Destruction In The Capital: Why Green Bay Packers lost to Washington
By Kenn Korb
With the normally-stingy run defense giving up some huge gains and the pass rush nonexistent, it shouldn’t really surprise us that the weakest part of the defense — the secondary — would have some struggles.
Even if you bring the injury factor into the conversation too however, this was a particularly terrible showing from the much-maligned pass defense.
I already mentioned Cousins’ stat-line earlier, but take a look at the seemingly endless list of large passing gains made by Washington in this game:
- Pierre Garcon 17 yards
- Maurice Harris 14 yards
- DeSean Jackson 17 yards [TD]
- Jordan Reed 26 yards
- Reed 18 yards
- Reed 28 yards
- Jackson 17 yards
- Jamison Crowder 44 yards [TD]
- Garcon 70 yards [TD]
- Jackson 11 yards
- Crowder 53 yards
That’s double-digit big plays through the air. Ten of those went for first downs. Six of those happened on third down plays, all for first downs. Five went for 20+ yards, with three of those for 40+ yards. Three of those directly became touchdowns, with a fourth coming just one yard short of another.
It doesn’t matter who was out there or not, there was no excuse for any of this. Communication was lacking, to say the least. Coverages were blown in the same startlingly routine manner we’ve seen all season. Guys were getting burned seemingly every pass play– even by Washington players who are notably not burners.
This isn’t likely to get any better as we go forward, either. Washington does have a relative gold mine of receiving talents, but we’ve seen this team fail to slow the opposition in every week this year.
Blake Bortles looked like a quality NFL quarterback against them. Stefon Diggs looked like peak-Julio Jones. They let Matthew Stafford almost come back from a 21-point deficit at halftime. They got lucky on multiple misses by Eli Manning. Dak Prescott threw 3 TDs on them, including one on a 98 yard drive before the half.
Seemingly all non-Julio receivers made major statistical impacts behind a huge Matt Ryan performance through the air. Donte Moncrief and Jack Doyle ate them up in key moments for Andrew Luck. Tennessee had not only Delanie Walker go off but the Tajae Sharpe/Rishard Matthews/Kendall Wright trio go for 3 TDs. Really, only the Bears didn’t do something through the air on this failure of a unit, and Chicago ended up with their third-string QB playing most of that night.
There are many disappointments to be had with this team, but the way the secondary has been constructed (seriously, how much would having Casey Hayward have helped this atrocious group?) and performed should stand highest on that list.
Next: Five takeaways from Packers' loss at Washington
Even with the lowly passing attacks of Philadelphia (routinely called one of the worst-assembled receiving groups in the entire league) and Houston (far better receiving talent, but infinitely worse quarterback) coming up the next couple weeks, it shouldn’t shock any of us if they also blow away this catastrophically bad secondary.