Friday, September 13, 2013

Preview: Team From Washington at Green Bay Packers

I'm not feeling great about their upcoming game against the Team From Washington, but the line has the Packers favored by nine points so maybe my lack of optimism is unwarranted. The fact that I didn't watch the Team From Washington get shredded early by the Eagles is probably clouding my judgment.

It's tough to look at stats after only one game, but Football Outsiders has the Packers offense ranked No. 2 while the Team From Washington is No. 12 thanks to a second-half comeback. However, both teams are licking their wounds on defense; Football Outsiders has the Packers ranked No. 30 and the Team From Washington is No. 31. While the Packers have nothing to brag about after watching WR Jeremy Ross struggle with poor kick return decisions, this week's opponent apparently had a game to forget on special teams and are currently ranked No. 31 in that category. As much as the loss to the 49ers stings, their loss to the Eagles has exposed all sorts of problems.

The biggest difference this week is that the Packers don't have to worry about a mobile quarterback and instead can go back to playing their usual style of offense. While QB Robert Griffin III is going get his legs back at some point, he looked slow (for him) last week against the Eagles. He probably won't be back to full speed after surgery until later this season, so the Packers are catching them at a good time. While it was a quiet opener for LB Nick Perry against the 49ers, he's going to be lining up against RT Tyler Polumbus on Sunday and Pro Football Focus suggested it could be a very good matchup for him. They should expect the return of S Morgan Burnett, who was badly missed against the 49ers, as his injured hamstring appears to be feeling a lot better.

The key on offense should be protecting QB Aaron Rodgers. If the protection improves from last week's struggles, Rodgers will have a big game because all of his receivers were getting open. This could be a good opportunity for RB Eddie Lacy because the Team From Washington was shredded on the ground last week by RB LeSean McCoy for 184 yards and a 5.9 ypc. It's time to break that streak without a 100 yard rusher!

Packers 31, Team From Washington 21.

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