its best playmakers in Z and Jaire Alexander, and the offense has been without its 2 best lineman while not being as explosive as last season. Yet, this team has continued to get it done as of late. It might not have been in very impressive fashion, but they’re wins nonetheless. Huge parts to that have, obviously, been the offensive and defensive fronts. All without multiple star players.
Success along the offensive line
The Green Bay Packers O-Line has been a force with a lineup pretty much everyone would not have expected. Two rookies have been playing side-by-side for most of the season, and there’s been no Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins has missed a large chunk of time.
That hasn’t stopped their success one bit. ESPN ranks Josh Myers as the 8th best C in pass block win rate with 96%, tied with JC Tretter. Billy Turner ranks 4th in that same category for tackles, with an 82% win rate. Myers also ranks 8th best in run blocking win rate.
Hard to say enough about what Billy Turner has meant to this #Packers offensive line. An absolute anchor. 5 games, 321/321 snaps. Just 2 sacks and 1 QB hit allowed on 195 pass plays.
— Ross Uglem (@RossUglem) October 11, 2021
It appears the Green Bay Packers have struck gold in Josh Myers. He has been a gigantic difference maker who has stepped up when they’ve needed him too. Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 14 times this season while facing defensive fronts like Pittsburgh, Chicago and San Francisco. Hats off to coach Adam Stenavich and the crew he rolls out week in and week out. It hasn’t mattered a lot that Bakhtiari and Jenkins have missed time, they’ve shown up and protected Rodgers and allowed Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon to have success on the ground.
Even as Myers went down Sunday vs. the Bears, Lucas Patrick came in and helped fill in. Chicago could only pressure Rodgers 6 times, though 3 did go for sacks. With questions around Meyers’ status, Patrick is going to have to continue similar play in the middle of the line.
— MJ Hurley (@Mjhurleysports) October 18, 2021
Defensive front continues to cause problems
The Chicago Bears offensive line has been significantly less than stellar, and the Green Bay Packers used that to their advantage in their matchup. Rashan Gary may not have gotten the sacks, but boy was he raising hell against the tackles. On the season he’s generated 23 total pressures and 8 QB hits. I don’t care that he isn’t quite getting those sacks yet, he’s making quarterbacks and offensive lines uncomfortable.
Rashan Gary's pressure numbers through 6 weeks.
Total Pressures: 23 – 9th
QB Hits: 8 – 2nd
He is going to go on a three-week tear where he has 9 sacks or something stupid.
— Jake Morley (@JacobMorley) October 18, 2021
That has been key for the defense. Kenny is out playing with his head on fire, Kenny Clark is just eating people and Preston Smith has been especially valuable against the run. Not to mention, Jonathan Garvin has been impressing with Z and now Preston injured.
While Preston Smith’s injury does not appear to be long-term as of now, Matt LaFleur said they are going to be cautious with him moving forward to minimize the risk of making it a bigger issue.
CB Kevin King's shoulder injury is not likely to land him on IR.
OLB Preston Smith (oblique) sounds like he's in the same category.
C Josh Myers likely will miss a few games, MLF said his fill-in Lucas Patrick graded out as the highest of the O-linemen.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) October 18, 2021
As a team, the Green Bay Packers defense has totaled 14 sacks. All without 1 of the 2 Smith Bros. Not to mention, players like Rashan Gary could very well have 4 more tacked onto that total.
The players up front have been arguably the biggest reason for the Green Bay Packers’ success up to this point. Rodgers is having time to throw, running lanes are there for Jones and Dillon, the defense is getting to the quarterback, and are also tackling well.
This organization understands it takes these position groups to win you games most of the time. They have bent and haven’t broke, even with facing a lot of early adversity in not having some of their best players available.
It has not mattered much up to this point that the offense has not been as explosive, and the defense isn’t a huge liability without Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith. The Green Bay Packers continue to get it done despite the huge blows suffered from injuries.
Important games lie ahead for them, though. Washington in town this week, on the road on a short week against Arizona on Thursday night, then Kansas City the immediate week after. These games could tell us a lot about where the team really is. So far this season, the teams Green Bay has played have a 15-19 record. Both fronts will need to keep making things difficult in order for Green Bay to come out on top.