It was another ho-hum three-touchdown, no-interception game for Aaron Rodgers on Sunday against the Washington Football Team. In every one of the Green Bay Packers’ six wins since week one debacle against the New Orleans Saints, Rodgers has thrown multiple touchdowns, and he has thrown just a single interception in that time. He also has not seen his passer rating dip below 95 in any game since week one, with five performances over 100 and three over 125.
But while Rodgers has been elevating his game back to MVP levels of late, the Packers have a budding star on defense who has been consistently occupying opposing backfields. That would be third-year pro Rashan Gary, who now ranks as one of the NFL’s best pass-rushers. According to one measurement, he had a whopping 10 pressures on Taylor Heinicke on Sunday, giving him 35 on the season — a total that ranks him fifth in the entire NFL. Gary more than doubled his season sack total on Sunday with his two sacks, bringing him up to 3.5 on the year, but if you view that stat as the only measure of pass-rushing effectiveness, it’s time to have a chat with outside linebackers coach Mike Smith.
Indeed, Gary is one of the most consistent pass-rushers in the NFL right now, something the Packers sorely need with one Smith Brother out indefinitely and the other week-to-week. Even if Gary does have some areas around the margins to clean up, he has been a steady force and is still on the ascent, making him a dangerous weapon for Joe Barry to deploy.
Here’s a look at Sunday’s win as well as some early looks ahead to Thursday’s opponent.
Aaron Rodgers says Packers are ‘close’ as big game looms | Packers.com
The offense still isn't quite all the way there, but there were flashes on a few of their scoring drives on Sunday. This week will be a quick turnaround, however, with the team flying to Arizona on Wednesday for Thursday night's game against the Cardinals.
Aaron Rodgers in press conference says hotel rule is 'antiquated' | Packersnews.com
An NFL rule requires players to stay in a hotel the night before a game, even at home. Rodgers isn't a fan of that, as he said it caused him to have a sore back in Sunday's game against Washington. You wouldn't know it from his performance, though, as he posted a passer rating over 125 for the second straight game.
Packers defense comes up big in red zone vs. Washington, awaits Cardinals in toughest test yet – The Athletic
Finally, the Packers defense got stops in the red zone, holding Washington to just one field goal on four trips inside the 20. They got some help from the opponent, though, as Taylor Heinicke's slide and Terry McLaurin's drop kept Washington out of the end zone on two golden opportunities.
Rashan Gary steps up big for Packers’ pass-rush in win over Washington | Packers Wire
It's officially time to retire any talk about Gary being a bust, if it wasn't already. He had two sacks, four QB hits, and once again led the team in pressures. He is also among the NFL's leaders in pressures for the season. If he can clean up one or two facets of his game (not getting too deep in the pocket and giving up contain, for example) he'll be as complete a pass-rusher as the Packers have had in some time.
NFL Week 7 takeaways - What we learned | ESPN
Arizona's Kyler Murray got hit hard, early and often, by the Texans' defense even though the Cardinals ended up with a blowout win. That could affect him on a short week against the Packers.
City of Albuquerque parking enforcement officer caught breaking own rules | KRQE
Do as I say, not as I do, eh officer?