It would be easy to assume this upcoming Cincinnati Bengals game is a win for the Green Bay Packers, but the Bengals can beat teams that do not take them seriously. Not only that, but this matchup is the start of the most important slate of games in De’Vondre Campbell’s career so far.
Campbell has been the biggest surprise of the Packers’ defense this season. When Green Bay picked him up, many viewed him as a practice squad player or someone brought in to provide competition. Instead, Campbell has been fantastic. However, he needs to prove himself in this next stretch of games.
Not to downplay his accomplishments, but Campbell’s first four games in Green Bay came against Jameis Winston, Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo, and a washed-up Ben Roethlisberger. The first three on this list aren’t necessarily bad, but all three upcoming teams have a quarterback who could challenge Campbell.
First, we have the Bengals. Joe Burrow has been electric this year and has quietly put up nearly identical stats to Justin Herbert. Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has been one of the NFL’s best rookies so far after one of the worst preseasons and training camps we’ve seen from a first-round pick in awhile. The Bengals will be without Joe Mixon, which likely means more passes coming in Campbell’s direction. It will be a test to see if he can defend against a heavy pass game.
Next up on the schedule, the Packers take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Then it’s the Washington Football Team.
Justin Fields has taken over as the starter in Chicago, but he’s still an unproven rookie. And the NFL is still trying to figure out if Taylor Heinicke is a one-game wonder. But both have a trait that sets them apart from every other quarterback the Packers have faced so far — they can run.
Fields only has 17 attempts for 55 yards and a touchdown, but he’s gonna be looking to make plays with legs. Green Bay’s suffocating defensive line will chase him and Heineke out of the pocket. But Heineke is quick, and everyone learned that he can score without throwing the ball in last year’s playoffs.
We haven’t seen how Campbell will play against a mobile quarterback yet this season. Sure, the 49ers deployed Trey Lance, but it wasn’t a big enough sample size to determine anything. Campbell will need to keep Fields and Heinike from running all over the Packers’ defense.
these two games will show how Campbell will fare in the modern game against mobile quarterbacks. It will be critical for him to adapt. Signing seasoned veteran Jaylon Smith will help, but these next few games will be a test to see if Campbell is really this good.
With injuries stacking up in the secondary, Campbell’s role will only get bigger. His ability to be in a position to prevent scrambling and keep the quarterback in the pocket is critical for Green Bay. These next few weeks will be essential in his development and show if he can continue to be a crucial part of the defense.