Packers Periscope: Week 3 vs. Washington

The Green Bay Packers get back in action in week three with their first road game in Washington.  These uncommon NFC opponents haven't met since 2016 just before the Packers "Ran the Table".  Let's take a look back and ahead to Sunday's game.

The Past

The Packers lead the all-time series 20-15-1 including a 1936 NFL championship game win over the Boston Redskins.  The two teams have only met five times in the last 11 years.

Two years ago, the Packers came into Washington looking to snap a three-game losing streak and were run out of Washington.  Earlier that year, the Packers knocked Washington out of the postseason with a wild card win at FedEx Field.

Green Bay has won six of the last eight dating back to 2001.

Besides the championship win, the most notable game between these two teams came on a Monday Night in 1983 (and I'm counting on our readers to tell their stories in the comment section!).  

The two teams traded scores all night long, quarterbacks Joe Theisman for Washington and Lynn Dickey for the Packers leading the way.  A late Jan Stenerud field goal put the Packers ahead and a missed try by Washington kicker Mark Moseley gave the Packers a thriilling win at Lambeau.

The Present

Washington started with a big opening day win over the Arizona Cardinals but came back down to earth last week with a home-opening loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

New quarterback Alex Smith threw 46 times after getting down early and the Washington offense mustered only nine points.  Smith was sacked three times.

The Packers avoided a loss when now former Minnesota Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson missed a field goal at the end of overtime to end the game in a tie.  Green Bay is 1-0-1 on the young season.

Washington's offense is just 11-28 on third down this season and are averaging just 16.5 points per game after two games.  Green Bay averages 26.5 points per game and have converted only nine third-down tries in 26 attempts.  

Green Bay gets running back Aaron Jones back this week.  The Packers average 83.5 yards per game rushing while Washington averages 123.5.  

Offensively, Washington has better numbers over the first two weeks but the obvious X-factor is the quarterbacks.  Aaron Rodgers has been slowed and affected by his knee injury but still found success running the offense against a good Vikings defense.  Smith wasn't able to muster up a touchdown agaisnt a middle-of-the-pack Colts defense.

On the defensive side, Washington currently leads the league in yards-per-game surrendered with just 247.  They're allowing 42 percent conversion on third down.  The Packers average 387 yards-per-game and a 45 percent converstion rate on third down.

Washington has just three sacks to Green Bay's six on the season, but since it's nearly impossible to sack the quarterback anymore, it's not certain how pertinent that stat is.  Washington safety D.J. Swearinger is currently tied for the league lead in interceptions with two.

Washington's defense is lead by it's secondary with only 161 yards-per-game allowed so far.  That match up with Green Bay's offense should provide some entertainment.

The Future

The Packers are 2.5-point road favorites.  This could end up a sneaky tough game for Green Bay, despite favorable odds.

The weather calls for a chance of rain and temperatures near 70 degrees.  Packers head coach Mike McCarthy didn't hold a full practice on Wednesday.

Green Bay's defense will be without cornerback Kevin King and will likely use a combination of Davon House and Josh Jackson to fill in that gap.  Safety Josh Jones could be returning to make his season debut.

Washington hasn't found the end zone since week one and will likely test a Packers safety group that struggled last week against Minnesota.  Tight end Jordan Reed figures to be a prime target in the Washington passing game.

Will we see a resurgence in the Packers running game with Jones back?  Don't expect McCarthy to depart too much from his game plan as they slowly work Jones back into the rotation.

I see a closer game than we might expect and one the Packers may need to squeak out in the end.  Just get back home with a win and no major injuries.


Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (6)

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Jonathan Spader's picture

September 21, 2018 at 11:49 am

I don't see the game being as close as you do. Washington has an average defense who have faced weak competition. Rodgers faced 2 top 10 defenses with Chicago and Minnesota. I predict the shackles come off and Rodgers picks Washington apart.

Defensively I'm excited to see how Burks handles Thompson. This is the type of matchup he was drafted for. Disappointing having King out but can you name Washington's WRs? Crowder and who else?

Hoping for a 31-14 type of game.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 21, 2018 at 01:14 pm

Agreed. Norman has a big name but an underwhelming game. He's average and one of the most overpaid players in the league. I mean, he gives CM3 a run for that title. Their DL might be good if Jonathan Allen and Payne are players, but no one really knows yet. Kerrigan is a good OLB, with 3 sacks in two games against GB, but 2 came in Bahk's rookie season. Bulaga matches up well against him, and Bahk now matches up well against everyone. Washington's offense is nothing to write home about.

I expect GB to put at a minimum of 30 points, and something in forties is as likely as not.

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Archie's picture

September 21, 2018 at 02:21 pm

I'm taking the Pack and laying the points. Arod vs Alex Smith one more time. WAS is not KC. GB must replace King and fix S. I'm not sure they can do either. Beyond that we are healthy and balanced. Let's stay that way and get win #2 and cover the spread while we are at it.

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Rebecca's picture

September 21, 2018 at 07:34 pm

This season is overwhelmingly weird already. I blame the fans for putting up with the NFL’s bullshit rules and crappy product. Who cares about the shitty Reedskunz?
Rest Rodgers and see what what’s-his-name can do.

Run the ball, run the ball, quick passes to Graham, Allison, and Cobb and Montgomery. Win.

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GBPDAN1's picture

September 22, 2018 at 03:04 am

That Monday night game in 83 was incredible. The Packers had a top5 offense and a bottom of the league defense that year. We went 8-8 i believe. Lots of gut wrenching games.

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Slim11's picture

September 23, 2018 at 07:35 am

I lived in the DC area when the MNF fireworks display happened.

One local story was one of the Redskins' o-line told QB Joe Theisman to get his helmet because the offense was back in. Theisman said "we just scored." The lineman said "so did they. Get your helmet because we're back in." From that point on, so the story goes, no one could sit down because each team was scoring at will.

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