The Green Bay Packers (3-1) are winning games, despite inefficiencies on the offensive line, thanks in part to young production from the wide receiver corps.
How are they continuing to play at a high level? Surprisingly, it’s the defense. Despite having maybe the best QB in the game in Aaron Rodgers, the defense is this team’s best overall unit.
Highlighted by players like Jaire Alexander or Eric Stokes, the defense is only allowing 17.2 points per game (7th) and 294.8 yards per game (5th).
However, the first line of defense is the front seven. In the case of Preston Smith and Rashan Gary, they’re playing at an elite level.
According to Seth Walder of ESPN, the pass rush duo are both first and second in the NFL in pass rush win rate from week 4.
The efficiency at which Rashan Gary rushes the passer is truly something to behold. pic.twitter.com/ihWtbuwtPZ— Brandon Carwile (@PackerScribe) October 4, 2022
Ranking ahead of players like Micah Parsons, Matt Judon or Hasaan Reddick.
As a team, the Packers have a total pass rush win rate of 46%, which is ninth in the NFL. This is likely to increase as two of the next three games feature two of the worst offensive line units in the NFL in in terms of allowing pressure: the NY Giants and Washington Commanders.
Downside to NE running left so often was GB saw it coming on NE's last rush in OT. Tbf, you only have so many runs to call in one game plan.— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) October 4, 2022
Right side of the DL slants inside to throw off blocking assignments, which gets Preston Smith into the backfield and forces the cutback pic.twitter.com/mD7GlA3DC6
The success of this Green Bay Packers pass rush seems very special. These two players, along with players like Jarran Reed and Kenny Clark, are making this front seven one of the game’s best.
While the isolated performances of Smith and Gary are important, they highlight just how effective they are, and can maintain through the season.
Don’t be surprised for these numbers to continue to climb as the post-season approaches. Smith, Gary and the entire front seven.
Mandatory credit: Mike De Sisti of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel part of the USA TODAY NETWORK