On Sunday September 23rd, 2018, the Washington Redskins defeated the Green Bay Packers 31-17 to advance their record to 2-1 on the season. Here I will take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from the game.
–Adrian Peterson- The 33 year old running back had a subpar game last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Peterson was back to his normal self rushing for 19 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Peterson has always been a volume back and around 20 carries is perfect for Peterson. Peterson is showing a good burst through the hole and isn’t showing signs of showing down. If Peterson is around 100 yards for a game, the Redskins should be in position to win.
-Defensive Line- The young defensive line is starting to play dividends for the Redskins defense. The starting defensive line: Matt Ioannidis, Jonathan Allen, and Da’Ron Payne combined for all four sacks the defense on Sunday. Their ability to rush the passer has covered up the lack of pass rush from the outside linebackers. The Packers as a team totaled 100 yards rushing and they still can improve there but the defensive line looks pretty solid right now.
-Tight Ends- The combination of Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis has proven to be a massive weapon for the offense. On numerous occasions Jordan Reed lined up out wide as a receiver and was consistently getting open and moving the chains while Vernon Davis has shown an ability to get open on deep routes. These two give Jay Gruden amazing flexibility with formations and personnel groups and with their run blocking the possibilities are endless. For the offense to thrive they need both tight ends to keep playing well.
-Second Half Offense- In three game the offense has a total of 12 points in the second half, all on field goals. Against the Cardinals with a chance to put the game away the offense sputtered for most of the second half until a late field goal. Against the Colts the offense moved the ball better in the second half but could not get into the end zone. Sunday against the Packers, they also had the ability to seal the game but allowed them to hang around for longer than they should have. This needs to improve going forward during the season.
-Outside Linebackers- The starting duo of Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith have zero sacks this season. Backup Ryan Anderson is the only outside linebacker with a sack. For the defense to maintain themselves they will need the outside linebackers to get home. Sunday should have been a good day for them with a hobbled Rodgers, but they did get a few hits on Rodgers but unable to bring him down. Kerrigan has been especially quiet having only one tackle on the season.
Secondary Communication- The defense has been performing well so far this season. The defense is currently third in total defense and sixth in passing defense. However the secondary has had some communication issues. On Sunday the miscommunication between DJ Swearinger and Josh Norman allowed Geronimo Allison to get past them for a 64 yard touchdown. The play looked like cover 3 or cover 4 defense and Norman expected DJ to stay in the deep middle but DJ tried to jump a quick inside route. Last week the secondary was crossed up but Colts a few times and the Packers tried to do the same thing. With prolific quarterbacks upcoming on the schedule, this needs to be rectified.
The Weather/Crowd- There is nothing anyone could do about this however FedEx Field more resembled the upper West Coast. Consistent rain and a muddy field did not seem to affect the Redskins too much. Much was said about the crowd last week against the Colts. Sunday the stadium had more people in them but a lot of those were Packers fans who travel well. At one point in the game a loud “Go, Pack, Go” chant had to be drowned out by the Redskins faithful. If the team puts together a few more performances like they did Sunday and the stands will be full with Redskins faithful.
The Bye Week/Injuries- In some regards the bye week is early this season and could mess with the momentum of Sunday’s win. However there are some injury concerns that the team can get healed up over the bye week. The team announced that Trent Williams had minor knee surgery to clean up his knee he had the off-season surgery on and he should be fine for the team’s next game against the Saints. The team also announced that Adrian Peterson sprained his ankle at the end of the game and the bye week can be used to rest and heal him. Also it is possible the Shawn Lauvao could also return by that time as well. All in all the team is 2-1 heading into the bye week and have started the season reasonably well.