Packers sink to Browns-like level (1-1-1) after loss to Redskins

LANDOVER, Md. -- Three weeks into the season, the Green Bay Packers have the exact same record as the Cleveland Browns.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Then again, so do the Minnesota Vikings.

Only one of those teams should feel good about a 1-1-1 record -- and it's not either of the NFC North teams.

The Packers, perhaps more so than any of those three, should be most concerned after Sunday's 31-17 loss at the Washington Redskins.

Their quarterback is beat up, adding an apparent right hamstring issue to an already injured left knee.

They lost one of their marquee free agents when $5 million defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson had to be carted off with a left ankle injury that appeared so serious the Packers ruled him out almost immediately and he left the stadium in an ambulance.

Their defense, which everyone thought would be improved with the coordinator change from Dom Capers to Mike Pettine, still hasn't reached championship caliber.

And, oh yeah, no one knows how to legally hit a quarterback anymore.

So much to sort out and so much for the Packers to figure out before next Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills, who stunned the Vikings in Minneapolis.

Aaron Rodgers didn't start anywhere near as sharp as he was a week against the Vikings, his first game with the brace on his left knee, although he got better as Sunday's game went along. Even after he appeared to pull up and grab his right hamstring in the third quarter, he managed to move the ball -- even with his feet when he converted a third-and-3 with a 10-yard scramble. But there were no heroics like in the season-opening win over the Bears from down 20 points.

Perhaps more than anyone, Rodgers could use a bye week but won't get one until Week 7 -- although he denied he did anything to his hamstring.

“He’s going to be dealing with this for a while,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “He gutted it out, moved out of the pocket more than I would have liked, but I really won’t know the extent really probably until tomorrow."

While Wilkerson's season could be over, the Packers will have to figure out how to turn around a defense that couldn't stop 33-year-old Adrian Peterson (19 carries for 120 yards), struggled against tight ends (Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed combined for three catches of 20 yards or more), and was flagged for three pass interference penalties against three different defensive backs (Jaire Alexander, Tramon Williams and Davon House) on the same drive.

And that was all before a third roughing the passer penalty against Clay Matthews in as many games -- this one wiped out a sack of Alex Smith late in the third quarter and infuriated Packers coach Mike McCarthy to the point where he had to be restrained on the sideline.

Still, the defense actually gave the Packers a chance, holding the Redskins to just one first down on their first four possessions of the second half, all of which ended up punts.

But there was no magic like the Browns had Thursday night during their first win since 2016, and the reality is at this point the vibe in Cleveland is better than the feeling in Green Bay.

“They’ve got a really good defense -- Washington -- and I missed a couple throws I usually hit,” said Rodgers, who was 27-of-44 for 265 and two touchdowns despite a pair of drops by Randall Cobb and one by Lance Kendricks. “We dropped a couple chances for big plays and that hurt us. Didn’t get a lot going most of the game. We’ve got to give them credit but we left a lot of offense out there.”