Packers: 5 takeaways from the win over Washington
By Dillon Graff
The Green Bay Packers advanced to 6-1 on the season after a 24-10 victory over the Washington Football Team. It was another ugly win, which is perfectly acceptable given the team is missing seven preferred starters.
Regardless of how many yards were allowed (430), it was an impressive effort from the Packers defense who held Washington to just 10 points on Sunday. They made several key stops and kept Washington from ever making this game closer than it needed to be. The offense did little in the way of the run on Sunday, but instead got a little bit of everyone involved in the passing game.
So, without further ado, here are my five main takeaways from the week seven win over Washington.
Aaron Rodgers spreads the wealth
It wasn’t one of Aaron Rodgers’ most impressive stat lines (27 of 35 for 274 yards and 3 TDs), however, stats don’t always tell the entire story. Rodgers was fantastic against Washington for a multitude of reasons. He was patient when he had the chance to be, but showed a pertinence for taking what the defense gave him. He made several pinpoint throws on Sunday and even made some plays with his feet when he was under pressure.
There appeared to be more of an effort from 12 to spread the ball around against Washington. On Sunday, nine different players saw targets, six of which had three or more catches. It was really nice to see some different faces make an impact on offense.
Interior offensive line struggled
While the offensive line has performed admirably given the absence of some of the team’s best linemen, there has been a clear drop-off from a season ago.
All three interior linemen (Jon Runyan, Lucas Patrick, and Royce Newman) struggled against Washington’s dominant defensive tackles. All three players play with great effort and energy, but definitely get overpowered against higher end talent.
The return of players like David Bakhtiari and Josh Myers will be critical for the Packers offense because it’ll allow Elgton Jenkins to move back to left guard and solidify the offensive line come playoff time. So just know that reinforcements are in fact on the way and in the meantime there will be some lumps taken by the reserves.
Rashan Gary is about to completely break out
It’s beginning to look like the time invested into former 12th overall pick was well worth the wait. Rashan Gary registered 10 pressures, four quarterback hits, and two sacks on Sunday. In short, he was fantastic and disruptive all day long.
That makes 17 pressures over the last two weeks alone. Rashan Gary is growing up before our eyes and is going to be a disruptive EDGE rusher for years to come.
Sullivan and Stokes stepped up
Yes, Eric Stokes did give up a 40-yard touchdown to Terry McLaurin on a poorly played ball, but he didn’t let that play define his game. Stokes would allow only one more reception for six yards for the rest of the game. Obviously the Packers wanted to ease him onto the field in his rookie season, but due to injuries that just hasn’t been possible. Stokes has performed admirably filling in as the team’s number one cornerback.
Chandon Sullivan turned in an impressive outing in his own right. Sullivan intercepted a pass in the end zone that essentially clinched the game. However, his play up to that point was what I was most impressed with. Sullivan held slot receiver Adam Humphries to just three catches on the afternoon.
The Packers are going to need members of the secondary to continue stepping up like this until they’re back to full strength.
Whitney Mercilus is going to help this team
The veteran outside linebacker made an impact despite signing with the team just four days before the game. He drew double teams and applied pressure to Taylor Heinicke several times despite not playing a ton.
Athletically, Mercilus’s best days are behind him, but he showed the ability to win match-ups with savvy hand placement and different pass-rush techniques.
This is the kind of signing that is going to pay dividends when the team gets back to or near full health. Players like Mercilus can make an impact and keep other pass rushers fresh by player few snaps.