Packers at Commanders: Gameday Preview - 2022 Week 7

The Washington Commanders look like an easy win for the Packers. Just like Jets... and the Giants...


The Washington Commanders, haven't score more than 17 points in a month. They had 214 total yards of offense against the Bears last week. Their starting quarterback didn't even pass for 100 yards. This week, they'll be playing with a backup quarterback.

They shouldn't be able to do much.


The Packers have been losing games they shouldn't have lost.

They managed to lose last week even though the opposing quarterback barely broke 100 yards.

Tyler Heinicke is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league and he's no stranger to pressure. In his debut when he was thrust into service in he playoffs against opposite Tom Brady and held his own in a back and forth battle.

Washington has a couple of dynamic weapons in Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson annd their offensive line was named the best of the week by PFF last week.

A feisty, unheralded quarterback, a solid offensive line, and some playmakers could make like difficult on the Packers. 


The Commanders offensive line has been inconsistent this year and the Packers should be able to get pressure. Sam Cosmi, their best offensive lineman, is Questionable with a finger injury, which will impact his pass protection if he plays.

Heinicke, for as gutsy as he is, tends to turn the ball over when he gets pressured. This will be key for the Packers defense, as Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, and rookie Jahan Dotson (who is also listed as Questionable) can all make big plays with the ball in their hands.

If the Packers stick with the tight coverage calls we saw against the Jets and send some creative pass rush schemes to keep Heinicke guessing, the defense should be able to have a solid outing.



Luckily, the Packers are catching Washington before Chase Young is back. Young is an absolute terror on the pass rush and I don' think the Packers could handle him right now. Still, Montez Sweat is a fine pass rusher in his own right and will be a good test for David Bakhtiari. Sweat has 14 quarterback hits this year (for comparison, that's twice as many as Rashan Gary). Bakhtiari will need to maintain the high standard he set last week as his pass blocking came back into form.

The Washington interior defensive line features Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, a couple disruptive linemen who each have 3.5 sacks. With the Packers interior offensive line looking anywhere from clueless to mediocre this year, it could slow them down today. Hopefully we see Royce Newman out of the starting lineup and the Packers can start building some familiarity with a better lineup. Even with a positive change, there may be some growing pains as new guys figure out how to work together.

They'll need to figure it out quick if they want to unleash this offense. Aaron Rodgers has been about a half a second away from making plays for a lot of his drop backs. His stats would be among the league leaders is "almost" counted. A lot of the film shows guys getting open, just as Rodgers is getting pressured. Hopefully a change in the offensive line can fix this.

Washington's Kendall Fuller (with a 4.5 forty time) and Benjamin St. Juste (4.55) are one of the slower cornerback tandems in the league, so the Packers might be able to get their deep passing game going if Rodgers has time.

The running game has suffered from poor blocking, too. AJ Dillon looks a lot more hesitant this year and Aaron Jones, while he has been great, has had to do too much on his own. This could be a get well game for the running attack, as the Commanders allow 4.6 yards per carry.

The Packers offense has been an inconsistent crapshoot for a few weeks now and that could go any direction here.

They haven't been running the ball as much as they should. This would be a good game to start, but I have a feeling Rodgers will want to attack the slow cornerbacks, which could be bad news since the Commanders have 5 players with at least 3 sacks - they know how to get after the quarterback.

With his mobility clearly diminished by age, and his throwing hand impaired by a thumb injury, Rodgers has not been tilting the field like he had the last couple of years. He does not seem to be playing within the offense. Hopefully back-to-back losses get him reset and ready to drive an offense that moves the chains slowly and efficiently instead of forcing YOLO balls.



Washington's average starting position is their own 24, worst in the league, which is good new for the Packers special teams.

The Commander's defense only has 3 takeaways on the year, also worst in the league .



Last week, I went with logic (the Packers are a better team than the Jets) instead of gut feel (the Packers were in disarray and ripe for another upset).

This week, I'm going back with my gut.

My general feel is that this Packers team is starting to sort some things out and the Commanders are the worst team they've faced all year.

Still, they aren't pushovers and showed a little fight in snapping their 4 game losing streak last Thursday. They're at home and well rested.

But that should only go so far. The Packers know they're better than this and they're tired of losing. I think they're going to start to right the ship.

Packers 17, Commanders 13



Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Best-selling author of books such as A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan's Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and

Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @BruceIronsNFL.


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Comments (3)

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mojaxof193's picture

October 23, 2022 at 08:42 am

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Rossonero's picture

October 23, 2022 at 09:46 am

I don't understand why any Packers fan would look past the Commanders in this game. We almost lost at home last season to them when Taylor Heinicke was their starting QB.

Couple that with the fact that the Commanders have a pretty formidable defensive line, similar to the Jets: Montez Sweat, the two DTs from Alabama in Jonathan Allen and DaRon Payne, and it could be another long day for our O-line. (We should also thank our lucky stars that Chase Young is still not back yet from his torn ACL).

Rodgers doesn't trust his O-line or his WRs right now, which has led to this disaster of an offense. Add to that that LaFleur refuses to run this offense through Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon and you have a recipe for disaster.

Regretfully - my prediction: Commanders 19, Packers 13

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Johnblood27's picture

October 23, 2022 at 10:30 am

My prediction...

Payne! and PAIN...

Pack drops 3 straight as OL still dicking around and Newman starts, AR running for his life and heaving hero balls all over the park.
Lots of soft zone with Ja 12 yards off McLauren and no pressure on Heineke as Walker drifts aimlessly around the field then tackles him 15 yards downfield when he runs.
Gary does his best Claude Rains imitation.

You heard it here first...

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