Green Bay Packers v. Washington: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 08: Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after getting a first down in the second half against the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field on December 08, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 08: Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after getting a first down in the second half against the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field on December 08, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers come away with their second consecutive win to improve to 10-3 on the season. As always, here is the good, the bad, and the ugly from the game.

Given that the Washington Redskins have pretty much been at the bottom of the league for most of the season and came into Sunday’s game with a 3-9 record, many Green Bay Packers fans were hoping for a run away victory. Although the game began in that fashion, the offense quickly sputtered after that and Green Bay needed to recover an onside kick to secure the 20-15 win.

However, it was just that, a win, and the Green Bay Packers are now 10-3 on the season. No it wasn’t pretty and most players after the game acknowledged there are things to work on, but as Super Bowl winning head coach Bill Parcels said, “you are what your record says you are.” And right now, the Packers are the two seed in the NFC.

As I do every week, I have my good, bad, and ugly from Green Bay’s performance. There were a few excellent performances and in the bad and ugly categories, we run into some areas that have troubled this Packers team for much of the season.

The Good

Aaron Jones

After a brief two-week hiatus, Aaron Jones is back on this list. Against San Francisco and New York, the Packers really struggled to generate anything on the ground but on Sunday with Washington in town, it was the perfect opportunity for Jones to get back on track against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. And that is exactly what he did.

On 16 carries Jones would rush for 134 yards – the second most in his short career – at 8.4 yards per carry with a touchdown. Then through the air, where for whatever reason he hasn’t seen many opportunities the last month, Jones would catch six of seven passes for an additional 58 yards. Once again it was another huge game for Jones and he was about the only player on offense that had any success.

Kenny Clark

Much was made about Kenny Clark’s lack of production during the first two months or so of the season, however, just because the numbers weren’t there, didn’t mean that he wasn’t play at a high-level. But over the past month the numbers have started to pile up and it all culminated on Sunday in his best performance of the season.

Clark was a one man wrecking crew, clogging up the middle as he so often does while also coming away with some pressures and plays behind the line of scrimmage. In total Clark would have three tackles, one of which was for a loss, along with 1.5 sacks and two more quarterback hits.

Tyler Ervin

As you all know, the Green Bay Packers’ punt return team had been abysmal all season long and they were on a historically bad pace as they came into Sunday’s game with -8 total punt return yards for the year.

To shake things up this past week, Green Bay would cut Tremon Smith and sign Tyler Ervin who had a fantastic debut. On four attempts he would total 51 return yards for an average of 12.8 yards per return. Now when it comes to punt return yardage, the Packers are no longer in the red and they are no longer the worst team in NFL history.

The Bad

Wide Receiver Production

After a week in New York where we saw Davante find the end zone two times, Allen Lazard have over 100 receiving yards, and Geronimo Allison come down with some key catches, against Washington we saw the same underwhelming numbers that we’ve seen for most of the season.

This week Aaron Rodgers’ top receiving targets were Aaron Jones with his 58 total yards and Jimmy Graham with 49. Meanwhile the receiving corps totaled seven receptions for 71 yards. For whatever reason, Lazard wasn’t on the field much during the first half, Marquez Valdes-Scantling didn’t even have a target, and Allison was luckily down by contact or he would have had his second fumble of the season at a crucial point in the game.

Now with that said, as I will discuss in the ugly section, not all of this is their fault. Once off script the offense had very little rhythm, Rodgers was holding the ball too long on occasions, and Washington often had eight players back in coverage. But it’s week 13 and this has been an issue all season long.

The Ugly

The Offense Off Script

As we’ve seen a few times this year, the Green Bay Packers’ offense started out very well scoring touchdowns on two of their first three drives and leading 14-0 after the first quarter. However, it is when Matt LaFleur’s script runs out that they become very disjointed and out of rhythm. From the second quarter on their drives would end – punt, fumble, field goal, punt, punt, field goal.

Against a pass defense that ranks in the bottom third of the NFL by DVOA, Aaron Rodgers could only muster 18/28 for 195 yards and just 7.0 yards per attempt. In a game where Green Bay was struggling to move the ball through the air, it would have been wise to stick to the ground game with Aaron Jones, but the Packers would revert back to Rodgers in shotgun, shuffling around the pocket and in the end nothing to show for it.

After the game when asked about the offensive performance, Bryan Bulaga was very straight forward with his answer:

Packers v. Washington: Gut Reactions & Highlights. dark. Next

While this offense has put together some solid performances this season, particularly against Philadelphia and Dallas, for the most part they’ve been very inconsistent. Especially since their game in Kansas City back in October. As Bulaga said, they’re going to need to get better because the offense that we’ve seen as of late isn’t going to be able to keep up with San Francisco or New Orleans. And it all starts with how they play once they are off script.