Redskins 42 - 24 Packers
Hello Brothers & Sisters, and welcome to another edition of Washington Redskins football. Tonight's episode features the Redskins hosting the Green Bay Packers.
My name is JimmiJo, and together with my partner of the ages, TheMurf, will bring you tonight's action.
The last time these teams met was in January in the the playoffs. Then, Green Bay left winners. Here's hoping it goes different tonight.
At 5-3-1, it is difficult to convince some that tonight's game is 'must-win.' But it is, given the state of the division. Despite the winning record, Washington sits at only third in the NFC East. And a win tonight will do nothing more than allow them to maintain the same position. But they must win to avoid last place and keep abreast of second-place 7-3 New York Giants.
Meanwhile the Dallas Cowboys are running away with the division and league. Their 9-1 record is good for first in the NFC East and best in the NFL.
The success (or lack thereof) of Washington's season rests on the next five days. Win tonight to stay three back of the Cowboys and a half-game behind the Giants; and then a chance Thursday to beat Dallas to gain a game and stop their momentum.
But no sense in looking ahead. If the Redskins don't win tonight, a victory Thursday will benefit New York as much if not more than Washington.
This is a winnable game for the Redskins. But not a definite. The Packers have been inconsistent, as their 4-5 record attests. But they can still do some damage.
Green Bay come in ranked 14th in offense, compared to Washington's 4th overall. But they own the 10th-ranked defense (meanwhile the Redskins defense ranks 21st).
The Redskins need to bring a high degree of urgency and focus to this game. It is a nationally-televised night game, which usually means disaster for the Redskins. Hopefully the home field advantage will help their cause.
We have been experiencing incredibly high winds in the region for the last 24-hours which are expected to persist until after midnight. The team that runs the ball better should have the edge. The Redskins rank 11th in rushing, better than the 19th-spot the Packers currently occupy.
Keys to Victory
- Run Forest Run!
- Ball control that translates to long drives for scores
- Containment defense that limits the big plays by the Packers
- Pressure Aaron Rogers
We are still about 2.5 hours away from kickoff. I will share any tidbits I come across.
Twitter @HomerMcFanboy for Murf and @Skinscast for me
I'm not going to lie -- as someone who has spent more than 21 years serving in and with the U.S. Army, it brings a smile to my face whenever I see an organization like the Washington Redskins go out of their way to recognize veterans and active duty service members.
Clearly a primetime game against one of the NFL's most popular franchises was going to be a well attended game anyway, but making this game their "Salute to Service game," makes tonight's contest with the Green Bay Packers a little extra special, in my eyes at least.
And honestly, if this game didn't feel exactly like last year's 35-18 playoff loss, we'd all be thrilled to catch Aaron Rodgers and friends right now. But I was on the sidelines when a supposedly vulnerable opponent limped into town and pistol-whipped the Redskins back in January and I'm not going to fall for that act again.
So even though the Packers have looked like hot garbage for most of the season and they're giving up 35 or more points on seemingly a weekly basis now, I still refuse to underestimate them until Rodgers is no longer collecting an NFL paycheck.
That being said, even though their record during primetime games over the last decade or so is downright abysmal, it's not as if the Redskins have no chance this evening. For starters, since Week 7 last season, Kirk Cousins has outplayed Rodgers. Don't believe me? Here are the numbers:
Cousins has completed 69.5 percent of his passes while averaging 287.5 yards per game, throwing 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for a 106.2 quarterback rating.
Rodgers has completed 60.1 percent of his passes while averaging 249.5 yards per game, throwing 38 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for a 87.7 quarterback rating.
So while conventional wisdom tells you to take Rodgers over Cousins all day every day, the numbers show that Captain Kirk has been playing at an outstanding level for more than a year now. Tonight I fully expect tight end Jordan Reed to get back into the end zone too. He's been too quiet for a guy with such a ridiculous talent, so I fully expect him to get going against a beatable Green Bay defense.
This is also the type of game I'd expect to see Jamison Crowder thrive in. His speed and elusiveness give defenders fits, and the Packers are pretty mediocre on the defensive side of things, so hopefully Crowder keeps his string of solid performances going.
Finally, I'm thrilled that the Matt Jones era seems firmly behind us. Nothing that guy did ever gave me reason to believe he was anything more than "just a guy." Now that "Fat" Rob Kelley has taken over the primary running back duties, there's actually a reason for the playcallers to throw in a carry or two every now and then.
On defense I want to see what else Sua' Cravens has in store for us all. The more he's on the field, the more chances he's got to make plays. Considering how much he's been able to impact things in his limited reps, I'm truly excited to see what else he can make happen out there.
I'm also encouraged by Preston Smith's showing against Minnesota. He was too good last season to be so nonexistent this year, so it was nice to see him finally begin to make his presence felt once again. Finally, safety Duke Ihenacho has quietly been playing very well of late. I'm hoping to see his strong play rewarded with a turnover or impact play this evening. That's what I'm looking for tonight.
Now I'm headed down to the field level to go freeze my tail off in hopes of getting some halfway decent photos for you guys.
The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 2 QB Nate Sudfeld
o No. 19 WR Rashad Ross
o No. 31 RB Matt Jones
o No. 57 LS Nick Sundberg
o No. 68 T Blaine Clausell
o No. 74 G Arie Kouandjio
o No. 98 DE Matt Ioannidis
On Saturday, the Redskins signed No. 59 LS Rick Lovato and waived No. 67 DL Jordan Hill. Lovato (6-2, 249) is a 24-year-old Old Dominion product who appeared in two regular season games and two postseason games for Green Bay last season.
The Packers declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 23 CB Damarious Randall
o No. 32 RB Christine Michael
o No. 47 LB Jake Ryan
o No. 70 G T.J. Lang
o No. 73 C/G JC Tretter
o No. 91 LB Jayrone Elliott
o No. 99 DT Christian Ringo
Interesting pregame interview of Kirk Cousins with Bob Costas. Especially the post-interview comments. Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison lavished Cousins with praise, saying he should be in Washington for a long time.
But in truth I am not sure the Redskins front office is totally sold on Cousins, even now. I get the sense they may feel there is something better on the horizon, though I am not sure what else they expect him to show, or who else is out there? I am not much on college ball so perhaps someone can tell me if the upcoming quarterback class is a good one.
Cousins currently ranks 7th among active quarterbacks. He has thrown 14-touchdowns against only 7-interceptions. He has a 66.9-percent completion percentage on the year for a 94.8 QB rating. Best of all, they seem to win when he plays.
Maybe it's a head game to keep Cousins grounded. But I have to believe he is the quarterback of the future here.
Here's to a good game, with no injuries. Talk to you at the half
Redskins should be up big here. But thanks to early drops by DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed they spent the first quarter punting to each other.
Also don't get the go-for-2 after the second TD. A four-point lead means they need a touchdown instead of a game-tying field goal. That said, the long snapper is out for this game so they are understandably nervous.
Washington gets the ball to start the half, A touchdown drive should signal the beginning of the end for the Packers.
And let me add - the Redskins are the better team tonight. Let's get this.
Could not have been more impressed with the Redskins tonight. Every time there was anything remotely resembling controversy, the Redskins came back and put their stamp on it. The Redskins whooped some monkey-ass. Don't believe me? Look at the stats:
Kirk Cousins - 21/30 for 375-yards and 3 touchdowns for a qb rating of 145.83 (Not an misprint)
Rob Kelley - 24 carries for 137 yards and 3 touchdowns (all-star numbers)
Aaron Rogers 26/41 for 351-yards, 3 touchdowns and a QB rating of 114.9
Aaron Rogers - 3 for 33-yards and 0-touchdowns.
And let's take a broader look
Total Net Yards Redskins 515 - Packers 424
Rushing Redskins 151 - Packers 84
Passing Redskins 364 - Packers 340
First Downs Redskins 21 - Packers 19
3rd Down Efficiency Redskins 9/14 64% - Packers 7/15 46%
Red Zone Redskins 4/5 80% - Packers 2/4 50%
The Redskins won running away with this one.
Not to say Green Bay wasn't here to play. Only that the Redskins were more than ready. What I most appreciated was Washington's refusal to capitulate to the Packers. Last year the Redskins would have folded a few times inside of this game. Instead the Redskins responded to each and every challenge.
I was super impressed with Kirk Cousins tonight. Not sure what else he needs to do to earn a long-term contract, but tonight he did a lot to help himself. He was confident and effective. Take back a couple of obvious drops and his numbers look even better. It is getting more and more difficult to argue he should not get paid. As in the big bucks,
Washington needed this win in the worst-way and they got it. But no matter how big tonight felt, it still only keeps the Redskins par with the rest of the NFC East. It does give them good momentum going to Dallas for Thanksgiving.
Win that one and people will be talking.
Excited for the win. Hope this carries over to Dallas. Let's go team!