Redskins.com’s Brian Tinsman takes a closer look at Sunday afternoon’s regular season game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field:
After a disappointing Week 1 for both teams, the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers each entered today’s game needing to avoid the dreaded 0-2 start. Both teams are coming off division championships in 2012 and have high expectations for 2013.
Only two Super Bowl winners have ever come back from an 0-2 start for the season.
But it would be no easy road for the Redskins, who have not beaten the Packers in Green Bay since 1988. Only 38 members of the Redskins’ 53-man roster were alive the last time that happened.
The Packers have also lost only two of their last 28 home games, making it one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL.
The turning point of the game appeared to come with the loss of safety
PLAY OF THE GAME
The Redskins play of the game goes to
PLAYER OF THE GAME
It wasn’t nearly enough to put the Redskins back in the game, but top receiver Pierre Garçon had his biggest game yet in Washington, catching seven passes for 138 yard and the team’s first touchdown of the day. This has been a long time coming for No. 88, who exploded out of the gate last year, but was hobbled by a debilitating toe injury that plagued his season. Looking and feeling healthy this year, Garçon is threat from anywhere on the field and kept the passing offense alive.
Redskins outside linebacker
WHAT WENT RIGHT
--Tragically lost in the blowout loss was the fact that Redskins running back
--The first-quarter pass rush. Whether by sending the front four or loading up with safety blitz, the Redskins kept Rodgers on his toes in the early going, forcing three errant passes and collecting three sacks right out of the gate. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan continued his outstanding start to the season with consecutive sacks on the first drive of the game, and fellow ‘backer
--Displaying a reckless dominance characteristic of his play so far in Washington, safety Brandon Meriweather returned to the field this afternoon and made an immediate impact on the game. On Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy’s first carry of the game, he bulldozed his way for 10 yards before making the ill-fated choice to hurdle a defender. Meriweather met him in the air and hit him hard and legally, in a play that resulted in Lacy’s removal from the game. Several plays later, Meriweather came on the blitz and forced a key incompletion by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It would not all be good, however. More below.
--He was joined by a receiver corps that once again woke up in the fourth quarter, with
WHAT WENT WRONG
--In a déjà vu scenario, Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather made his much-anticipated debut today after an ACL injury limited him to just 37 plays in 2013. He made an immediate impact, collecting four tackles and a quarterback pressure, imposing a breath-taking hit on running back Eddie Lacy that removed him from the game. In an ugly play later in the first half, Meriweather met Starks down the sideline on a 20-yard gain, and Starks drilled him, legally, in the helmet, knocking him to the ground. As Meriweather lay there motionless, Starks and tight end Jermichael Finley celebrated the play, before realizing the severity of the injury. Meriweather was attended to by the training staff and removed from the game with a concussion. Not a good sequence for the Redskins, and not a classy move by the Packers.
--With Meriweather out of the lineup, the Redskins defense struggled to do anything effectively. The Packers scored 24 points in the first 23 minutes, letting the Packers move the ball at will converting 50 percent of their third downs and one fourth down conversion in the early goings. Midway through the second quarter, the Packers had a 100-yard receiver in James Jones. The Packers offense was averaging 10 yards per play and had nearly 400 total yards by halftime. Celebrating homecoming weekend today, the Packers threw for 400 yards and had a 100-yard rusher for the first time in franchise history. All-in-all, it was a nightmare scenario for the Redskins, who could not get the defense off the field.
--The Redskins struggled to move the ball through the air in the first half as well, with Robert Griffin III completing only six-of-13 passes for 107 yards. He showed good awareness at times, getting pressured from behind and rolling out and showing comfort throwing on the run. The problem was frequently on the receiving end, where some combination of good defense, slick conditions, errant passing and poor receiving led to a number of passes that bounced off hands incomplete. Or worse yet, the passes bounced up in the air and were intercepted, as in the case of the team’s attempt to convert on 4th-and-5 deep in Packers territory.
--Redskins special teams struggled with the rest of the team today, as punter
--This game may not have boiled down to field goals, but the Redskins clearly suffered without
It wasn’t pretty out there.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers became the first quarterback since Y.A. Tittle in 1962 to throw for 480 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. This was a historic offensive day for the Packers and a historically disappointing day for the Washington Redskins.
Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon on starting games slowly:
"We've got to start the game off as if we're down 14 - zip or something."
Coming into the season with high expectations, the Washington Redskins are reeling after back-to-back losses have the team with their backs to the wall early. They return to the friendly confines of FedExField this week, but the path gets no easier as the Detroit Lions come to town looking to keep pace with the Packers. If the Redskins want to regain momentum and defend their 2012 NFC East Championship, this game figures to be a must-win.
The Redskins proved this week that momentum is fictitious in the NFL, as a strong fourth quarter in one game does not mean smooth sailing ahead.
For the second-consecutive week, the team came out flat, playing hard on defense but fading while the offense is forced to come alive late.
There is no question that this team possesses passion and determination, twice now battling back from sizable deficits to make the game interesting. But the Redskins 2013 schedule is not conducive to a team that can’t keep pace with the other team.
Moving forward, the Redskins need to address major issues in the passing game on both sides of the ball. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best in the business, but the team is trending in the wrong direction, and looks lost at times.
With only two games in the books, there is still plenty of time for a very talented team to turn things around. However, having been outscored 71-47, this is clearly a start that no one expected.