Three keys to a WFT upset over the Packers on Sunday

By Gibson Hirt

After a monstrosity of a Week 6 performance, Washington now has to travel to Green Bay to get back in the win column. The Packers are on a five-game winning streak and boast a superb offense as well as a defense that has given up the fifth fewest yards per game. Lambeau Field is known as one of the toughest environments to play in, giving Washington even more of a challenge. With the way the Packers are playing right now, it’s going to take a gutsy performance for Washington to emerge victorious.

Here are three keys for Washington to stun Green Bay on Sunday afternoon:

Continue to use JD McKissic as a receiver

In a game in which the offense struggled mightily, JD McKissic was the lone bright spot. He was only given eight carries but turned them into an impressive 45 yards. He was most impactful, however, in the passing game. He hauled in eight catches for a team leading 65 receiving yards and has been a reliable check down option all season. On the year, he is Washington’s second leading receiver in yards, trailing only Terry McLaurin. He’s continued with his stellar receiving production last year, when he led all running backs in receptions with 80 as well as receiving yards with 589. McKissic has served as the backup to Antonio Gibson and has still put up fantastic production with fewer snaps. Gibson left Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs with a calf injury; add that to his lingering shin issue, and there is a decent chance he may have to miss a game or two. If Gibson is forced to miss time, McKissic will immediately be thrust into the starting role, giving him even more opportunities to showcase his talents.

Get off the field on third down

All season long, Washington’s defense has struggled to stop opposing teams from converting on third down. They rank dead last in opponent third down conversion percentage, allowing a ludicrous 58% of third downs to be picked up. So far, it has felt like every time Washington gets their opponent in a tough third down situation, a missed tackle or penalty gives the offense another shot to get the first down. For Washington to defeat the Packers, they need the defense to get off the field when they have the Packers at third and five or longer. If they are unable to do this, the Packers are going to pick Washington apart all afternoon.

Force secondary targets to make plays

The Packers receiving core is led by four-time Pro Bowler, perennial All-Pro and route running messiah Davante Adams. Through six weeks, Adams leads the league in receiving yards with 668 and is averaging 111 YPG. After Adams, however, the receiving group sees a dramatic decrease in talent and production. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb have only combined for 281 yards, and neither of them have presented Rodgers with a consistently reliable second option. If Washington is able to minimize Adams’ impact and force Rodgers to look for other receivers, they’ll be able to stay in the game. It won’t be easy, but blocking Davante Adams from getting his way is key for Washington if they want any chance at leaving Green Bay with a victory.

Going to Lambeau Field is no easy feat for any team; add that to the fact that Washington has struggled mightily the past two weeks, and it’s going to take an incredible performance from the WFT to knock off the Packers. If they want any shot at winning, they need to continue to involve JD McKissic, get off the field on third down and limit Davante Adams.