The Green Bay Packers continued their free fall with a 42-24 defeat to the Washington Redskins, the fourth consecutive loss for the green and gold.
Aaron Rodgers and the offense put up 24 points and 424 yards, converted nearly 50 percent of their third downs, and held a 30:23-29:37 edge in time of possession. But the defense did absolutely nothing to help the Packers’ chances, and the Redskins were able to outscore, outgain, and outplay Green Bay all night.
Washington started the game with two straight punts, but put points on the board on all but one of its remaining eight possessions in the game (excluding running out the clock in the fourth quarter). That includes touchdown drives on each of the Redskins’ final four drives, preventing the Packers’ offense from mounting a comeback.
The Redskins were able to exploit Green Bay both on the ground and through the air. Kirk Cousins finished the day completing 21/30 passes for 375 yards and three scores, while running back Robert Kelley racked up 137 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries against the once-effective Packers’ run defense. Jamison Crowder (102 yards), Pierre Garcon (116 yards), and DeSean Jackson (51 yards) each scored a touchdown in the contest.
While Green Bay’s defensive unit could not get a stop to save its life, the offense overcame a slow start to put together an overall solid game. The Packers went three and out on each of its first three possessions, but scored on four of its next five to stay within five points of the Redskins early in the fourth quarter.
Rodgers completed 26/41 passes for 351 yards and three scores of his own. The first of those touchdowns, a 13-yard strike to Jordy Nelson, tied the game in the second quarter. A Mason Crosby field goal on the team’s next drive gave the Packers a brief 10-7 lead, their first lead since holding a 32-26 advantage against the Falcons that Green Bay would eventually cough up.
But the Redskins would need just three minutes to go 75 yards and regain a 13-10 lead before halftime. Washington would not relinquish that lead for the remainder of the game, always managing to answer Green Bay’s touchdowns with scoring drives of their own. Two more quick drives had the home team up 22-10 before the third quarter had ended.
The closest the Packers were able to get the rest of the way was five points. A 31-yard touchdown pass to James Starks brought the deficit to 22-17, which the Redskins answered with a 70-yard bomb from Cousins to Garcon. The Packers responded again with a lengthy drive capped off by Jared Cook’s first touchdown in a Green Bay uniform, but Washington responded yet again to maintain a healthy lead.
The Packers final comeback attempt was snuffed out on the following drive, when Josh Norman forced a Jared Cook after the Packers drove into Washington territory. Brett Hundley finished the game for Green Bay by throwing his first career interception.
The offense finally looked like it is capable of winning games, at least when the defense doesn’t surrender 40 points to the opponent. Cook, despite the bad turnover, showed what a play-making tight end can do for the offense, while the passing attack had seven players with at least three catches.
But despite the few positives, Green Bay and its fans are left to stew on the defeat for a fourth consecutive week. The loss dropped the Packers to a 4-6 record and a two game deficit to both the Lions and Vikings in the NFC North. Green Bay has now surrendered 153 points over its last four games, the most in such a span since 1958.
The season is not quite over, but barring some quick and major changes, the Packers will be left out of the postseason for the first time since 2008.——————
Sean Blashe is a Packers fan who grew up in Bears territory and is currently a journalism and history major at Marquette University. Sean is a writer with PackersTalk.com and you can follow him on twitter at @SeanBlashe .