Packers improving pass rush eager to stack success

GB has had more QB hits and sacks each successive week
Green Bay Packers' Preston Smith during an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in...
Green Bay Packers' Preston Smith during an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)(Tony Avelar | AP)
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Packers pass rush was absent for the opener, registering just 1 QB hit and no sacks. That was a big reason behind Green Bay’s 38-3 blowout loss to the Saints. But since? The pass rush has been ascending with its production, with more hits and sacks each successive week. Two of the team’s 11 QB hits last week led directly to turnovers. And the team’s 4 sacks? Helped end other drives too.

“It’s great to see it,” said quarterback Aaron Rodgers. “I think we can help with that. We took the ball and went down and scored. And eventually got up 2 scores and then 3 scores, which over the years has helped our pass rush because they become one dimensional. I am really proud of Preston (Smith). Preston has come in after taking a pay cut and been a great teammate, a great leader. Rashan (Gary), you have seen the growth every single year. You could see he was going to keep being an ascending player. But I am really proud of Preston. The way that he has played and battled and led.”

“Preston has had a lot of great moments and I think he is playing more consistent,” said coach Matt LaFleur. “I think the energy and effort is there. he is doing a good job of being a great leader on our defense and he just has to keep going.”

“The situation is just a business,” Smith said. “And you have to understand business and never put your feelings into it and handle it the right way. Because, I mean, who knows, if I have a great season, what if I see a bigger pay day from this pay cut? My mindset is to come in here and be the best teammate i can be and try to produce great results.”

On the other side this week, the Steelers come to town with QB Ben Roethlisberger nursing a pectoral injury. He has already been hit 22 times and sacked 8 times, on pace to endure more sacks than he has in any season since 2009.

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