I have to say, despite what I felt we’d look like (mainly defensively), heading into this road matchup at Lambeau Field, the Football Team surprised me a bit, keeping this game somewhat competitive against a formidable opponent on the road.
The offense led by Taylor Heinicke, left MUCH to be desired when it came to scoring opportunities in the Red Zone despite outgaining the Packers 430 to 304 and controlling the time of possession. Offensive miscues, drops and turnovers ultimately led to the team’s demise. But, for one of the first times all season, this defense semi-resembled the one we all saw on the field during the second half of last season (note - I did use the word “semi”).
Anyways, on the the Studs and Duds, followed by some notes.
Jonathan Allen - Allen has been very good all season, and his solid play continued against Green Bay. Allen has two sacks, and pressured Rodgers multiple times on the afternoon.
Taylor Heinicke - Heinicke’s season is very quickly turning dud-worthy as a whole. I feel it didn’t take long for opposing teams to get the book on him, and once they did, the results haven’t been pretty.
His only touchdown of the day was yet another 50/50 ball to McLaurin (which I didn’t mind at all - but credit Terry on the effort), and his two fumbles (one lost), and interception (HORRIBLE pass in the end zone) proved to be VERY costly. His failure to reach the end zone on the slide where he was ruled to have given himself up (which was the correct call based on the rule), was inexcusable, and his high passes and hospital balls continue to put receives at high risk week in and week out. He did have some nice runs, and his hustle play to recover the fumble downfield by Carter was a great effort, but unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good yet again.
He had a intriguing story - but now, I've officially seen enough...
Antonio Gibson - I know Gibson is playing at less than 100 percent, but the fumbling issues are becoming a bit too common (even though we were lucky to have Chase Roullier fall on this one). He is now tied for the lead in fumbles for a running back - and that is not a category you want to be in.
Charles Leno Jr. - Leno’s play following the Chargers game has been on a steady climb upwards, but he took a big step backwards on Sunday afternoon, allowing two sacks and multiple pressures.
Washington Third Down Defense - Through seven games, The Football Team is allowing a staggering 58 percent conversion rate to opposing teams on third down. This is the worst in the history of the league during that time span.
- Seven receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown would normally land you on the Studs list, but it was the drop in the end zone by McLaurin that’s keeping him off there this week. I know some of you may feel that’s being a bit hard on the dynamic wide receiver - but I feel it’s VERY justified, as that was a much needed score.
- I though Danny Johnson fought hard; even making some very nice tackles and forcing a fumble, despite being targeted often in coverage against the much bigger Lazard.
- I know no one is going to want to hear this, but Landon Collins played well in his new linebacker role Sunday - actually, it was his best game of the season (despite the bar being set pretty low). He had a team high seven tackles, one for a loss, two for no gain, and recovered a fumble. Dare I saw he was ALMOST Stud-worthy.
- I thought Montez Sweat got a lot of solid pressure on the afternoon, and could have had three sacks. On the one he did get, he destroyed Billy Turner. He finished with two tackles, a sack, three quarterback hits, five pressures and a forced fumble.
- In some positive news, both Jamin Davis and Benjamin St-Just played all but one of Washington’s defensive snaps - and I though both rookies held their own.
- I debated putting Jack Del Rio on the duds list simply for having Chase Young drop into coverage on fourth down. This was on the play where Rodgers rolled to his right and threw back across his body to Adam in the middle of the field. But, his unit did look better and Del Rio threw many more blitzes at the Packers which resulted in both pressures and sacks. Baby steps folks...baby steps!