3 Takeaways from Packers' Week 7 Win

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIOctober 25, 2021

3 Takeaways from Packers' Week 7 Win

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    The Green Bay Packers continue to show that they are among the top teams in the NFC. On Sunday afternoon, they didn't play their best game. Yet they found a way to keep rolling.

    Green Bay notched its sixth consecutive win by defeating the Washington Football Team 24-10 at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns, one coming in each of the first three quarters. Mason Crosby's 39-yard field goal with 11 minutes, 21 seconds to go pushed the Packers' lead to 17 points and sealed the victory.

    Although Washington had 430 total yards, it committed a pair of turnovers, and Green Bay's defense got stops when it needed to. At 6-1, the Packers have a 2.5-game lead over the rest of the NFC North.

    Here are three takeaways from Green Bay's Week 7 win.

More Weapons Got Involved in the Passing Game

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    The Packers offense is always at its best when Rodgers can utilize more than just top wide receiver Davante Adams in the passing game. And while Adams had a strong performance Sunday (six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown), he wasn't alone in making big plays for Green Bay.

    Allen Lazard stepped up as the Packers' No. 2 wide receiver, hauling in five passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, tight end Robert Tonyan had his best game of the season, notching four receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown.

    Tonyan hadn't gotten into the end zone since Week 2, and he had only six catches over Green Bay's previous four games. Lazard has now scored a touchdown in two straight games after not having any over the first four weeks of the season.

    "It starts and ends with [Adams], but the more we can get guys like Allen involved and Bobby involved, it's going to slowly give [Adams] a few more one-on-ones probably," Rodgers said, per Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

    Rodgers completed 27 of his 35 passing attempts and had no interceptions. If other playmakers keep excelling, then more performances like this could be on the way for Rodgers and the Green Bay offense.

The Defense Was Much Improved in the Red Zone

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    Through the first six weeks of the season, Green Bay's red-zone defense had not been good. Opposing teams had made it inside the Packers' 20-yard line 15 times, and all 15 of those possessions resulted in touchdowns.

    When Washington got close to scoring numerous times Sunday, the Packers defense clamped down. Of Washington's four trips to the red zone, the first three resulted in no points, and it was held to a field goal on the fourth. All four of those stops came in the second half as Green Bay tried to hold on to the lead.

    The Packers forced a pair of turnovers on downs on Washington's first two red-zone opportunities, while cornerback Chandon Sullivan intercepted quarterback Taylor Heinicke on the third.

    "Everybody knows that we've been struggling a little bit in the red zone, so that definitely was a point of emphasis coming in, making sure that we can get that part of our game going," Green Bay linebacker De'Vondre Campbell said, per Wes Hodkiewicz of the team's official site. "I think today was definitely a step in the right direction."

    After winning the majority of their games despite the red-zone struggles, the Packers may become even tougher to beat if their defense can continue to perform like this late in opposing teams' drives.

Packers Rolling with Big Matchups on Horizon

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    The Packers' surprising 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 is long in the past. Their six-game winning streak has solidified their spot among the best teams in the NFC again this year. This was their first victory by more than 10 points since Week 2, so they have also showed an ability to win close games.

    Now, Green Bay is entering a more difficult portion of its schedule. It has a quick turnaround for Week 8, as it goes on the road Thursday night to take on the 7-0 Arizona Cardinals, who are the only unbeaten team in the NFL. After that, the Packers face the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams before their bye in Week 13.

    Although the Chiefs and Seahawks are underperforming, they could still turn things around. The Vikings are in second in the NFC North at 3-3 and all divisional games are important, while the Rams are one of the NFL's best teams at 6-1.

    Because Green Bay has been playing so well, it has a nice cushion with its NFC North lead. But this stretch could provide a better idea of how the Packers stack up with some strong teams, particularly the Cardinals.

    If Green Bay can knock off Arizona on the road, it would be a huge statement that this team is poised to make a deep playoff run.


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