Green Bay Packers v. Washington Preview: What to watch for

Sep 26, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan (85) jogs on the field before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan (85) jogs on the field before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

The Green Bay Packers are red hot – winners of five straight games.

According to the official Packers website, it is the first time the Packers have won at least five of their first six games in three straight seasons since 1961-1963.

The Packers have won three of their first five games on the road this season and look to get some home cooking as they are back at Lambeau Field this Sunday.  They get set to face off with a struggling Washington Football Team–currently with only two wins on the season.

Let’s look at three things to watch for on Sunday when the Green Bay Packers take on the Washington Football Team.

Is this the week we see Robert Tonyan break out?

Where is Robert Tonyan?

Eventually, we will see a breakout game from the Packers’ tight end; at least, that’s the hope.

Six weeks into the 2020 season, Tonyan dominated early and often, snatching 23 receptions and five touchdowns. Tonyan finished the year with eleven touchdowns, leading all tight ends in that category.

This year has been a different story.

The Green Bay Packers have been searching for a tight end to stretch the field for years and create some noise downfield. Not many tight ends did a better job than Tonyan last season, but he has underperformed—only catching eleven receptions and one touchdown thus far.

No team in the NFL has allowed more points this season than the Washington Football team, who have given up 30 or more points in the last three consecutive weeks. If there is a week to get Tonyan going, this has to be the one.

Look for Aaron Rodgers to get him involved early and often against a bad Washington defense.

How will the Packers’ offensive line hold up against Washington’s front-4?

The Green Bay Packers are facing some questions upfront injury-wise. Starting center and rookie Josh Myers left last Sunday on the first drive of the game with a knee injury and did not return. He is out for this week and will “likely” miss a few weeks.

As I mentioned before, the Washington Football team’s defense has been awful all season as a whole. With that said, they are still incredibly stout upfront—led by second-year stud Chase Young, along with Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat. The trio has combined for 7.5 sacks this season and numerous quarterback pressures.

Keep an eye on Lucas Patrick, who will step in and take over for the injured Myers against that front four. But don’t just take my word for it, Packers Head coach Matt LeFleur has his concerns about the trenches come Sunday as well:

"” They’ve got creatures all along the front line. Four former first-rounders, they are one of the top teams in the league as far as getting pressure to the quarterbacks. They affect the quarterback and we are going to need to do a great job up front.”"

There is no doubt the Green Bay Packers have been dealing with critical injuries along the offensive line all season. Still, this week, they received some positive news as All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari ran out of the Don Hutson Center and onto Clarke Hinkle practice field—his first practice since last December after tearing his ACL.

Bakhtiari, who was listed on the PUP list for the first six weeks to start the season, is eligible to return to action.

The Green Bay Packers got more good news in regards to Elgton Jenkins, who played last week against the Bears but missed three weeks before that with an ankle injury, as he has been completely removed from the injury report this week as well.

Potentially getting Bakhtiari in the near future and having Jenkins fully healthy are two significant steps forward for a banged-up offensive line unit.

Could this be a trap game for the Packers?

Did the Packers learn their lesson in Week 1 when the world witnessed a team who clearly overlooked their opponent and saw the likes of Jamesis Winston dominate them from start to finish?

I typically dislike the term “trap game,” but there could be some concern for the Packers in that regard.

Let’s call it what it is—the Washington Football team is not very good. The Packers should undoubtedly dominate this game from start to finish.

If you’ve paid attention over the last few years under Matt LeFleur, there has always been a let-down type game in which the Packers were favored to win, and I’m curious as to how much energy the first few drives will have against a team they should beat.

The undefeated Arizona Cardinals lurk in the shadows for the Packers as they travel out west for a primetime showdown on Thursday night following this game.

The Bottom Line

Look, the Green Bay Packers are the better team, have the better roster, and are at home in front of their fans—there should be no reason they leave this game without a win.

The recipe for the Packers is simple—come to play, don’t peek ahead, and dominate.