Packers’ Offense Explodes for 35 Points in Wild Card Win Over Redskins
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense came to life Sunday and won its postseason opener on the road over the Washington Redskins, 35-18, in the Wild Card playoffs.
The first quarter started off like the last few games after Washington went ahead 5-0 on a safety and field goal. The Redskins had a touchdown overturned and had to settle for a field goal after the Packers stopped Washington on third down in the red zone. That goal line stand, where Letroy Guion and Clay Matthews stopped the Redskins on third and goal was huge. That very well could have been a big momentum swing for Washington.
Also, in that first quarter, J.C. Tretter was filling in for David Bakhtiari, who was missing his third straight game. On the safety, Tretter got beat by Preston Smith, who sacked Rodgers in the end zone. But Tretter and the offensive line regrouped and played a major role in helping the Packers come back.
Washington went ahead 11-0 early in the second quarter on a touchdown from Kirk Cousins to Jordan Reed. It looked like they were going to roll. But then the Packers' offense responded with 17 unanswered points to lead 17-11 at halftime. Rodgers threw touchdown passes to Randall Cobb and Davante Adams and Mason Crosby added a field goal. On Rodgers' touchdown to Cobb, he noticed the Redskins had 12 players on the field and took advantage of the free play. That's textbook Aaron Rodgers.
Washington went back ahead on its first drive of the third quarter on a rushing score by Cousins. But that would be the last points of the game by the Redskins, as Green Bay scored 18 unanswered points to go on to win, 35-18.
The second half belonged to the Packers' running backs. James Starks and Eddie Lacy scored on rushing touchdowns. After the safety in the first quarter, Green Bay's offensive line really stepped in giving Rodgers time to throw and opening holes for Lacy and Starks. Green Bay ran for 141 yards as a team. Head coach Mike McCarthy even got Cobb involved in the run game. Cobb rushed for 24 yards and that allowed the Packers offense to show new looks and keep the defense off balance.
In the game, the Adams and Quinten Rollins left the game with injuries. LaDarius Gunter did a nice job in for Rollins.
The Packers could have lost their confidence after an early deficit. But Green Bay didn't and instead refocused. Rodgers looked like got his mojo back throwing the ball, the offensive line didn't let a mistake in the first quarter affect their confidence and the Packers' receivers found their groove. Green Bay executed, blended the passing game with its run game and made stops on defense when they had to.
Now Green Bay will head back to desert Saturday night to face Arizona. Two weeks ago, the Cardinals defeated the Packers, 38-8.