The Washington Football Team's put up a valiant effort against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the first half. The offense marched down Lambeau over and over throughout, out-gaining the Packers 430-304. But Washington couldn't put up the numbers that mattered most for the third-straight week. Mistakes and poor decision-making saw the visitors fall to Green Bay, 24-10, giving Washington a 2-5 record.
Here are some numbers to know from the defeat:
Washington charged its way into the red zone four times Sunday afternoon and, all four times, it could not produce a touchdown against a defense that failed to get a red zone stop in its first six games.
A too-early touchdown dive by Taylor Heinicke followed by a failed quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line was responsible for the first empty red zone visit, while the second occurred the very next drive as Washington's offense, on the 3-yard line, couldn't connect after going for it on fourth down. In the fourth quarter, with Washington lurking at Green Bay's 12-yard line, a Heinicke pass intended for Adam Humphries was picked off in the end zone. Washington managed to secure a 45-yard field goal from Blewitt, but it came with just 2:30 left in the fourth quarter, which the team was in desperate need of more points.
There is a positive to be gleaned in that Washington was able to move the sticks pretty darn efficiently against a top-tier defense. However, there's really no side-stepping the fact that this number is a tough one to stomach.
The stat sheet will only show two Washington turnovers: Heinicke's interception and Antonio Gibson’s fumble to start the third quarter. But if the turnovers on downs are accounted for, Washington gave the ball back to Green Bay four times.
As bad as that number looks, it could have been worse had Heinicke and Chase Roullier not pounced on loose balls that popped out from beneath their teammates on two plays in the second half. The most damning result was that Green Bay scored 17 points off Washington's mishaps. There's little doubt that Ron Rivera and the rest of the Washington coaching will be zooming in on that fact as they get back to work this week in Ashburn.
Washington gave its offense a chance to stay on the field with four fourth-down attempt during the afternoon. The team has normally handled those situations well -- it was tied for 11th on such conversions heading into the weekend. However, it could not maintain that success against the Packers and went 1-of-4 on fourth down.
The first attempt, which came in the second quarter at Green Bay's 27-yard line, was intended for Terry McLaurin, but Heinicke's pass was batted away. The next two came when Washington was lined up inside Green Bay's 5-yard line: Heinicke failed to get into the end zone with the ball inside Green Bay's 1-yard line, and Heinicke's pass to Ricky Seals-Jones from the 3-yard line fell out of the tight end's grasp.
Washington did manage to stay on the field after Heinicke completed a 16-yard pass to Humphries, but with just 30 second left to play, the game was essentially over. The lack of success can be credited to two factors: Washington needs to find ways to put itself in better position and finish drives. Those are issues that Rivera will certainly be dedicated to fixing heading into Week 8.
McLaurin has been a bright spot for Washington's offense season, and Sunday's game against the Packers was no exception. He accounted for 122 yards, grabbing seven receptions on 12 targets. That tally gives McLaurin his third 100-plus game this year, which ties the most for the wideout in a single-season. He currently has 550 yards with four touchdowns through seven games.
One of those catches today is beginning to become a specialty of his. Despite being draped by defenders, McLaurin found a way to get his hands on a hopeful 40-yard launch from Heinicke for Washington's only touchdown of the game.