Four days after being snubbed as a Pro Bowl starter, Harrison Smith had a statement game. The Minnesota Vikings safety had his first multiple-interception game of his career to help his team beat the Green Bay Packers 16-0 at Lambeau Field on Saturday night. Did Smith play the game with a chip on his shoulder after the Pro Bowl brush off? “No more than I always have,” said Smith, who is a Pro Bowl first alternate. “I play with everything I’ve got every game.” So, yes, there’s a chip on his shoulder. “That’s how I play,” Smith said. “That’s how I’ve played since I was a little kid.” All of Smith’s teammates have his back. But they know Smith could care less about making the Pro Bowl. He’s a team player who worries about victories above everything else. “He’s going to go out there and do his job no matter what,” Hunter said. “He doesn’t focus on any of that. Just like anyone on the defense, we’re going to go out there and focus on our jobs.” Smith finished the game with team-high six solo tackles and two assists, along with a tackle for a loss, two passes defensed and the two interceptions. Seem like stats worthy of a Pro Bowl nod. “He should be a Pro Bowler this year,” Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said. “He should be All-Pro. He’s the best safety in the league, no doubt about it. He means a lot to this defense. He’s smart, he guides the guys in the back end — does a lot of things for us as far as blitzes, disguises and things like that.” Smith, who is in his sixth season, was a Pro Bowler in 2015 and ’16. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s the No. 1-rated safety.
Harrison Smith turns in a statement performance, after Pro Bowl snub
Twin Cities | Dec 24