Team: Green Bay Packers
2017 Record: 7-9 (3rd, NFC North)
2018 Record: 1-0-1 (t-1st, NFC North)
Outlook: Mike McCarthy’s Packers were 4-1 when Aaron Rodgers got knocked out early against the Minnesota Vikings on October 15. Predictably, Green Bay wasn’t the same after Rodgers’ injury, winding up 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
After an injury scare against the Bears in Week One, Rodgers is back, but his longtime favorite target Jordy Nelson (Raiders) isn’t. The Packers still have Randall Cobb and Davante Adams, and Geronimo Allison has emerged as a reliable option so far. In addition, Green Bay signed free agent tight end Jimmy Graham. The running back situation is less certain, with Jamaal Williams as the nominal starter for now, but Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones (who will return from suspension this week) likely to get a lot of touches. Jones may wind up supplanting Williams as the primary ballcarrier, but will probably be limited against the Redskins.
Even without Rodgers for most of the year in 2017, the Packers’ offense finished ranked higher than Green Bay’s defense, which was just 26th in points allowed. That performance led to the dismissal of longtime defensive coordinator Dom Capers in favor of Mike Pettine, part of a house-cleaning that saw several of the Packers’ top assistants part ways with the team. Former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin takes over as offensive coordinator following the first year when a McCarthy-coached Packers team didn’t have a top-ten NFL offense.
How Worried Should We Be?: Very worried. Aaron Rodgers is enough to make anyone sweat. More than that, a lot of the Packers’ unraveling in ‘17 owed to the instant deterioration of the offense once Rodgers went down. This was probably a 10-6 or 11-5 team had Rodgers not been knocked out. Like the other two teams the Redskins faced early, there was a lot of turnover on the coaching staff—but, unlike those teams, there was no change at the top. After last week’s disappointing performance against the Colts in front of an alarmingly empty FedEx Field crowd, it’s also entirely unclear just how much of a home-field advantage the Redskins have—if they have one at all. A loss here (with another light crowd) would send Washington into a bye-week free-fall. There’s a lot of pressure on the Redskins this week against a solid Green Bay team.
How worried should the Redskins be about the Packers?
This poll is closed
Not too worried