2019 Week 14 - That's What Cheese Said

Ugly wins still count the same, but this team knows it left a lot on the field Sunday against Washington. 

The Packers beat Washington 20-15 to climb to 10-3 on the season. With the win, and a Saints loss at home against the 49ers, Green Bay now sits as the second seed in the NFC. If the Packers win out, they’re guaranteed the second seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. But, nobody is talking about the playoffs just yet. 

“We’ve got three tough opponents coming up, starting with the Chicago Bears. Three NFC North opponents. We’ve got a lot to clean up in order to move forward to get to where we want to get to,” said Head Coach Matt LaFleur.

LaFleur became the first head coach in the team’s storied history to get to double-digit wins his first year coaching. While his 10th win came over a 3-10 team, the Packers understand that they don’t award style points in this league. 

“We’ll never apologize for winning. We’re always going to feel great about winning. But you always want to go out there and put your best performance out there, and I think there was more out there today for us,” LaFleur said.

The Packers started hot and went up 14-0 in the first quarter before failing to find the end zone again for the rest of the game. The ground game, however, did get rolling under Aaron Jones who had 192 total yards on the day. He rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown while adding another 58 yards through the air, including a reception on 3rd-and-14 that LaFleur called the play of the game for the team. 

“We’ve gotta continue to find ways to get him the ball,” LaFleur said of Jones. 

The team’s other Aaron, future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers, had a modest outing but still threw 18-of-28 for 195 yards and a touchdown, giving him a passer rating of 96.6.

“We ran the ball pretty well but we just couldn’t find that rhythm in the passing game,” said Rodgers, whose lone touchdown on the day came to tight end Robert Tonyan. “But, it feels good to be 10-3.”

“I think we’re just finding different ways to win,” Rodgers said, emphasizing the running game being effective against Washington. 

Some weeks, the passing game is leading the way, like last week against the Giants when Rodgers had four touchdowns through the air. That same game, the Packers managed less than 100 yards rushing. 

When asked if he was concerned about the offense, Rodgers said no, citing a number of miscues that kept Washington in the game, including his own fumble during the two-minute offense. He acknowledged that had the team converted one or two of the big plays they missed on, the tone following this game might feel different. It also would’ve opened the team up for more points on the scoreboard. 

“We’re finding ways to win. That’s the most important thing.” 

The Packers went 3-for-6 on third downs against Washington, giving them a 50% conversion rate. In the red zone, however, Green Bay was a perfect 100% scoring touchdowns on both trips. 

Still, the team knows they had plenty of opportunities to put up more than 20 points against a struggling Washington team. 

“We left a lot of yards, a lot of points, made that thing a lot more difficult on ourselves than we should’ve,” said Bryan Bulaga. “Obviously I’m happy we won. I’m not gonna sit here and say ‘give the win away,’ because no, we want it, but we need to be better going into these next three.”

“We had a lot of short fields today and we didn’t capitalize on those,” said LaFleur. “I don’t think it’s up to our standards.”

Defensively, the Packers held the Redskins to 15 points, giving up 121 yards on the ground and only 170 yards through the air. Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins was also sacked four times and intercepted once.

“Anytime you hold a team to 15 points, you’ve gotta win that football game,” said Kenny Clark who had 1.5 sacks, one tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits on the day. 

When veteran cornerback Tramon Williams was asked at his locker what getting to 10 wins means, he smiled.

“I don’t think it means anything right now,” he said, citing the number of good teams in the NFC this season and how competitive the final few weeks will be. “Until we know we’re for sure in the playoffs, that’s when it’ll mean something.”

For some of the team’s players, this is the first time they’ve ever been a part of a 10-win season. Aaron Jones, a 2017 draft pick, is one of those players. 

Free agent acquisitions Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith also acknowledged the special nature of a 10-win season, with Za’Darius part of a 10-6 squad in 2018 in Baltimore, and Preston only getting to 9-7 in 2015 with the Redskins. Both players have a chance to hit their highest team win totals since joining the NFL if the Packers win one more game this regular season. 

“I can’t really tell you what the magic recipe is moving forward, but I can tell you it feels really good to be 10-3,” emphasized Rodgers post-game. “It feels good to be on that side where you’re answering questions about ‘how can you be more dynamic’ after a win than ‘what the hell’s wrong with the team.’”

The Packers are still finding ways to win close games, something they failed to do in their previous two seasons. And as the saying goes, winning is half the battle. 

“I wouldn’t mind winning ugly all the way to the Super Bowl,” quipped Rodgers. 

Green Bay closes out the season with three division games, starting with their final home game of the regular season against a surging 7-6 Chicago Bears team in Week 15.

 

----------------------------

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV, podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said, and hosts a weekly live show called Happy Hour through Game On Wisconsin. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

4 points

Comments (33)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
albert999's picture

December 10, 2019 at 03:06 pm

Just win baby

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Difer's picture

December 10, 2019 at 03:33 pm

I don't see the Pack beating the Vikes. If Rodgers plays like he did against the Redskins, they will have to rely on a hideous performance by Trabisky to beat the Bears. That said, the Pack may have a shot at a wild card unless the Rams win out. However it turns out, this has been a much more successful season for the Pack than most thought possible.

+ REPLY
-9 points
1
10
murf7777's picture

December 10, 2019 at 03:44 pm

No need to fear the Vikings. They have beat up on losing teams and lost to winning teams. We are in the drivers seat and have a two game lead since we have tie breaker on them with three to go. Pack take the north back! That has a nice ring to it:)

+ REPLY
5 points
6
1
Lphill's picture

December 10, 2019 at 06:31 pm

The Bears have no pass rush and their secondary is giving up the 3 rd most fantasy points to receivers. Injuries have hit them hard.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Lphill's picture

December 10, 2019 at 06:32 pm

Shooter what front 4 do you speak of?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Gort's picture

December 10, 2019 at 07:46 pm

Washington has 3 wins on the season and nearly had #4 last Sunday.
I bleed green & gold, but my expectations have been drastically lowered in recent weeks.

+ REPLY
-3 points
0
3
murf7777's picture

December 11, 2019 at 06:03 am

The game wasn’t close. They scored on garbage time during pack prevent D. Also, since the new head coach the last 8 games their D has given up something like17 points per game. There’s rarely easy games in the NFL.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
ShooterMcGee's picture

December 10, 2019 at 04:30 pm

Honestly I don't see them beating the Bears either. Their defense has all the ingredients to shut Rodgers and the run game down. They can pressure with 4 rushers dropping 7 into coverage. Aaron is so risk averse he won't throw into tight windows, thus taking sacks. It may be a long day at Lambeau. 2 game losing streak heading into Detroit seems realistic, ughh.

+ REPLY
-6 points
0
6
CAG123's picture

December 11, 2019 at 03:46 pm

What have the Vikings done to convince you that the packers might not beat them? Have you forgotten this is the team that lost to Matt Moore or can't seem to beat the actual good teams and has beaten mostly average to below average teams? Optimism is one thing silliness in another and its pretty silly to think the Packers will lose three straight and miss the playoffs considering this is one of the few teams that doesn't have a losing streak on the season.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Guam's picture

December 10, 2019 at 03:35 pm

The Bears will be a good litmus test for this team. They are coming in on a three game winning streak and have been playing very good defense and decent offense. The Bears did lose one playmaker on the defense last week in R. Smith (torn pectoral), but get Hicks back after an eight week absence. They should still be formidable for our offense. Thank heavens the game is at Lambeau.

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
Cubbygold's picture

December 10, 2019 at 04:37 pm

Agree. I think it's actually very helpful for MLF, Rodgers and Pettine to have to play back to back weeks against teams fighting for their playoff lives. Gives them a taste of whats to come, without the win or your out consequences. Hope to see them respond under pressure.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 10, 2019 at 06:24 pm

We’re playing the Bears and we’re at home. #2 seed on the line. If we’re ever going to put it together on both sides for 60 minutes, this would be the time. The Vikings are irrelevant until next week.

+ REPLY
7 points
7
0
Razer's picture

December 10, 2019 at 04:19 pm

It would be nice to see the Packers put 3 good quarters together this Sunday. It would be the first time this season - sheesh.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
mamasboy's picture

December 10, 2019 at 04:31 pm

I don't think any team has gone to the Super Bowl by winning ugly.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
murf7777's picture

December 10, 2019 at 05:37 pm

Normally you’re correct but Just get hot at the right time and you never know. It happens. It’s not always what u did in the past but the future that counts on who wins the big one.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Gort's picture

December 10, 2019 at 07:50 pm

Very much agree with getting hot at the right time can go a long way, but what I have seen the Packers put on the field recently is just getting lukewarm.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 10, 2019 at 07:04 pm

I think we won several ugly games in 2010..

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Bure9620's picture

December 10, 2019 at 07:44 pm

2000 Ravens WERE Ugly

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
splitpea1's picture

December 10, 2019 at 07:53 pm

Definitely--but they had one of the best defenses of all time. On offense, I don't know what they would have done without Shannon Sharpe.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CAG123's picture

December 11, 2019 at 04:44 pm

You must have not seen the Packers in 2010 then huh? Or the Giants in 2007 and 2011.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Qoojo's picture

December 10, 2019 at 05:22 pm

I think winning 2 out of 3 of the remaining games gives them the division. 3 out of 3 obviously is a first round bye. 1 out of 3 will be wildcard berth at most. I think Chicago and Detroit are obviously winnable. I expect a close game with vikings, where the dumpster franchise pipes in the noise. Cue the officiating complaints by the queens fans should packers win.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
albert999's picture

December 10, 2019 at 05:41 pm

Rodgers will spring back and details will get tightened
Special teams will have a big run back
Glass is half full boyzz it’s crunch time

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
stockholder's picture

December 10, 2019 at 05:41 pm

This team is capable of anything. Any doubt; would just be running down this team. The negative impact is looking ahead, and peaking to soon. Their efforts should be supported No matter what. I'm sure they'll keep fighting regardless. My hope is they just don't taper off. The next 3 games can impact this team. The simple things must not Slow them down. Their approach must be discipline, focus, and not self examination. It's time to sound the Charge!

+ REPLY
3 points
6
3
Since'61's picture

December 10, 2019 at 08:07 pm

“I wouldn’t mind winning ugly all the way to the Super Bowl,” quipped Rodgers. That works for me. I posted a similar statement yesterday on another thread on this site. We've had "RELAX" and "Run the table". Now we've got "winning ugly all the way to the Super Bowl." Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
nostradanus's picture

December 10, 2019 at 08:18 pm

You may be on to something 61!

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
nostradanus's picture

December 10, 2019 at 08:17 pm

I remember many ugly wins and ugly losses with McCarthys Super Bowl team, just get in the tournament man and let’s roll!!!
Go Packers!!

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
nostradanus's picture

December 10, 2019 at 08:22 pm

Then Bears looked like they could make a playoff run last year and they had the “double doink” you just never know man. Packers could get hot and make a run!

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Handsback's picture

December 10, 2019 at 08:40 pm

11-5 is a very fine record for this year. 13-3 would be just unbelievable. 12-4 still gets the Packers into the playoffs (I believe that's right). Win ugly, win with passion, I don't care... just win baby!

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
Bure9620's picture

December 10, 2019 at 08:59 pm

11-5 could actually miss the playoffs with a couple scenarios, NEED to beat the Bears!

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
porupack's picture

December 10, 2019 at 08:51 pm

Bears game will be more dangerous than the Vikes. This is the one to dig deeper into the playbook (and not forget to practice it all week).

+ REPLY
-4 points
1
5
Bure9620's picture

December 10, 2019 at 09:04 pm

Not sure about that....Bears will be be a tough grind of a game for sure......but the Vikings are a better team gunning for the division and we have never won in that building. Can't wait for those ridiculous fans with horns on their heads doing their clappy hand chewing tobacco chant......

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
VioletteStiedemann's picture

December 11, 2019 at 04:03 am

I am glad to read this amazing article

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CAG123's picture

December 11, 2019 at 03:52 pm

I'm not complaining over wins considering they had only six last year yall realize this isn't college football right where how you beat an opponent is important for rankings and whatnot? they could win 2-0 and all that means to me is they held an opponent scoreless I'll take it.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.