While I thought week 1 only had only a few showcase games, I like what week 2 has in store for us. Many of these games are scattered early in the day and later on, so it’ll make for a nice day for NFL fans and handicappers alike. One game that I have a vested interest in is the Washington Redskins vs. Green Bay Packers. After the clock reads 00:00 Sunday afternoon, one team is going to be 0-2 and the other is going to earn their first win of the season. Given who these two teams are, I think it comes as a little bit of a surprise that either RGIII or Aaron Rodgers is going to start 2013 at 0-2.
Both squads faced formidable opponents last week, as the Packers faced a tall task going up against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers ultimately fell to the 49ers, 34-28, it was a valiant effort by the Packers offense, but their defense got diced up by Kaepernick with ease. It was a story the Packers know oh so well, the offense torches opposing defenses, but their own defense can’t hold their end of the bargain to turn the game into a win. Against really good offenses this is where the Packers are really exposed. It was a similar week 1 for the Redskins as well, just replace Kaepernick with Michael Vick and you get the picture.
Redskins vs. Packers Betting Odds:
Washington Redskins +7(-105)
@ Green Bay Packers -7(-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Redskins vs. Packers Pick:
Both teams have come into 2013 went plenty of hype, most notably the Redskins with Robert Griffin at the commands. Much was made of Griffin sitting the preseason out instead of getting at least a little playing time in before the real thing. I think the Redskins would have better served to have given RGIII a couple quarters of play in the preseason. RGIII and the Redskins offense came out flat before they started to turn it up later in the contest. The ‘Skins ended up losing, 33-27, as the slow start offensively doomed them in the end. Even after the dismal start, RGIII still ended up finishing with a solid stat line: 329 yards passing, 24 yards rushing, and 2 touchdowns. The Packers present a similar quality of defense as the Eagles, so the ‘Skins offense should be able to move the ball effectively again in week 2. The Redskins didn’t have much of a chance to get the running game going, as they were playing catch up from the start, so Alfred Morris finished with a paltry 45 yards on 12 carries. The weakness on the Packers’ defense is their pass defense, which got lit up by Kaepernick as week ago, so look for the Redskins to air the ball out with great regularity.
The Packers’ defense didn’t appear to take any steps forward from last season after looking lost against the ‘Niners. When it was all said and done, Kaepernick threw for 412 yards on 27-39 passing with 3 touchdowns. The Packers failed to get any sensible pass rush on Kaepernick, which afforded him all day to pass the ball. It is quite astounding that the Packers were regarded a few years ago as having one of the best defenses in the NFL, but it has gone downhill since then. In 2012 they were still average, but got into shootouts far too often to be deemed a good unit. Now, the secondary is at even more of a disadvantage with the departure of cornerback Charles Woodson. They could have a tough time this week against another mobile quarterback that presents several challenges for defenses. I think the Redskins’ offense will be in a better position this week to be in rhythm in the early stages of this one as a result of RGIII having some playing time under his belt.
I have no issues with the Redskins’ offense even a little bit. By the end of the season I think their numbers are going to reflect last years. So in that respect, the Redskins have nothing to worry about. However, the defense should be similar to last season, which was awful, so the Redskins are going to find it difficult improving on their 2012 campaign. While the offense was in the top-5, the defense was in the bottom 5 of the NFL. The Packers have trouble defending opposing quarterbacks, but the Redskins are much worse, ranked 30th last season allowing 281.9 yards per game. I expect this number to be relatively the same by seasons end. The Packers have the offense to easily dismantle this putrid bunch, so it could be bombs away for Rodgers and company Sunday afternoon. Rodgers appeared to be in mid-season form against a good 49ers defense, dishing the ball out for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rodgers also threw an interception, but it was off a dropped ball that wasn’t his fault at all.
After facing a pretty stiff defense last week, Rodgers should enjoy facing a defense that isn’t nearly as good as the 49ers. The Packers will also be at home where they tend to do very well offensively. Last season at Lambeau the Packers never scored less than 20 points against any opponent. I see no reason why they don’t throttle the Redskins in this spot, and wouldn’t be shocked if they drop over 35 points on the Redskins. Conversely, with the rust off of RGIII, they should be able to move the ball against the Packers. Love the total going over the posted total of 50 Sunday afternoon. If you’re going to play the spread, I have a lean on the Packers -7.
PICK: OVER 50 (-110)