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What we learned from the Redskins 20-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers

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Redskins fall to 3-10 following their 20-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Here is what we learned from this past Sunday.

Washington Redskins v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Washington went into Lambeau Field as heavy underdogs against the Green Bay Packers. The Redskins hung tough for the most part, but at different times of the game, each unit of the team had their let downs. The offense was unable to get out of the major field position hole they created through poor execution, sacks allowed, and penalties. The special teams were unable to flip the field position in their favor, as poor punts early on gave the Packers great field position. Lastly, the defense gave up two very quick touchdown drives that gave Green Bay an early 14-0 lead before the first quarter was over. However, the Redskins did not quit, and they fought their way back into the game on a couple of occasions. Here is what we learned from their 20-15 defeat to the Green Bay Packers.

The team is competing on a weekly basis, and that is a product that can be supported.

I cannot pinpoint what the specific cause is behind the uptick in overall team performance, but things have changed since the Redskins took a beating against the New York Jets. Win or lose; the Redskins have shown effort and a no-quit mentality since their game against the Detroit Lions. This was just as evident against the Packers this past Sunday. As stated earlier, the team did themselves no favors early in the game, creating a 14-point deficit before the first quarter was even finished. Even when they found themselves down by that much, at 3-9, on the road in a tough environment, Washington began fighting back, starting on the defensive side. It began with the pressure on quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked four times but was pressured consistently throughout the game. Defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis and edge rusher Ryan Anderson took the cake with effort plays that resulted in sacks. More importantly, Ryan Anderson chased down Rodgers for a strip-sack and recovered his forced fumble.

Make no mistake, the roster has significant concerns offensively and defensively, and there are no moral victories in a season such as this. However, their competitiveness can be respected, and it allows you to assess each player individually to see who stood out down the stretch. With three games left on their schedule, the Redskins have two divisional games left against Dallas and Philadelphia, both of whom are fighting for playoff contention. It will be interesting to see how they perform against the two teams they have struggled against over the past couple of seasons.

Matt Ioannidis is flying under the radar as his production continues to exceed expectations

Ioannidis is among the league leaders in sacks at his position in the NFL, only trailing Aaron Donald of Los Angeles and Arik Armstead of San Francisco. Ioannidis is having a pro-bowl season, but he is not getting the recognition around the league that he has earned this year. This is not a biased opinion because of the team I cover, and this is a legitimate claim in a career year for him.

Matt Ioannidis Stat line

Matt Ioannidis 2016-2018 (38 games) 2019 (13 games)
Matt Ioannidis 2016-2018 (38 games) 2019 (13 games)
Total Tackles 65 55
Solo Tackles 42 36
Tackles For Loss 9 10
Quarterback Hits 28 14
Sacks 12 8.5

Comparatively, see Donald and Armstead’s’ 2019 stats below:

Aaron Donald 2019 stats

Defense & Fumbles Table
Games Def Interceptions Fumbles Tackles
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Int Yds TD Lng PD FF Fmb FR Yds TD Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits Sfty AV
2019 28 LAR DT 99 13 13 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 11.0 40 26 14 18 22 1
Career 91 87 0 0 0 0 11 15 0 5 40 0 70.5 303 215 88 115 171 1 76
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/10/2019.

Arik Armstead 2019 stats

Defense & Fumbles Table
Games Def Interceptions Fumbles Tackles
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Int Yds TD Lng PD FF Fmb FR Yds TD Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits Sfty AV
2019 26 SFO de/DL 91 13 13 2 0 1 0 0 10.0 46 26 20 11 13
Career 59 40 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 19.0 144 90 54 24 42 12
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/10/2019.

Plainly speaking, Ioannidis is outperforming every defensive lineman on the team, which is most impressive considering there are multiple first-round selections on the defensive line and the edge. Ioannidis needs to get the nod for the pro-bowl, but due to the lack of team success, his performance this year may go unrecognized.

Guice’s battles with knee injuries are becoming a major concern

Just last week, I spoke on Guice’s arrival, and a week later, we all were humbled just as quickly as he “arrived.” Guice suffered a knee injury in the game against the Green Bay Packers after a significant gain on the ground; this marks his third knee injury since joining the team in 2018. The last two were significant injuries; as of now, the latest update points to only a MCL sprain. However, I was wrong; Guice clearly has not arrived yet. Guice continues to be plagued with injuries, and that, unfortunately, makes him an unreliable player. The Redskins are going to stick with him for now; he is young and has a couple of years left on his contract. However, the contract has become a liability now that he has spent most of his career rehabbing injuries. The Redskins must have backup plans in place knowing Guice’s injury history. Chris Thompson’s expiring contract and Bryce Love’s rehabilitation raise questions about the immediate future of the running back position. Nonetheless, I’m sure we all hope this is the end of issues with Guice as it relates to his injuries.