Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
An offensive line is only as good as its weakest link, and right now that weak link appears to be Evan Dietrich-Smith. With the Packers needing to send extra help to contain Jared Allen, can EDS hold up against the still talented Kevin Williams?
This key matchup may be the starting point for every key matchup series going forward….and the fundamental question is always the same "Is Evan Dietrich-Smith good enough to handle [enter player here] this week?" This past week he did not do well against Chris Canty, allowing a sack, a QB Hit, and simply not being able to control the middle of the pocket. It wasn't as bad as what happened against Nick Fairley, but that’s not saying much. This week EDS gets another tough test with Kevin Williams.
Williams is all that remains of the "Williams Wall." A former first round pick for the Vikings he has long been one of the most dominate interior pass rushers in the league. Thankfully, his effectiveness has dropped off the last couple years due to age and the disappearance of Pat Williams…but don’t mistake this to mean that Williams is still not a threat to Aaron Rodgers. Williams remains one of the better interior linemen in the league and is capable of pushing the pocket and getting a rush from up the middle, albeit on a bit more inconsistent basis than what he once was able to do way back when.
The good news for Packer fans is that he may not even face off against EDS at all, but rather line up across from Josh Sitton. If this is the case then the problem is basically solved, most Packer fans will happily take the match up of Sitton vs. Williams and then let help flow to other parts of the line that need it (here probably Marshall Newhouse’s match up with Jared Allen), however it would be foolish of the Vikings not to try and test EDS with the talented and experienced Williams. If that happens then the Packers’ offense may be in trouble again because there’s only so much extra help that can go around.