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The Washington Commanders earned a hard fought victory over the Green Bay Packers today. The Taylor Heinicke led team was able to play the ball control game and outlast a late push by top signal caller Aaron Rodgers.
Offense: Grade C+
The Commanders offense looked much better today after a shaky start. Taylor Heinicke looked rusty and was late on just about every throw in the first half. Scott Turner stayed consistent with the run game allowing RB Brian Robinson to churn out some tough yards between the tackles while RB Antonio Gibson was able to get some chunk plays out on the edges and in the passing game. Heinicke settled down in the second half as he started to target WR Terry McLaurin more. McLaurin’s big TD over CB Jaire Alexander helped push the offense past the Packers. The offense is still very much a work in progress.
Defense: Grade B+
The defense played a future Hall of Famer in QB Aaron Rodgers, and they were able to get the better of him all day. Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio called a great game. He mixed up coverages all day to keep Rodgers and the big play potential of the Packers offense in check. The secondary did a great job keeping Green Bay’s wide receivers under wraps. Even though the defense didn’t register any sacks they did a great job of moving Rodgers off his spot all day. The Packers did have a few successful runs, but they didn’t stick with it as they had to play catch up in the second half. Just a really good performance by the entire defensive group.
Special Teams: Grade B
The kick return unit with Antonio Gibson looked much better as he was able to gain more yards on each return. K Joey Slye missed another easy field goal attempt continuing his underwhelming season. Slye needs to get better fast. CB Christian Holmes came up with another big play today downing a punt on the one-yard line.
Coaching: Grade B+
The coaching staff overall had a much better day today. It seems there was a lot more care and consideration given by the coaching staff to game planning the opponents specific weaknesses. The defense seemed to play tighter on the lesser talented Green Bay wide recievers. The offense finally understood the value of being a more balanced team and stayed with the run game for the entire afternoon. The offense also realized that our best offensive weapon is Terry McLaurin and targeted him as such today. While these decisions paid dividends they were also very common sense decisions which the coaching staff should have been making the entire season.