Green hasn’t yet solved that riddle, but hopes to put the clues together in a home divisional contest. The Vikings are coming in with all the momentum, but Green Bay needs to plant their flag and play with some pride.
They’ve lost three straight. It’s been a month since they’ve won a game. Injuries are piling up on both sides of the ball. They have a young, inexperienced team. All of the excuses are there, but it’s time to find ways to win games instead of ways to lose them. If they’re going to turn their season around, these three players will be x-factors against Minnesota.
Keep a close eye on these three players on the Green Bay Packers who will be the x-factors in their Week 8 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
Packers X-Factors: Preston Smith
The Packers have struggled to get after the quarterback in their last two games, giving them way too much time to sit comfortably in the pocket and pick apart the secondary. With the Packers losing Darnell Savage and Eric Stokes to the injured reserve and the status of Jaire Alexander up in the air, their pass rush needs to step up.
We know Rashan Gary is going to be a force on the edge. Preston Smith needs to join him and drink from the fountain of youth. He had one quarterback hurry and a sack against Denver, but the Packers need more from him. If he’s going to play 40-plus snaps, it’s time he makes his visits into the backfield more frequent.
Packers X-Factors: Rasul Douglas
The Packers’ defense has been solid this season, but they’re still not creating big plays that can turn the game in their favor. They have produced the second-fewest takeaways this season. That’s the difference between a solid defense and an elite one. They don’t have many players who can turn the tide, but Rasul Douglas is one of them.
Douglas is coming off one of his worst games, but has otherwise been very good through the first six games. He’s a playmaker in the secondary who loves to jump routes and take chances. That’s been helpful in the past, and Green Bay needs him to force a turnover or two against the Vikings. Douglas always seems to be around the ball. Now, they need him to get there a step quicker and produce some takeaways.
Packers X-Factors: Christian Watson
The Packers lack playmakers on offense, putting an unfair burden on Jordan Love. Christian Watson is someone they were counting on heading into the year. He hasn’t lived up to his end of the bargain, producing only one big play on a busted coverage against the Raiders. It’s time he finishes some of these deep shots to him, create yards after the catch, and help out his offense like he’s capable of.