Rashan Gary, the defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, is on a mission to re-establish himself as one of the best players in football. It’s been an impressive journey so far with two Super Bowls appearances under his belt. Still yet he remains underrated by most analysts and general fans alike who seem fixated on Aaron Donald being around forever due to some bad signings at other positions combined with some good coaching decisions. With all that said, expect Rashan Gary to be among NFL Defensive Player of The Year candidates this season
Rashan Gary is a defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears. He has been a force in the NFL since his first season and has been getting better every year. In 2018, he was named to the Pro Bowl.
In a season when the Green Bay Packers have been decimated by injuries, there is finally some good news.
The Packers will need all the support they can get heading into what is shaping up to be as near to a must-win game as you can get against the Los Angeles Rams.
With an 8-3 record, the Packers are in contention for the NFC’s top spot. The Rams, who are 7-3 and have just returned from a bye, pose a serious danger to that aim.
Rashan Gary will play against the Los Angeles Rams for the Green Bay Packers.
November 28, 2021 — Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero)
After constantly suffering some type of severe ailment week in and week out, the Packers have finally received some good news on the injury front.
Rashan Gary, who has the potential to be Green Bay’s most valuable pass rusher in 2021, is slated to face the Rams. Gary was unable to play against the Minnesota Vikings last week due to an elbow injury sustained against the Seattle Seahawks.
While the injury seemed to be serious at first, the Packers appeared to be confident that it wasn’t serious, and that Gary could even be able to play against the Seahawks with a brace. That never happened, and Gary was effectively given another week off. According to Zach Kruse, he was a full participant in practice on Friday for Green Bay and will play with a brace against the Rams.
The Packers have scored a big victory by regaining Gary.
The Green Bay Packers’ Rashan Gary #52 is presented before the game against the Washington Redskins | John Fisher/Getty Images
With Za’Darius Smith out with a back injury for all but one game, Gary has stepped up in his third season and has finally put it all together.
Gary was selected with the 12th overall choice in the 2019 draft by the Packers, who knew he was a project guy coming out of Michigan. He was mostly tasked with taking on double teams and devouring space as a defensive end for the Wolverines. Green Bay envisioned him as a pass-rushing outside linebacker due to his athletic potential. While he showed glimpses of such potential in his first two seasons, that vision has come to fruition in 2021.
Gary has 5.5 sacks to his credit so far this season, and he’s also had 31 total tackles against the run. However, his most notable influence has been on pressing the quarterback rather than bringing the quarterback down. In pass-rushing scenarios, he virtually always gets pressure on the quarterback. To that point in the season, he has 19 quarterback hits, which ranks him 10th among all eligible pass-rushers in the NFL.
With Za’Darius Smith missing, every quarterback pressure from Gary has been vital. Smith had 26 sacks in the previous two seasons for Green Bay, so any quarterback pressure from Gary has been valuable.
Green Bay’s defense versus the Rams will rely heavily on defensive pressure.
This season, Green Bay features one of the top turnover defenses in the NFL, thanks in large part to the defensive front. Gary has played a key role in pushing opposition quarterbacks to fire rushed passes, but a few other players have also distinguished up.
Defensive lineman Kenny Clark is playing like a Pro Bowler (eight quarterback hits, six tackles for loss, three sacks), defensive end Preston Smith has found shades of his exceptional self with five sacks, and defensive end Dean Lowry has chipped in with three sacks on the season.
The formula is straightforward. The Packers get turnovers when they have pressure up front. When they don’t, well, take a look at the Vikings’ defeat to see how it goes. The Packers didn’t force any official turnovers (two interceptions were overturned) and only had two sacks with Gary out. Minnesota’s offense looked like a juggernaut, spearheaded by talented players like Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook, as they lost the game 34-31.
The Rams have their own offensive studs. Cooper Kupp is the top receiver in the NFL right now, and Matthew Stafford, who is no longer with the Lions, has returned to his former glory. Stafford, on the other hand, is banged up coming into this game, making Gary’s presence in the roster all the more important.
According to insiders, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has been suffering from soreness in his throwing arm, elbow, a bad ankle, and persistent back pain. He’ll be on the field today.
November 28, 2021 — Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN)
Gary has the ability to swing this game in Green Bay’s favor on his alone.
Stafford is a tough guy, but he’s not immune to throwing interceptions, particularly under duress. The Packers must attack him early and frequently, applying pressure to cause mistakes and keep him and the Rams’ offense off course.
That would have been difficult without Gary, but with him, it’s a certain way to win big.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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