The Packers are off to an 8-2 start and many of their success can be attributed to their star players. Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers, and Aaron Jones highlight the star power on this team and have led the Packers to many victories this season. However, there are many key role players that may not get the attention they deserve. Let’s talk about a few Packers unsung heroes that have been instrumental in the success of Green Bay so far.
Newcomer veteran De’Vondre Campbell has received all the hype for his elite play so far this year. Rightfully so, he has been an absolute steal for the price the Packers got him at in August. However, he has Krys Barnes playing right next to him at a high level, too, at that other inside linebacker spot. Barnes had his best game of the season two weeks ago in Kansas City. He was all over the field making big hits, most notably laying a big hit on running back Darrel Williams on 3rd and goal at the one yard line. The Chiefs then settled for a field goal, and you can attribute that possible four-point swing to Krys Barnes. Barnes snap count is starting to increase week-by-week, and he ranks third on the team in total tackles with 41. Overall, Barnes has been great value for being an undrafted rookie in 2020, and can provide a lot of value for this elite Packers defense.
Billy Turner has been very solid holding down the right side this season. The 30-year-old veteran has brought experience, consistency, and versatility to the Packers ever since he joined them in the 2019 offseason. He has played games at right guard, and has slid over to left tackle as well. Back in October of this year, Aaron Rodgers started to make his case for Turner to make the Pro Bowl. Aaron noted on the Pat McAfee show that Turner is a “master of his craft” and is the hardest working player on the team. The Offensive Line has been a bit of a jumbled mess this season, with David Bakhtiari still yet to make his season debut. Starting rookie center Josh Myers has also been out since the Cincinnati game with an injury. This makes having a reliable veteran such as Billy Turner that much more valuable. I know the Packers have been grateful for his presence at a very important position in the NFL.
The Packers nabbed TJ Slaton in the 5th round of the 2021 draft and he has been a nice addition to this defensive line. He is slowly starting to make his presence felt and seeing his snap count increase. He had a pressure on Russell Wilson Sunday forcing him to make a rushed throw that fell incomplete. Slaton played more snaps than Tyler Lancaster, who is probably his closest player comparison on the team. The Packers essentially have a younger, cheaper and better version of Lancaster with Slaton. He has one sack on the year and him playing next to Kenny Clark is a solid duo at the defensive tackle positions. Expect Slaton to play a key role on this defensive line as the season progresses down the stretch.
I saw this on Twitter today. A big reason why Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage might go unnoticed at times is because of the TV angles. The wide angle of the field that is shown on most broadcasts does not include the safeties. The Packers play a lot of two-high safety looks and Amos’ and Savage’s down-to-down production needs to be appreciated more. Adrian Amos picked up his second interception of the year on Sunday against Seattle and could have had two more. The speed of Darnell Savage shows up consistently as he is all over the field making plays. He had a very important pass break up on Sunday. They both are solid in the run game too, with Amos ranking 2nd on the team in tackles with Savage at 4th. There are not many duos in the league better than the one Green Bay has, and expect these guys to make huge plays down the stretch for the Packers.