Redskins vs. Packers: Five questions behind enemy lines

The Redskins and Packers are playing in Week 14. To get some extra info on the Packers ahead of the matchup, we spoke to a Packers expert.

The Redskins are looking to extend their winning streak to three games in Week 14. But in order to do that, they’re going to have to earn a very tough victory.

The ‘Skins are traveling to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers after wins over the Jeff Driskel-led Lions and Kyle Allen‘s Panther. Needless to say, a road test against Aaron Rodgers and company will be extremely difficult, especially compared to the competition the team has taken on in recent weeks.

To find out just how difficult the game could be, we decided to talk to a Packers expert to get some in-depth knowledge of the team. Paul Bretl of our sister site in the FanSided Network, Dairyland Express, was gracious enough to take the time to speak to us about the team.

Without further ado, here are his answers to our questions.

1. What matchups could the Packers take advantage of against the Redskins?

Paul Bretl: The last two weeks the Green Bay Packers have struggled to run the ball. Against San Francisco and New York the tandem of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams has averaged just 3.2 yards per carry on 45 attempts. That inability to run the ball consistently has hurt the offense.

In San Francisco they couldn’t move the ball at all and despite putting up 31 points against the Giants, the offense wasn’t in rhythm. Like most teams, the Packers want to establish the run and when they do, defenses either have to choose to defend that or Aaron Rodgers and the passing game. And as I’m sure everyone is aware, you can’t do both.

So this week against a Washington run defense that gives up nearly 132 rushing yards per game, I’m expecting a heavy dose of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams in an effort to get this run game and offense back on track.

2. The Packers defense has had issues against the run at times this season. Do you anticipate that being an issue against the Redskins?

PB: It very well could be. Green Bay gives up 124 rushing yards per game and most of the damage is being done between the tackles. We as Packer fans know all too well what Adrian Peterson is capable of and Derrius Guice is coming off of a 129-yard game. So my expectation is that Bill Callahan is likely going to run right at Green Bay until they can prove that they can stop the run game, which is something they’ve very rarely done this season.

However, my hope is that given Washington’s issues in the passing game, Mike Pettine and the Green Bay defense goes all out on stopping Peterson and Guice, which will then put the game in the hands of Dwayne Haskins.

3. Who is one unheralded Packers player on either side of the ball that Redskins fans should be aware of before Sunday’s matchup?

PB: This isn’t an exciting or talked about position, but the play at left guard from second-round draft pick Elgton Jenkins has been phenomenal. Green Bay had a number of issues last season but one, in particular, was the amount of pressure allowed by the guard positions. But this season, Jenkins – along with Billy Turner – has helped solidify that position and kept Rodgers upright. According to Pro Football Focus, in 442 pass-blocking attempts, Jenkins hasn’t allowed a single sack and only one quarterback hit this season.

Now, I understand that watching a guard on the live telecast isn’t always easy or the fun thing to do, so I’ll give one more player to keep your eyes on and that is receiver Allen Lazard. A big question all season long was in regards to, who would step up and be the team’s second receiver behind Davante Adams. The obvious choices were either Geronimo Allison or Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but instead, it has been Lazard who began the season on the practice squad. Since Week 6, he has caught 76 percent of his passes for 330 yards at 15 yards per catch with two touchdowns. But perhaps most importantly, he has the trust and confidence of Aaron Rodgers.

4. What area is the biggest cause for concern for the Packers against the Redskins?

PB: The two most prominent issues on this team in 2019 has their inability to stop the run, as well as giving up the big play in the passing game. However, with their ability to create pressure as well as Haskins’ issues in the passing game this season, I do believe they’ll be able to handle that aspect better than normal. But the run game is still a major concern.

With Guice averaging 5.5 yards per carry, Peterson averaging 4.4, and both having the ability to rip off a big run at any moment, the Packers need to be prepared. As I mentioned previously, my hope is that Green Bay plays much fewer nickel packages, which they do quite often, and instead, they sell out on stopping the run.

5. How do you expect this game to go and what will the final score be?

PB: Even with last week’s 31-13 win, the game was much closer than that and when the clock hit zero, it didn’t necessarily feel like a three-score victory. So my hope this week is that we see a more complete 60 minutes of football where Green Bay is able to get out to an early lead, the game is put in Haskins’ hands, and the Packer run game gets back on track. While Washington is on a two-game win streak, ultimately I think this Packer team and playing at Lambeau will be too much to handle.

Packers 34, Washington 17

Next: What the past few weeks tell us about the Redskins

Thanks again to Paul for taking the time to talk to us about Sunday’s game. And make sure to check out all of his work about Wisconsin sports over on Dairyland Express!

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