Week Three: Previewing the Washington Redskins

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Game Info: Sunday, September 23rd at 12:00PM on FOX: FedEx Field, Landover, MD

Odds: Packers -3; over/under 45.5

Washington Redskins: 1-1; Last week: Lost at home to Indianapolis 21-9

Head Coach: Jay Gruden (29-37-1 in fifth season, 1-1 vs Packers)

All-Time Series: Packers lead 20-15-1 (2-1 in Playoffs, including the 1936 NFL Championship game a 21-6 Packers victory over the then Boston Redskins); The Redskins won 42-24 in last matchup in 2016 at FedEx Field

Injury Report: G Shawn Lauvao (QUES-calf), G Brandon Scherff (QUES-knee), T Trent Williams (QUES-unknown), WR Paul Richardson (QUES-shoulder, knee), LB Zach Brown (QUES-oblique), S Troy Apke (QUES-hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (Placed on IR, toe)

Washington Expected Lineup:

OFFENSE DEFENSE (3-4 alignment)
QB 11 Alex Smith LDE 98 Matthew Ioannidis
RB 26 Adrian Peterson NT 95 Da’Ron Payne
RB2 25 Chris Thompson RDE 93 Jonathan Allen
RB3 32 Samaje Perine OLB 91 Ryan Kerrigan
WR1 18 Josh Doctson LILB 53 Zach Brown
WR2 80 Jamison Crowder ILB 54 Mason Foster
WR3 10 Paul Richardson OLB 94 Preston Smith
TE: 86 Jordan Reed CB 24 Josh Norman
TE: 85 Vernon Davis FS 36 D.J. Swearinger
LT 71 Trent Williams SS 35 Montae Nicholson
LG 77 Shawn Lauvao CB 47 Quinton Dunbar
C 73 Chase Roullier CB 31 Fabian Moreau
RG 75 Brandon Scherff K 3 Dustin Hopkins
RT 76 Morgan Moses P 5 Tress Way

 

The Packers visit FedEx Field for the third time in four seasons, winning only in the 2015 Wild Card Playoff round 35-18. Last week was disappointing for both the Packers and Redskins, with the Redskins following up an impressive week one win in Arizona Cardinals with a disappointing 21-9 home opening loss to the Indianapolis Colts and the Packers blowing a 13-point lead going into the fourth quarter to ultimately be bailed out by two missed Minnesota Vikings’ field goals in overtime to tie 29-29. 

Aaron Rodgers vs Alex Smith Part IV

The top two quarterbacks selected in the 2005 draft are forever linked as Smith was drafted No. 1 overall by the San Francisco 49ers, and Rodgers slid all the way to the Packers at 24th. Rodgers expected that he’d be the first chosen player and get the opportunity to play quarterback for the team he cheered and grew up near (Rodgers grew up in Chico, CA- 169 miles from the 49ers former home stadium, Candlestick Park). Cameras caught Rodgers waiting anxiously and restless in the back room of the NFL draft as he saw 21 teams pass on him, with the Cowboys and Vikings passing on him twice.

Smith was forced into action immediately early on as a rookie and struggled his first three seasons before shoulder injuries cut his 2007 season short and led to him missing all of 2008. Smith went 11-19 as a starter while Rodgers was the back up to Hall of Fame QB and iron man Brett Favre for his first three seasons in the NFL.

Since being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 and then traded to the Redskins this past off-season, Smith has turned in a solid career resume as a starting quarterback and is now possessing a career record of 89-63-1 (2-5 in playoffs). Rodgers on the other hand has been with the Packers since that fateful draft day and has made the 49ers (and 21 other teams) regret passing on him and has amassed a record of 95-48-1 (9-7 in playoffs) with two NFL MVP awards and the Super Bowl XLV MVP award.

Sunday will mark the fourth occasion in which Rodgers and Smith have squared off as starting quarterbacks with Rodgers owning a 2-1 record with their last matchup being in 2015 when the Packers beat the Chiefs 38-28 in Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football. Even though both quarterbacks are playing in their 14th season it sure appears like both have plenty in their tanks and this likely won’t be the last matchup between the two. With both teams being in the loaded NFC, this chapter of the Rodgers vs Smith battle looms large as both teams figure to be in the hunt for the playoffs. 

FIRST ROAD TRIP

The Packers will hit the road for the first time in 2018. They went 3-5 away from Lambeau Field in 2017. Under Mike McCarthy, since 2006, the Packers are one of only eight teams to have a regular-season road record at or above .500 (52-44, .542).

While FedEx Field may be one of the largest seating capacity stadiums in the NFL (82,000), it does not necessarily provide the best home field advantage as of late as Redskin fans have grown frustrated by the inconsistency and sub-par play over the last two-plus decades. Last week in the home opener, the attendance was announced as 57,013 which snapped the Redskins proclaimed 50 year sold out streak. It is expected that a large contingency of Packers’ fans will be flocking to the Nation’s capital and turning FedEx Field from a sea of burgundy and gold into green and gold.

Greeting the Packers on the road will be an all too familiar face in RB Adrian Peterson who will be on the opposite sideline for the Redskins this weekend as he finds himself starting in the Redskins injury riddled backfield. Since departing from the Minnesota Vikings after the 2016 season the Redskins are Peterson’s third stop as the 33-year-old attempts to keep father time from grabbing hold of him. Over the first two weeks Peterson has 116 yards on 37 carries with one touchdown to go along with five receptions for 100 yards. The Redskins defense welcomes the Packers and is surprisingly ranked as the top unit after two weeks, thanks in large part to having forced seven turnovers thus far (3 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries) and holding the Cardinals and Colts to a collective 27 points.

The Packers all time are 5-9 on the road against the Redskins, who have called both Boston and Washington home and hold a 3-0-1 record overall against the Redskins in the month of September.

CLASSIC FLASHBACK

Monday, October 17, 1983: The 3-3 Packers defeat the defending Super Bowl Champion, 5-1 Redskins 48-47 at Lambeau Field in the highest scoring Monday Night Football game ever played.

The Packers finished the 1983 season 8-8 and were known as team “Jekyll and Hyde” for their inconsistent yet high-powered offense lead by QB Lynn Dickey and Hall of Fame WR James Lofton. The Redskins won their second straight NFC Championship before losing 9-38 to the Los Angeles Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII.

NEXT MATCHUP VS REDSKINS: Unless they matchup again later this year in the playoffs, the Packers will play the Redskins and the rest of their NFC East Division foes in 2019. The game will be at Lambeau Field, time and date to be determined.

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