Aaron Rodgers versus Kirk Cousins would seem to be a no-brainer on paper. In light of the fact that the Packers’ quarterback has a Super Bowl ring and a couple league MVP’s to his name already, who would think the Redskins have a chance? But the 2015 season has been one of consistent inconsistency in terms of offense and the offense, while continuing to tout that “this is their week” has not had a really strong showing against a strong team since…well pretty much at all this season. And the sacks given up versus sacks taken by the Redskins indicate that Washington will send the Packers home on Sunday.
Unless the Packers can run the ball. The Packers’ running game came on strong in the 2010 run for the Super Bowl. Then we got Eddie Lacy and the offense became even more prolific. Last season Eddie Lacy was dominant and the offense averaged 30 points a game. This year, the running game faltered and the team dropped seven points a game and only converted 70 of 208 third downs. The fallout of this includes Aaron Rodgers completion percentage at just a shade over 60%…3% lower than his lowest average all time before now. The lack of running game is the first of a domino effect of offensive inconsistency that has marred the entire 2015 season. Many want to blame the offensive struggles on just one thing but each element has an affect on the others and the problems are a “reverse-synergy” in which the problems of the whole are greater than the sum of the problems of any individual part.
But if the Packers can run the ball against Washington, it will serve several purposes. 1. It will force teams to stack the box and open up opportunities for the passing game. 2. The Packers will be able to play the game “from the inside out” by slashing up the middle and then taking advantage of inside leverages for passes to the outside or back-shoulder. When the Packers can do this, they can win games. 3. Running the ball is a boon for a banged up offensive line. The Packers’ injury report has 18 players on it (sound familiar?) and the offensive line cannot withstand another game in which they have to throw the ball because they cannot run it. But if the running game gets near a hundred yards, the Packers have a chance to get a win and another week to get some people healthy.
All in all, the Packers have to get back to basic football and stop forcing the notion that they can throw the ball around with five and seven step drops and push it down the field against good defenses. Yes, Washington is banged up on defense but the opportunities for the passing game will open up when Eddie Lacy and the running game get off the ground.
So will it be “Won” or “Done” What do you think Packernation? Let us know in the comments below or back on the Facebook Fanpage.