2021 Week 7 - That's What Cheese Said

Hear from the head coach and key players following Green Bay's 24-10 win over the Washington Football Team. 

The Packers climbed to 6-1 on the season, enjoying a six-game win streak after beating the Washington Football Team 24-10 this past Sunday. 

“It sure does feel good to be 6-1,” Head Coach Matt LaFleur said at the podium after the victory. 

He credited all three phases for the team’s win, but emphasized special teams specifically with a blocked field goal attempt by rookie T.J. Slaton. Punter Corey Bojorquez has also impressed all season with his ability to flip the field.

Offensively, the Packers scored on the opening drive and never trailed, despite Washington’s stout defensive front dominating most of the first half. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked three times for a loss of 27 yards before the offensive line was able to settle in, and then Rodgers wasn’t sacked again the entire second half. 

On National Tight End’s Day, Robert Tonyan got into the end zone for only the second time this season, snagging the team’s third touchdown and posting a season-high 63 yards on four receptions. 

“I’m gonna do whatever’s asked of me. I just want to win games, I want to win a Super Bowl so bad,” Tonyan said about his role on the offense and how it changes week-by-week depending on the offense’s game plan. “As long as we’re holding up a trophy at the end of the year, I really don’t care what my stats are.”

An “honorable mention” in the tight end room, receiver Allen Lazard put up season-best numbers in Week 7 with five receptions for 60 yards and a score. 

All-Pro Davante Adams had the team’s third (technically first) touchdown and added another 76 yards to his resume, giving him three scores and 744 yards through seven weeks. 

The offense put up 24 points and went 2-of-4 in the red zone, with 24 points tying the output last week for second-lowest point total of the season behind only the Week 1 performance against the Saints. 

The word both the head coach and quarterback used to describe the offense? “Close.” 

“It’s always encouraging when you come away with wins and there’s more to work on,” LaFleur said, mentioning the offense specifically as an area they want to improve. 

Defensively, the Packers improved in the one area they needed to most. All season, the narrative swirled around Green Bay allowing a 100% success rate on red zone trips. Before the Washington game, opposing offenses were 15-of-15 scoring touchdowns inside Green Bay’s red zone. Against Washington, that changed dramatically. 

The Packers didn’t allow a single red zone score, with Washington going 0-for-4 on trips inside the 20. Washington’s lone touchdown came on a 40-yarder to Terry McLaurin. 

“I know there’s been a lot of discussion about the red zone defense, but when you hold a team to 0-for-4 in the red zone, that’s a pretty big deal,” LaFleur said after the game. 

“It’s huge,” added Dean Lowry, who tallied a half sack and fumble recovery on the day. “That’s been our focus, really this whole year, is improving in the red zone, and that fourth-and-goal stop in the red zone there was huge for us. If we can get more of those, just bend but don’t break, we’ll be a great defense for this whole season.” 

Nickel corner Chandon Sullivan had his first interception of the year, bringing the team’s turnover total to two on the day. Green Bay is undefeated this season when forcing at least one turnover on defense. 

“This whole week we’ve been emphasizing red zone defense. We had to get better, and I feel like we came out and did exactly what we needed to do,” said Sullivan post-game. “Anytime you hold an NFL team to that low of points, it’s a win.” 

“Defensively, I can’t say enough about the guys,” said LaFleur, mentioning Rashan Gary and De’Vondre Campbell specifically. 

Gary posted a season-high two sacks with four quarterback hits and a forced fumble. His season total now sits at 15 quarterback hits through seven weeks, more than he had all of last season (11). 

“We have yet to play our best game, so our goal each day and every game day is to put together our best game,” Gary said of the defense’s performance. 

With outside linebacker Preston Smith missing his first NFL game, it took everyone on defense to get after one of the best pass-blocking offensive lines in football. The defense finished with four sacks and nine quarterback hits against Washington. 

“We feel good,” Lowry said about holding the Football Team to 10 points on the day. “That was a very scrappy quarterback, as you guys saw. He had a good arm but just his scrambling ability was really a big challenge for us and that o-line coming into the game was one of the best pass protecting o-lines in all of football, so we thought we got after them pretty good.” 

Rodgers said he’s felt throughout the years Green Bay’s best defenses have been opportunistic ones that toughen up in the red zone, force some turnovers, and get the ball back to the offense. Washington outgained Green Bay from a yardage standpoint but only left with 10 points. 

“When our defense is playing like they did today, we’re going to be tough to beat,” said Rodgers. 

Green Bay faces a quick turnaround now with the undefeated Arizona Cardinals on deck for Thursday Night Football. 

“We’ve gotta go against a good team but those guys have to go against a good team as well in us,” said Tonyan.

The 6-1 Packers will take on the 7-0 Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on Thursday at 7:20 p.m. CST. 

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (5)

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mnbadger's picture

October 26, 2021 at 12:29 pm

“We’ve gotta go against a good team but those guys have to go against a good team as well in us,” said Tonyan. that's the story every week. This week has added pressure due to long road trip, no practice, no DC and no DAdams. But, we're a good team. Let's go chase the cardinals out of the birdfeeder! GPG!

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PatrickGB's picture

October 26, 2021 at 01:10 pm

I don’t see the probability of not having Adams in the lineup as being the deciding factor in the game. However, I do lament the loss of Alexander and the Smith bros.I think that our offense can score. It’s the defense against a mobile and accurate QB with lots of weapons as our weakness. If our offense can score and control the clock it will help. And maybe after being pummeled last week Murray might be a tad gun shy or their offense makes a point of max protection and limits his running around then our bend but don’t break might hold down their scoring.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

October 26, 2021 at 01:17 pm

Arizona has a good defense but you expect the Pack to still move it some, so I agree that how well the Packers D can perform is what determines this one.

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greengold's picture

October 26, 2021 at 01:07 pm

Great stuff, Maggie. This Packers team is still figuring it out, but at a much higher level than other teams. Great to see the defense come through big time to help us get the W. New faces all over the place there, and this coaching staff appears to doing a nice job of having their players ready. Thinking both sides of the ball will only get better the further we get into this season's schedule. Especially with top players possibly returning to the lineup.

The Cardinals will be their biggest test so far. Hoping for the best.

GPG

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canadapacker's picture

October 26, 2021 at 02:09 pm

Short week and travel to AZ - without DC and best receiver. Well we have won there before and we have lost there before. Our biggest goal has to be to get to the show. 6 wins are in the bank - given the other teams in our division - we will need 10 wins to be there. As they say - that's why they play the games - but we need to worry less about getting a win on Thursday and more about getting healthy and playing some good ball. The new guys seem to be getting their sea-legs with this the team and hopefully - both offensively and especially defensively we can start of putting things together. Thursday's game is more of a measuring stick on how to handle a really mobile Quarterback with great receivers Hopkins Moore Kirk and now Ertz and a couple of nice running backs Connor and Edmonds.
Its going to be nice to have a mini-bye to rest up some guys

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