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Packer Tracker: Week Seven Packers Report and Week Eight Preview

The Packers prove that there are many ways to beat a Football Team.

Davante Adams is still your #1 Fantasy Dynasty Wide Receiver

There are many ways to beat a Football Team, and the Green Bay Packers proved it with an interesting performance and a true team victory over the Washington Football Team. All three units of this Packers team have had their ups and downs this season, but each has made key plays in big spots. While it may be a somewhat frustrating viewing experience for fans, it can be an extremely effective way to win. This trend continued against Washington, as all three units made key contributions that covered missteps.

First up is the offense, which is usually the focus of any Aaron Rodgers-led Packer team. The Packers’ offensive line struggled against the vaunted Football Team front-four, who showed they were worthy of the four first-round picks Washington spent to build. The Packers were unable to run the ball at all, and the Football Team was able to pressure Rodgers. To counteract this, Rodgers used his legs to create time, and also relied on timing throws against the inexperienced Washington secondary. This method was very effective, as Rodgers completed most of his passes and tossed three touchdowns.

Despite surrendering a blocked field goal, the Packers special teams performed admirably. Rookie T.J. Slaton blocked Washington kicker Chris Blewitt’s kick, and Mason Crosby made all of his extra points and a late field goal to put the Packers up three scores. Punter Cory Bojorquez had two excellent punts, including a gorgeous kick that bounced off the one-inch line and was downed at the three-yard line. Bojo Blast has been excellent for the Packers and has proven to be a weapon with the small draft capital spent to acquire him.

The Packers’ defense was able to hold the Washington offense to just ten points, further cementing them as one of the top-scoring defenses in the league. The Packers were again without their preferred starters at both outside linebacker and cornerback spots but were very effective. The Packers’ secondary was able to force several key pass breakups, which has been a strong point for the team all season. The Packers’ defense was also able to reverse a historically unfortunate trend.

Red Zone Reversal

Coming into the game, the Packers’ kryptonite has been their red-zone defense. Defensive coordinator Joe Berry and crew have done a good job as an overall top ten unit but had somehow allowed 15 touchdowns on 15 attempts in the red zone. Washington looked like they would extend the streak, until a series of inexplicable plays. For Washington, the red zone was more like the Twilight Zone, as several strange football occurrences horrified the Football Team faithful. The most important play occurred on a Taylor Heinicke scramble on third down. The plucky Washington quarterback could have easily run into the end zone, but awkwardly kneeled to avoid a goal-line hit. The kneel was seen by officials as a surrendering of the play, and Heinicke was ruled down at the one-inch line. This brought up fourth down, where the Packers finally made their goal-line stand. I took 99 and 11/12 inches, four downs, and a mental mistake, but the Packers defense made a red zone stop. Washington’s next two opportunities in the red zone were also unsuccessful, starting a new streak for the Pack defense.

A huge reason for the Packers’ defensive turnaround this year has been the play of free-agent acquisition of De’Vondre Campbell, and the development of outside linebacker Rashan Gary. Campbell and Gary have provided the Packers with impact plays and did the same against Washington. Campbell forced Heinecke to fumble on his fourth-down sneak attempt that stopped the red zone streak of failure, and Gary stripped the Washington quarterback early in the third that led to a Packers touchdown.

Aaron Rodgers Spreads the Wealth

What is the perfect gift for your team’s lovable goofball on National Tight Ends Day? The answer: a beautifully thrown touchdown ball that seals the victory. Rodgers’ long pass to Packers tight end Robert Tonyan was a game-clincher for the Packers, and will hopefully jumpstart Tonyan who had 11 touchdowns last season.

Besides Tonyan, the Packers standout pass-catcher not named Davante was Allen Lazard. Lazard is known for his ability to block but is also a very reliable pass catcher. On the Packers second touchdown drive, Lazard was responsible for 60 yards on five catches and a leaping touchdown.

Desert Showdown

The 6-1 Packers will face the 7-0 Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football in one of the most anticipated matchups of the year. The Cardinals are led by a ball of pure energy and MVP candidate Kyler Murray, whose ability to pass and run make the Cardinals offense extremely dangerous.

The Packers will be without their star wide receiver Davante Adams, who was placed on the COVID-19 health and protocol safety list. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Packers will be without Allen Lazard, who had a great performance against the Football Team and is a key piece of the Packers offense. Matt LaFleur and Rodgers will have to be especially creative with the Packers offense down two pass catchers. In the previous six games that Adams missed, LaFleur and his team were victorious. Aaron Jones was a key piece in those victories, and will likely need to be heavily involved. Randall Cobb and Amari Rodgers will step into more prominent roles, as well as tight end Robert Tonyan. Packers defensive coordinator Joe Berry was also placed on the list, and none of the affected parties are expected to pass the requirements of two failed tests that are needed to play/coach. Some good news for the Packers: receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling is expected to come off the injured reserve list and play against the Cardinals.

Prediction: Rodgers has some Arizona magic left in him throwing two clutch touchdowns. Aaron Jones has a huge game, and the Packers come out on top in a lower-scoring contest than expected. Packers win 27-24.

Written by Joel Kananen

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