Tale Of The Tape: Washington Redskins At Green Bay Packers
- QuarterbackThe explosive play of Robert Griffin III means that the Redskins should be contenders all season for the NFC East title. If RGIII can stay healthy, he has dominating speed, an excellent arm and the ability to rise to the moment and come up with the big play.While Rodgers may be the best passer in the league – at least when it comes to accuracy – he may not be the happiest man in the league. A couple of former Packer receivers questioned his attitude and he came out second-best to the 49ers once again in the season opener. Look for Rodgers to be at his best against the Redskins in the home opener.
- OffenseThe Redskins need RGIII to be at his best if they are going to beat the Packers on the road, but running back Alfred Morris gives the quarterback a willing partner who can carry his share of the load. Morris runs with toughness and has a surprising burst. Pierre Garcon is a dependable receiver who has earned the trust of the coaching staff, while Josh Morgan has big-play potential.The Packers hope that rookie Eddie Lacy can give them a power running attack that allows them to convert short-yardage first downs as well as opportunities around the goal-line. Jordy Nelson may be on track for a big year after catching seven passes for 130 yards in the opener against San Francisco. Randall Cobb should be Green Bay’s top big-play asset because of his ability to get downfield.
- DefenseThe Redskins don’t expect their defensive line to make a lot of big plays, but it has to be solid against the interior run. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan may be Mike Shanahan’s most dependable defensive player. He diagnoses plays with ease and flows to the football and will not let tackles slip through his grasp. CB DeAngelo Hall is a gambler who produces big plays when he guesses right.The Packers finished the 2012 season with a “soft” reputation after they were run out of Candlestick Park by the 49ers in the divisional playoffs. They were a far more physical team in the season opener against the same opponent, and much of that is on the shoulders of linebacker Clay Matthews, who seems to care more about defense than anyone else on the Packers’ roster.
- Special TeamsThe Redskins have decent special teams play thanks to the solid directional punting of Sav Rocca and the dependable field goal kicking of Kai Forbath. After the Redskins brought him aboard in Week Six, Forbath made 17-of-18 FG attempts.The Packers have gambled that Mason Crosby would not repeat last year’s nightmarish season in which he made just 63.6 percent of his FG attempts. Punter Tim Masthay has a strong leg and he showed it against the Niners, averaging 46.2 yards per punt in Week One.
The edges appear to be even in this matchup, but the Packers come home after a tough loss while the Redskins played at home in Week One on Monday night. Those circumstances favor Green Bay and if Rodgers gets off to a hot start, this could be a blowout. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor