The Washington Football Team won't just be battling a top NFC contender in the Green Bay Packers this weekend; it will also be going against history.
Washington has not beaten the Packers at Lambeau Field since Oct. 23, 1988 -- almost 33 years ago to the day when the game begins on Oct. 24. Phil Collins' "A Groovy Kind of Love" was Billboard Magazine's No. 1 song, and the world was still a year away from the release of Nintendo's Game Boy. It's safe to say things have changed since then.
For many players on Washington's young roster who weren't even born the last time the team won at the legendary stadium, it will be their first time making the trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Adam Humphries, the veteran of Washington's receiver group, has played there before and can tell his younger teammates what it's like.
"It's cool, it's loud and it's a fun place to play," Humphries told Senior Vice President of Media and Content Julie Donaldson. "It really makes you appreciate where you are and the game of football."
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Lambeau Field and the Packers have been an institution of the NFL for decades. The stadium has stood for 64 of the NFL's 101-year history, and Humphries could feel the history when he last played there in 2017 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"It's very unique," Humphries said. "I remember the locker room and having to walk down all the steps and getting out on the field. Even the way their seats are, it's the old, classic bench seats."
When Washington takes the team bus to the stadium from its hotel, they'll drive through a neighborhood that essentially closes down on Sundays to watch the Packers play. Humphries said every stadium has its own feel, but Lambeau is "a very unique and special place."
"It'll be fun to have an opportunity to play there," Humphries said.
Once Washington actually steps onto the field, all the mystique will be in the backs of the players' minds and replaced by the importance of what the team is there to accomplish. There's a different flavor to the week, Humphries said, whenever a proven team like Green Bay is next on the schedule.
As Washington prepares for Green Bay this week, the flavor it tastes will have nothing to do with Lambeau Field or the cheese that will be served in abundance at the stadium.
The Packers, who have advanced to the NFC Championship for the past two seasons, are contenders to do so once again with a 5-1 record. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, while not putting up top passing numbers, is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, completing 66% of his passes with just three interceptions thus far.
"They're a very good football team with a very similar quarterback that we just played," head coach Ron Rivera said after Washington's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. "Maybe that'll play into our favor, knowing who this guy is. He's special. We know that. But we did some good things for a half. If we can play two halves of football like we did today, we give ourselves a chance."
Defensively, the Packers have been one of the best units in football. Fueled by a secondary that allows the fourth-fewest passing yard per game and tied for sixth in interceptions, Green Bay's defense is fifth in total yards and allows just 22 points per game.
As great as it will be to play in a historic stadium, playing against a team that has Rodgers and Davante Adams on the other sideline is far more important to Washington.
"That's something you have on your mind all week," Humphries said. "We're going to face a really good opponent. Crowd noise is going to be a factor, so it's going to be hype."
Washington knows it has the capabilities to hang with some of the league's better teams. It held a 13-10 lead over the Chiefs in Week 6 before mistakes unraveled hopes of pulling out an upset. The results were a hard lesson that Washington needs to play complete games against teams like the Chiefs and Packers.
"When you don't capitalize when you need to against a championship team like that, you're going to get the result that you did," Terry McLaurin said. "We just have to do a better job at playing two halves of football."
As for playing in an atmosphere like Lambeau Field, Humphries will give some advice to his younger teammates if they ask, but he has confidence they can handle themselves.
"They can handle the moment," Humphries said. "They've got that figured out."