Mistakes were made and Destino got his hands on a press pass! I am reporting from within the wonderfully climate controlled, and entirely dry, press box. Who says the fan experience at FedEx field isn’t great? Not me (not today). I am joined by Spaceman Spiff, who has managed to wrap himself and all his treasured equipment in plastic and is currently out on the field rolling around in the muck.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: There are reasons to feel good about the defense, the passing game has started slow, and the running game is unreliable. There are differences, but in general we find ourselves entering week three on familiar ground, asking a familiar question. Is this team any good? (and maybe adding a quick “please please let them be good” under our breath.)
Are the Redskins as good as the team that beat the Cardinals or as bad as the team that got shut down by that stunning Colts defense? Have the wide receivers introduced themselves to Alex Smith? Has Peterson informed Jay that running towards the sideline isn’t his style? Can we beat an injured Aaron Rodgers in the rain?
We’ll find out together. (Time for some more free food!)
The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:
No. 17 WR Michael Floyd
No. 30 S Troy Apke
No. 32 RB Samaje Perine
No. 39 CB Adonis Alexander
No. 74 T Geron Christian
No. 77 G Shawn Lauvao
No. 99 DL Caleb Brantley
The Packers declared the following players as inactive:
No. 8 QB Tim Boyle
No. 19 WR Equanimeous St. Brown
No. 20 CB Kevin King
No. 22 RB Darius Jackson
No. 27 S Josh Jones
No. 70 T/G Alex Light
No. 82 WR J’Mon Moore
Diet Pepsi fueled update #1
A quarter into this one and FedEx field is magical place where dreams can come true. Alex Smith and his stable of receivers have been dominant. The Packers, having failed to stop them within the rules turned to pass interference, but the results were the same. Touchdowns. Sweet sweet touchdowns.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense took the quarter off. Good for them, they deserve a break.
Personal notes: B Mitch is now sitting in front of me. Close enough that I could bop him on the head if I were so inclined. Probably a bad idea.
Watching the game in the press box feels a little like watching a football game while at work. We’re all watching a game, but without any of the noise you'd normally associate with that. Professionals. Every single one of us.
A lot of ugly cheese hats behind the end zone.
Free chocolate cake powered update #2
Those of you hoping for a shut out are disappointed, and some fans in the forums are no doubt finding reasons to frown with a mouth full of ice cream. Reasonable fans should be thrilled.
The Redskins defense managed to keep the the Packers quiet but the Pack were able to stretch their legs a bit. Against Rodgers one blown coverage is all it takes for him to make a 64-yard touchdown pass look like pitch and catch. I get the impression that they’ll look much more capable in the second half.
Alex Smith gave up an interception but the Redskins offense continued to produce big plays and finish drives. Peterson broke off a 41-yard run and Davis caught a 50 yard pass. Most importantly the drives continued to end with touchdowns and not the field goals that doomed the Redskins in the home opener. They'll need to continue to play well in the second half. Rodgers will not go gently into the night.
Personal Notes: I chose the Vikings in survivor league.
Coffee coffee coffee! Update #3
Alex Smith and the offense took the 3rd quarter off, completing one pass for zero yards, scoring no points, and managing just a single first down. Momentum has definitely swung towards the Packers who held the ball 10 minutes and scored the quarter's only points (7). That said, the damage on the scoreboard wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.
I worry that the Redskins may have taken their foot off the gas a bit too early in this one. Wouldn’t be the first time Gruden went conservative too early in the second half when his team held a lead.
Time to find out just how good this defense can be.
Personal Note: That familiar dread is slowly creeping its way in. If you've been a Washington Sports fan for long enough, you know what I'm talking about.
T-shirt toss has no place in a world with t-shirt cannons.
End of game.
“It feels good man, especially after a rough week” - Josh Norman.
Final thoughts on today's game have to start with the defense. They deserve the lions share of the credit considering how the second half played out. The unit surrendered 17 points to Aaron Rodgers (and the Packers) and through three games have allowed just 14.7ppg. That’s a significant improvement over the 24.3ppg they averaged by the end of last season. They’re healthy again and it shows.
The Packers also dropped some passes. It had to be said. I said it. We can move on.
Peterson and the rushing offense had a bounce back performance. This fills me with happiness for some reason. There is just something about the Redskins featuring a power running game that feels right.
If there is a cloud in the silver lining, it’s the offenses disappearing act in the second half. Alex Smith and the passing game followed up a brilliant first half of football with a second half stat line that is almost unbelievable: 2/5 passing for 6 yards. Three first downs and three points for the offense in the second half.
Only explanation for this is that Jay Gruden decided to turtle early. Today, it worked.
We won, and it feels good.