5 biggest positives for the Commanders against the Packers
The Washington Commanders entered game seven of the 2022 season as heavy underdogs, but those dogs had a lot of fight and were able to pin a loss on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
When quarterback Carson Wentz was designated to the injured reserve list last week, the team called on Taylor Heinicke once again and a season on the brink was looking bleak in the first quarter. However, the Commanders continued to slowly chip away at Green Bay’s double-digit lead and used a solid second half to score a major upset. Washington’s very narrow playoff hopes are still alive and they actually have an opportunity to even their record at 4-4 this coming Sunday with a road victory.
Welcome to our weekly look at the previous game and a prediction for Washington’s next contest. We have five positives to talk about, award four game balls, and hand out grades to each unit. There is no need to waste another moment, so let’s dive right in.
Five positives for the Commanders
1. The first positive from Sunday’s game is obvious – Taylor Heinicke. The former Old Dominion star brought his bravado back to the forefront after watching Wentz navigate the team on a difficult trajectory over the first six weeks. Heinicke struggled early in the game, but kept his composure and did enough to lead the Commanders to an upset.
2. Our second positive from the Packers game may come as a surprise, but Antonio Gibson had his best game since the home opener earlier in the season against Jacksonville. With a key touchdown in the first half and timely first downs, the rushing attack was lethal as Gibson carried the ball for a 5.9 yard average and added three catches for a six yard average.
3. Tress Way continues to make our list and Sunday was no exception. Green Bay was looking to have one final scoring drive late in the first half, but Way booted a 67 yard punt that was downed at the one yard line. The Packers were forced to abandon their scoring drive and Washington seized the momentum to victory in the second half.
4. Terry McLaurin has seen some tough moments over the first six weeks of the season, but the Packers game was far different. His 37 yard touchdown catch early in the second half gave Washington a lead for the first time in the game and the Burgundy and Gold never trailed again. Two key receptions from McLaurin in the final two minutes sealed the victory.
5. The defense deserves another award this week. The defensive line was solid for the third week in a row. The linebackers shined. The secondary had a good day as well. One key stat – Green Bay was 0-6 on third down conversions on Sunday – a first for Aaron Rodgers in his career.
Grades for Commanders vs. Green Bay
- Quarterbacks – Grade: B-
- Running Backs – Grade: B+
- Tight Ends – Grade: C
- Wide Receivers – Grade: B+
- Offensive Line – Grade: B-
- Defensive Line – Grade: A-
- Linebackers – Grade: B
- Cornerbacks – Grade: B-
- Safeties – Grade: B-
- Special Teams – Grade: B-
- Coaches – Grade: B
Awarding four game balls to deserving Commanders
- Scott Turner is awarded the first game ball. His offense played well enough to win and the plays he called on each scoring drive kept the Packers offense off balance.
- Jack Del Rio is awarded our second game ball. The defense has improved substantially over the last three weeks and has been in key factor in the last two victories.
- Safety Percy Butler is awarded the third game ball. He recovered a muffed punt late and Washington was able to score a field goal – their first points of the game. Late in the second quarter, Butler was able to down a punt at Green Bay’s one yard line and the Packers decided to give up on any idea of a scoring drive.
- Curtis Samuel is awarded our fourth game ball. He produced five catches for 53 yards and five carries for 26 yards (5.2 a carry). A solid day after having some difficulties in the Bears game.
- Honorable Mention – Taylor Heinicke, Tress Way, Benjamin St-Juste, Armani Rodgers, Daron Payne, Antonio Gibson, Jamin Davis, Terry McLaurin, Cole Holcomb, Brian Robinson and Kamren Curl.
Commanders Next Game Prediction, Final Thoughts
The Commanders travel to Indianapolis next week to take on the Colts. Can the Commanders make it three in a row?
Commanders 25 Colts 17
KJ Record: 2-5
Fans may think that Brian Robinson is not productive thus far, but the rushing attack is working as planned during the offseason. Antonio Gibson is now playing a role that is similar to what made him so successful for the Memphis Tigers.
Jamin Davis is quickly becoming a solid NFL linebacker.
When Chase Young, Jahan Dotson, Dyami Brown, and Logan Thomas return, the Commanders could put a good scare into some of the better teams in the league.
We’ll return after the Colts game. There is some excitement in the air and the fans deserve it. See you as we go along.