3 players Packers must shut down vs. Washington in Week 7
Just like any other week, the Green Bay Packers are set to play a football team in Week 7. But the team that the Packers have to face is actually called the “Washington Football Team”. Ironic, right?
The Packers will be back at Lambeau Field for the outing, marking the first time the team has been home since the October 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite winning five games in a row, the team still hasn’t hit its full potential given that multiple areas of the team have been hit hard with injury issues.
The Packers are 21-16-1 against Washington all-time, with the most recent game happening on December 8, 2019 – a game that the Packers won 20-15.
Despite their 2-4 record, Washington always tries to keep itself in games with a ferocious pass rush and a great group of running backs. In order to score a win, the Packers will have to play the same “winning football” that we have all year.
Here are three Washington players that the Packers need to shut down in Week 7.
1. WR Terry McLaurin
Terry McLaurin is undoubtedly one of the few reasons that Washington isn’t a winless football team right now. Looking at the state of games that the team has played this season, the team is 2-0 when McLaurin has at least 100 receiving yards.
“Scary Terry” is a well documented leader for Washington and can be a game-shifter at any given moment or time, which is why he has to be a focus of the Packers’ defensive game plan. McLaurin is the ninth-most targeted receiver in the NFL this year, meaning the Packers could struggle at times given he’s a consistent part of Washington’s offense.
Boasting an impressive statline of 33 catches for 428 yards and three TDs (and ZERO drops), the Packers have to shut down McLaurin in Week 7.
2. DE Montez Sweat
Even if you set sack numbers aside, Montez Sweat has been a better pass rusher than former first-round pick Chase Young this year. Sweat is providing more pressures, getting penalized less, but most importantly recording more sacks. Throughout six games, Sweat has produced 3.0 sacks and one forced fumble along with 14 pressures.
Although Sweat isn’t even close to being the biggest pass-rush threat that the Packers will face this season, he’s still a very viable player and somebody that can disrupt the offensive rhythm of the Packers.
It’s important to note that Washington has a plethora of people that can get after the quarterback, but Sweat has been the team’s most effective defensive end thus far in the 2021 campaign.
3. DL Jonathan Allen
Speaking of people that can get after the quarterback…
Jonathan Allen has arguably been Washington’s best player this season. After all, he has a Pro Football Focus grade of 90.5. While those grades aren’t the end-all be-all of judging a player, Allen’s stats back it up: 14 pressures, zero missed tackles, four QB hurries and seven QB knockdowns to go along with 3.0 sacks. These numbers are especially impressive given that Allen primarily plays the defensive tackle position.
The trio of Allen, Sweat and Young might easily be the most intimating set of pass-rushers on paper, but Allen and Sweat are the two to worry the most about as far as this season goes.