(Sports Network) - OK, it's show of hands time.
Anyone who looked at the schedule and said, "Yes, either Green Bay or
Washington will be winless after two weeks," please accept your
congratulations. As for the rest of us, it'll be a bit jarring when 4 p.m.
Sunday rolls around and one of these two 2012 NFC divisional champions is 0-2.
But that's exactly what'll happen three or so hours after the visiting
Redskins head to Lambeau Field to meet the host Packers amid the Week 2 "must-
"You never want to start 0-2," Washington wide receiver Pierre Garcon said. "I
know it's going to be loud, it's their home opener and we're looking forward
to a good game."
Green Bay was lit up by San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick in its
opener, in which the youngster threw for a career-best 412 yards and three
scores while running for just 22 yards. Eight months earlier, the tattooed
phenom went for 181 yards on the ground while single-handedly ending the
Packers' postseason hopes in an NFC Divisional Playoff matchup.
"When you're playing a quarterback that has those kinds of talents and can
move around and has a strong arm, you've got to be able to (stop both)," said
Dom Capers, the Packers' beleaguered defensive coordinator. "We played one
phase well, we didn't play the other phase well enough."
On the surface, Washington QB Robert Griffin III would appear to present
similar challenges to Kaepernick, but the former Heisman winner and rookie
sensation slogged through a desultory opener against Philadelphia -- throwing
two interceptions and losing a fumble in the Redskins' surprising 33-27
loss on Monday night.
Griffin ran for a QB-best 815 yards last season, but had offseason knee
surgery and spent months hearing questions about whether the Washington brain
trust was rushing him back too quickly.
After the loss to the Eagles, though, neither he nor coach Mike Shanahan would
"I'm responsible for the way I play," Griffin said. "You move on from it. I'm
not going to sit here and say I was rusty. I've got to be accountable."
Shanahan spread the responsibility to the other 10 on offense as well.
"I don't critique players though the media," he said. "We didn't do the things
offensively that we needed to do as a group."
Regardless, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy had no qualms about discussing the
issues raised by a threat like Griffin on the heels of a match with
"(Griffin is) a mobile quarterback that has the ability to stretch the
defense," McCarthy said. "He has the ability to make plays in space and he can
make all the throws. In any Mike Shanahan offense, it starts with running the
Washington went to the playoffs thanks to a prodigious run game in 2012, when
it gained a league-best 169.3 yards per week. Against the Eagles, however, the
Redskins managed only 74 yards, led by 45 on 12 rushes from Alfred Morris.
In terms of pace, the Washington defense may see against Green Bay some of the
same up-tempo attack that served the Eagles so well.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 333 yards and three TDs against the Niners, hitting
Jordy Nelson and Reggie Cobb seven times each for a combined 238 yards.
Second-round pick Eddie Lacy, the Alabama runner the Packers hope will
revitalize their ground game, debuted with 41 yards on 14 rushes.
Green Bay had 63 rush yards as a team.
"It's one game, we lost, now we go back home," Rodgers said. "You want to look
at the big picture but also address the things you did wrong. We're going to
do that and be back."
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The Packers were burned in Week 1 when a running quarterback stayed in the
pocket and riddled them for 412 passing yards. The Redskins have the tools to
approach those gaudy numbers with Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan on the
outside, Morris out of the backfield and Fred Davis at tight end.
Capers will have to force a rusty RG3 out of his comfort zone.
On the flip side, Philadelphia confounded the Redskins with the Chip Kelly
Oregon-style attack, and, while the Packers might not reach that level of
offensive plays, they're certainly capable of getting up and down the field
quickly. Washington defensive backs DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson will be
challenged, and Brian Orakpo will need to get his pass rush on to harass
The Packers have holes and the Redskins have holes. The problem for
Washington, however, is that Green Bay has seemed just fine lately against
teams not named San Francisco and quarterbacks not named Colin.
Unless Griffin suddenly looks a lot more comfortable in Week 2 than he did in
Week 1, it would appear that he and his teammates are staring down a similar
Sports Network predicted outcome: Packers 30, Redskins 21
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