After a poor performance in Week 1, the Green Bay Packers have bounced back and won their next two games including a thrilling, last-minute win over the 49ers in San Francisco last in Week 3.
While Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and Jaire Alexander are getting most of the headlines, there are several Packers players who are making significant contributions to the team’s success without getting a lot of attention from the media and most fans.
Here is a look at four players who have been making quiet but real contributions to the Packers success:
5. P Corey Bojorquez
The Packers traded for Bojorquez after the third preseason game and the former New Mexico star has done a very good job for the team thus far.
Bojorquez is averaging 48-yards per punt and has been getting good hang time on his kicks. Four of his punts were placed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and one landed inside the 10.
It’s not just the numbers but the timing of Bojorquez’s kicks that have helped the team. He has helped flip field position on several occasions whether it’s getting the Packers out of a jam deep in their own territory or pinning opponents back close to their own end zone.
Special teams have been a problem for the Packers for years but Bojorquez has helped improve this area a bit in 2021.
4. WR Allen Lazard and 3. TE Marcedes Lewis
Neither Lazard nor Lewis has contributed a lot as receivers but these two players have done a very good job of helping the team in other ways, particularly blocking.
Lazard is the Packers best blocking receiver. He excels blocking on run plays and he has even helped chip pass rushers by design on several occasions thus far this season. Lazard aided Yosh Nijman in pass protection against the 49ers on some key plays and that helped Nijman contain Nick Bosa.
Lazard has only three catches for 58 yards over the first three games, but he is contributing in other ways.
Lewis is also a strong blocker and although he has only one catch for 19 yards through three games, Lewis was a big reason the Packers were able to contain Nick Bosa last week. His blocking is very important to this team and has become even more critical after Dominique Dafney was placed on the IR with an injury.
Lewis is also one of the biggest leaders in the locker room. He is in his 16th season in the NFL and there’s little he hasn’t seen both on and off the field. Young players and veteran alike look to “Big Dog” for leadership.
As Aaron Rodgers said last season when asked about Lewis, “He’s a really interesting guy. He has a lot of wisdom and insight. He’s just definitely one of my favorite teammates that we’ve ever had around here. He’s a fantastic leader.”
“Big Dog” may not show up much in the box score, but he makes a difference for the team.
2. ILB De’Vondre Campbell
Campbell has given the Packers something they’ve needed for several years now: a steady and consistent presence at inside linebacker.
The Packers signed him as a free agent this offseason and Campbell gives the team an inside linebacker who can stay with running backs and tight ends in pass coverage. He is smart and experienced and always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
Thus far this season, opposing quarterbacks are averaging a mere 4.2-yards per completion when throwing to receivers covered by Campbell and their quarterback rating is only 49.7 according to pro-football-research.com.
Campbell struggled a bit in the season opener against the Saints (although the entire team did, also) but in the last two weeks, he’s done a good job in the middle of Joe Barry’s defense.
Against the Lions, Campbell had 13 total tackles, one pass broken up and an interception. The following week in San Francisco, Campbell was in on 12 total tackles and recovered a fumble.
Campbell has also called the signals for the Packers on defense, taking over that responsibility from Krys Barnes after the end of the preseason.
The University of Minnesota alum has played nearly every snap on defense and providing the Packers with steady, consistent play at ILB which the Packers have lacked for quite some time.
1. DL Kenny Clark
Clark is healthy this season and he has lifted his game. He has been disruptive against the run and already has more sacks this season (three) than he had all last year (two).
Through three games, Clark also has six pressures (according to pro-football-reference.com) after getting 12 all last season and two quarterback knockdowns (after getting four in 13 games in 2020). He also has five quarterback hits after recording six in 2020.
The Packers have moved Clark around a bit along the defensive line this season. In addition to lining up on the nose, he has lined up at three-technique at times and that has helped him get to the passer and make more plays.
On running plays, in addition to making tackles, he often occupies multiple blockers that allow his teammates to penetrate and get to the ball carrier.
Clark has lost weight, is healthy again and has been a dominant player in the middle of the Green Bay defense.
You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers