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Packers vs. Redskins: Quick Takes From Green Bay's 38-20 Win

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Packers vs. Redskins: Quick Takes From Green Bay's 38-20 Win

The Green Bay Packers became football's version of a buzzsaw Sunday, as a record crowd at Lambeau Field witnessed the offense tally 580 yards and the defense take a shutout bid deep into the third quarter during a comfortable 38-20 win over the Washington Redskins in Week 2.

It was over when…

...Jordy Nelson caught a 15-yard score from Aaron Rodgers that put the Packers up by 31 points early in the second half. But that's only in theory. Green Bay kicked Washington in the teeth from the opening kickoff on, and the Redskins couldn't muster much of a counter punch until the game's outcome had already been decided. In reality, this one was over early.

Game Balls

  • Aaron Rodgers: At times Sunday, Rodgers made playing the most difficult position in sports look so elementary. Only eight of his 42 attempts didn't end in a completion, and his 480 passing yards tied Matt Flynn's franchise record. Rodgers' passer rating of 146.0 was his highest since Week 7 of 2011 (146.5 vs. Minnesota) and the third highest of his career. This was a master chef cooking up his finest meal.
  • James Jones: After being shutout in San Francisco, Jones exploded for 11 catches and a career-high 178 yards Sunday. Being matched up on Redskins rookie David Amerson was borderline stealing for most of the afternoon, and Rodgers continued going back to the well time and time again. By the half, Jones had already set new career bests in catches and receiving yards.
  • James Starks: Go figure. The same guy that looked on the brink of losing his roster spot in mid-August became the first Packers running back to rush for 100 yards since October 2010, a stretch of 45 games. Starks, who filled in for Eddie Lacy after the rookie left in the first quarter with a concussion, ran hard and decisively against an overmatched Redskins front. His burst was there, too. The roller coaster ride that is Starks' NFL career took an unexpected upswing Sunday.

Key Stats

The Packers' 580 yards of total offense was the most by Green Bay since 1962 (628 vs. Philadelphia), and the second-most in franchise history...For the first time in franchise history, the Packers had a 400-yard passer and 100-yard rusher. Rodgers went for 480 while Starks had 132...Green Bay had two receivers go over 100 yards for the second-straight week. Jones led the way with 178, and Randall Cobb chipped in 128. Overall, Rodgers was 20 of 22 for 306 yards and one score when targeting the duo Sunday...The Packers had 283 yards after the catch, the most in the NFL since 2007...Green Bay has now won 21 of its last 22 games at Lambeau Field...By catching a first-half score, Jermichael Finley matched his 2012 touchdown total. The Packers tight end had just two last season, but has two through two games in 2013...Finley's 65 receiving yards moved him into second place in Packers history among tight ends. He passed Ron Kramer...By scoring 38 points, the Packers extended their franchise-record streak of home games with at least 22 points to 17. No other NFL team has a longer active streak...The Packers had 28 first downs over 70 plays, but went just 4-of-10 on third down.

Other Notes

– Defensive coordinator Dom Capers dialed up some first-half blitzes that were big factors in getting the Packers off the field on third down. I wrote earlier this week that the Packers needed to blitz Robert Griffin III, and the fruits of that theory were on display Sunday. It was a gutsy effort from the defense for the better part of three quarters.

– Jermichael Finley looks like a completely different player. He might not be the out-of-this-world, position-changing player he was late in 2009 and early in 2010, but Finley has put together an impressive start to this season. He's been impossible to tackle and much better as a blocker.

– The young offensive tackle duo of David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay settled down nicely after a shaky start. Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan aren't slouches, and they took advantage of the two tackles at times in the first half. But you don't complete 81 percent of your passes for nearly 500 yards without pretty good protection up front.

– One week after battling field position all afternoon in San Francisco, the Packers turned the tables on Washington. Green Bay started six of its 11 drives at the 25-yard line or better. It might not have mattered with the defense Washington played Sunday, but no offense likes playing in the shadows of its own goalposts.

– Cobb, Jones, Finley and Jordy Nelson each had over 60 yards receiving. How do you realistically take away all four? There aren't many quartets in football that can match the talent and production of Green Bay's current group.

– The Packers travel to Cincinnati for a tricky Week 3 matchup next Sunday. The Bengals will be coming off the Monday night game, but this is a talented roster with difference makers all over the field. Getting to 2-1 will be a stiff test on the road.

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covered prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (54) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Zack W's picture

Thanks so much for the write-up Zach. I live in California and am usually relegated to a sports bar for Packer games, which comes with no game audio and a ton of distractions. It's difficult to follow anything that's going on other than who has the ball, and analysis like this is awesome. Thanks!!

Bearmeat's picture

I think they not only get to 2-1, but that 12-4 or better is a distinct possibility.

This is a very good team.

Nerd's picture

Defense seems to be improved, at least up front.

Offense seems better too. Running game is going to be improved.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I wouldn't say the defense really improved up front. They were especially good last week. They didn't apply the pressure on Kaepernick because they wanted to contain him. Today they attacked more.
Also a player that really has stepped up his game to me is Mike Daniels. He has looked really good to me.

Ranch Tooth's picture

Yep. And the Pack won't be playing elite teams like the 49ers every week either, so they should be able to stack some wins.

Point Packer's picture

Did Datone Jones play today?

jack in jersey city's picture

yeah. he actually got hurt near the end of the game

Idiot Fan's picture

I don't have the snap numbers, but I thought I read that they are easing him in because of his ankle injury.

Jamie's picture

Played 3rd downs. Occupied two blockers (a third for a bit) on a designed stunt outside that allowed Perry to push C into RGIII and deflect a pass. Got push up the middle a couple other times.

Did you watch the game?

Evan's picture

I only notice touchdowns, sacks and interceptions.

Point Packer's picture

And missed field goals.

I only watched the first half + because Fox switched over to the Cowboys/Chiefs game. Bastards. My comment was shaded with a wee bit of sarcasm. I knew he was on the field only because I had visual confirmation. Glad to hear he bravely occupied blockers....(more sarcasm).

MarkinMadison's picture

He's two games into his rookie season. CM3 was nothing to talk about for most of his rookie season. Let's hold the sarcasm until at least Thanksgiving.

Tibbits's picture

You do realize that "bravely occupying blockers" is what Justin Smith does for the 49ers, right? Without him on the field Aldon Smith is considerably easier to contain. He's going to be fine.

hayward4president's picture

Tibbits ....I saw JSmith literally bull rush an offensive lineman onto his a$$ last nite. Datone has literally done nothing. Let's be honest here. Yes its only two games but no need to lie about stats. I think 95 has what...one tackle?

packeraaron's picture

Try to remember what Justin Smith looked like his rookie year - it sure as hell wasn't what you've seen from him the last two years. TT always says first round picks are long term investments. Lineman, on both sides of the line, are esp so. Jones will be a keeper. Just be patient.

hayward4president's picture

I know it takes time Nagler.....I'd just like to see him make one good play that's all. Even a tackle for loss would be swell.

Runn Fourett's picture

He was on the field if you want to call it that. Not knowing his number for sure (looked it up today) I saw a 95 spending some time standing in space. I saw a 95 run right up to a blocker instead of shed the guy and tackle the runner.
All things I would expect from a 5th round back up. He seriously lacks the speed to pass rush.

mudduckcheesehead's picture

#fartsmeller

themasterfake's picture

Nice concern to have, The play of a rookie in his second game.

Hbuff's picture

I haven't seen an injury update from the game, anyone heard anything?

Nerd's picture

I heard Kuhn pulled a hammy.

Lots of those going around. Makes me wonder with all Mike's emphasis on avoiding injuries, are they even stretching?

Jamie's picture

He went back in...said on the Tweeter that he's fine.

themasterfake's picture

Ready to catch four yard Hail Mary passes.

calipack's picture

Will Lacy be able to play next week if he gets cleared or is there a rule that a player needs to skip a game if he had a concussion in the previous game?

chicago hooligan's picture

There's no rule, but there is an evaluation process. We should know on Friday at the latest if Lacy will be held out.

Nerd's picture

I'd sit him down until after the bye.

An RB takes ALOT of hits. You want him to get another follow up concussion? No way this staff clears him, especially with how conservative they are.

jeremy's picture

And the way Starks played...

Tibbits's picture

Yeah. Not to mention Back-To-Back Concussions could end his career. He should definitely be sat until after the bye even if he can go on Sunday.

Runn Fourett's picture

Only a doctor can clear him to play. After that its the coaches.

themasterfake's picture

here's a thread of from CHTV equvalent for the Skins: http://www.hogshaven.com/2013/9/15/4730284/open-thread-redskins-at-packe...

Best comment: The Pylon is our MVP

Norman's picture

Thanks for the link. My favorite comment:

Anyone considering going to the library at half time to get a book on suicide...
Don’t do it.

…I just tried. The librarian told me, “F Off, you won’t bring it back.”

Nononsense's picture

I needed a good laugh today, wow that was funny.

It must have been a very hard game to watch but at least this guy didn't lose his sense of humor even if it was slightly morbid.

BradHTX's picture

Those are both funny-as-hell!

jh9's picture

Hilarious! Thanks for posting the link.

Idiot Fan's picture

Two weeks in a row the rookie tackles took a series or two to get up to speed, but after that they looked pretty solid against quality competition. With these two getting experience plus Bulaga and possibly Sherrod coming back from injury, this could be a position of strength in the future.

calipack's picture

I agree with you and JC Tretter

RC Packer Fan's picture

I think Bahktiari has the potential to be our starting LT for a quite a few years. I'm not ready to name him that, because it has only been 2 games. But in those 2 games he has went against some of the leagues best and has held up really well. Still needs improving, but I like what I have seen thus far.

Barclay has looked good, but I do think his best position might be G. But he has played a lot better this year already then he did last year.

Nerd's picture

Line's gonna be deep when we get Bulaga and Sherrod back. And Tretter.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I agree. Just thinking out loud. Next years OL could potentially be. LT-RT Bakhtiari, Sitton, EDS or Tretter, Barclay, Bulaga.

With what I have seen early Bahktiari has the potential to be the LT of the future. Which means they could move Bulaga back to RT (his best position) and move Barclay inside. I think that could make for a really good OL.

Idiot Fan's picture

With Lang, Newhouse, and maybe Sherrod off the bench? Man, I could get on board with that.

C's picture

Packers already appear to be distancing themselves from Ross. Is he gone by midseason unless his special teams play drastically improves?

RC Packer Fan's picture

One thing I was kind of surprised at was that they didn't bring in Franklin late in the game. I heard Buck and Aikman talking about how they are putting packages together for him in the passing game. Maybe since they were up a lot they decided to not unveil it, but I was kind of surprised they didn't use him to get his feet wet a little bit.
Also with Lacy being out, and Starks injury history, they are one play away from having to rely on Franklin. It would have presented a good time to get him in there and playing a little.

Nerd's picture

I was surprised too. It was a perfect opportunity.

RC Packer Fan's picture

That to me would be the only thing I would have liked to of seen done differently. I saw they used Mulumba on defense a few times, so why not use Franklin on offense.
Would have been a perfect opportunity.

Point Packer's picture

I was actually surprised we didn't see Seneca. Or maybe we did and I missed it cause Fox decided the Cowboys/Chiefs were more important.

Nerd's picture

I figured they'd keep Aaron in to try to get some stats.

Oddly, they ran it right up to that all time record.

ChiTownCheese's picture

Franklin's poor blocking skills will keep him on the bench. Did you watch the pre-season or read any training camp reports? Lets keep A- Rod upright.

al's picture

they don't want to show all the cards in the deck this early .........

MarkinMadison's picture

How about a little mop-up for Seneca Wallace? If he's not ready for a little mop-up then we have real problems.

Ranch Tooth's picture

I love how the narrative now is that Starks was "on the bubble" in training camp when he was CLEARLY the 2nd most explosive back in the preseason.

Don't get me wrong, it is still a feel good story, but the dude did come to camp healthy and in the best shape of his career and it's now showing on the field in the regular season.

Evan's picture

And after he fumbled in like week 1 or 2, he barely saw the field again. I don't think 'on the bubble' was at all a stretch.

Lou's picture

Agreed, it was a coin toss between Green and Starks for the last RB spot even though Starks outperformed Green. Based on letting D.J. Smith and Bishop go my guess is Green was cut because of uncertainty over a major injury, that seemed to be Thompson's emphasis besides size and Stark's size won out there too. With is long strides if Starks gets a crease he is tough to stop, the key is those first couple of strides. Too early to tell, but this could be de javu with the two young tackles, like Clifton & Taucher, what a surprise after the top draft choices suffered major injuries. Lastly, give House more time "any where" in the secondary, his aggressiveness is contagious, like Jolly's.

Mr.Bigg's picture

While watching the SEahawks and 49ers game lat night I am baffled by the game Bolden had against us. Hyde didn't play much yesterday. What did seattle do so well that we didn't? Was it really all Sherman's ability?

Defensealltheway's picture

What is going on? With the nfl. The officials. I watch the replay with the ref right there as the defender gave jones a direct helmet to helmet hit causing jones to lose control of the ball. Are you ok jones. Ref should be fired and goodell suspended for in competence.

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