Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Key Matchups to Watch – Washington Redskins vs. Green Bay Packers

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This is undoubtedly a big game for both the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins as neither wants to start the season at 0-2.

While the Packers have shown dominance at home (20 home victories in the last 21 home games), there is worry in Packerland about the team given its performance last week in San Francisco and the idea of facing another mobile quarterback In Robert Griffin III, last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

It is strange to have a game this early in the schedule to have such importance to two teams, but an 0-2 start has not historically contributed to many playoff appearances.

However, given that fact, there may be some interesting matchups to watch in this game:

  1. LT Trent Williams v. Clay Matthews:  Williams, a Pro Bowl tackle last year, should be hooking up with the pass rush of Matthews for much of the game.  The Packers will undoubtedly move their star LB around and use stunts to increase his effectiveness, but the one-on-one battles between these two players will be both interesting and a key to the Washington QBs effectiveness since RG III is still feeling the effects from last season’s knee injury.
  2. WR Pierre Garcon v. the Packers DBs (Sam Shields and Tramon Williams):  “Old Man River” WR Anquan Boldin torched the Packers last week (208 receiving yards on 13 receptions and one TD) even with double coverage.  Pierre Garcon may not be Boldin, but he has had his moments in his NFL career and could cause damage, if allowed to roam as freely as the Forty-Niner receivers were last week.
  3. RB Alfred Morris v. Packers defensive front seven:  A strong running game will keep pressure off of RG III while he recovers from his injury.  If Green Bay continues to run their “no-huddle” offense, the defense could find itself on the field for a long time if Morris is ripping off large chunks of yardage on the ground.
  4. Packers Tackles Don Barclay and David Bakhtari v. Redskin OLBs Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo:  While Orakpo had a somewhat uneven performance against Philadelphia last week, these bookend LBs have strong pass rush ability.  The young Packers tackles are in for a full day of action.
  5. TE Jermichael Finley v. S Brandon Meriweather:  Meriweather is coming off of a groin injury and listed as a probable starter.  He is an important part of the Redskins’ secondary.  The Packers should be testing his mobility early and often with Finley.

Of course, the game will revolve around QB Aaron Rodgers and the effectiveness of the Packers’ offense, but these matchups should make the game even more interesting and key to whether Green Bay is 1-1 at the end of Sunday’s game.

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Tags: Green Bay Packers NFL Robert Griffin III

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