Packers vs. Redskins Q&A with Washington insider


Robert Griffin III (10) hands the ball off to Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46). Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports photograph

The Green Bay Packers take the field this Sunday for their home opener against the Washington Redskins. Both teams are coming off tough losses in week one and should be hungry for a win on Sunday.

It will be the Packers first look at last year’s rookie sensation, Robert Griffin III, and another tough challenge for the Green Bay defense against a read-option quarterback. The Packers will also have their hands full in stopping second-year running back Alfred Morris and protecting Aaron Rodgers from the formidable pass rushing duo of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.

It should be a good game.

To learn a little more about the Packers’ week two opponent, we got in touch with Kiel Maddox, the editor of the Redskins’ Fansided site, Riggo’s Rags.

Kiel gives us a taste for what to expect from a young Washington team this Sunday. Enjoy Kiel’s insight and get ready for a good game on Sunday between the Packers and another tough NFC opponent.

Packers vs. Redskins Q&A

1) The Redskins suffered a tough loss Monday night against Chip Kelly and the new-look Philadelphia Eagles.  How do you feel the team will respond this week coming to Green Bay?

Washington should have a different showing in Green Bay, at least offensively. It took awhile for Robert Griffin III and the offense to get going, but they did in fact nearly make the comeback late in the game against the Eagles’ defense.

The question more so is on the defense, who looked completely lost Monday Night. Perhaps that was because of the new offense in Philadelphia with Chip Kelly, or perhaps they just haven’t gotten better since last season.

The secondary continues to be a major concern for the Redskins, and with a Packers team who can now run the ball to setup the play action, the odds aren’t looking too favorable for the Redskins.

DeSean Jackson (10) runs with the ball as Bacarri Rambo (24) attempts the tackle. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports photograph

2) Did the Eagles expose any weaknesses on the Redskins’ team that need to be addressed going forward?

Defensively, the Eagles didn’t address too much, but they did put the rush defense on notice that finished top-five last season. The Redskins were terrible against the pass last season and that didn’t change Monday night, as did the poor tackling that was displayed in the preseason.

Offensively, I think they proved that the Redskins’ offensive line isn’t nearly as good as most had thought after the Redskins playoff push last season, and they certainly can’t pick up the blitz.

3) What are your expectations for the Redskins this season?

With the strength of schedule this season, which is much harder than last year’s, I immediately thought 9-7 at best for the Redskins. That’s not to say they couldn’t do better or worse, but after winning the division and having the core built with some depth, things seem high for the Redskins. Of course if they continue to play like they did Monday Night they’d probably be lucky to finish 6-10.

4) RG III took the league by storm last year. Unfortunately, his season ended with a devastating knee injury. How is he looking this year coming back from that injury? What are your expectations of him this season?

Robert Griffin III. Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports photograph

With practice Griffin has looked great, but as we all know the speed in a game vs. practice is entirely different, which is why Griffin might have taken so long to get going Monday Night. I personally don’t feel he’s 100% yet, but he’s close. Probably about 90%. That’s why on Monday Night you saw him having issues planting early, among other mistakes.

I feel he can accomplish close to what he did last year, but might miss a few yards and touchdowns simply because of the level of the opponent. He has a group of guys around him who he can win with, but if they don’t show up, his job isn’t going to be any easier.

5) In your opinion, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this team?

The strength of the Redskins is without a doubt the LB core. Not only do they have the veterans there, such as Darryl Tapp, London Fletcher and Nick Barnett. They also have future stars and recently added players such as Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Brandon Jenkins, Perry Riley and Rob Jackson.

Most of them could start on any team in the NFL, besides maybe two or three. They will be what defines the season for the Redskins.

Weakness would still be the secondary for the Redskins. With Phillip Thomas gone for the season and Brandon Meriweather still having issues with his health, that leads Reed Doughty and a rookie Bacarri Rambo in at safety. Not your ideal start for a season. If Rambo can learn quickly, it will be big for the Redskins, but so far that doesn’t seem possible.

Pierre Garcon (88) catches a touchdown in front of Stephon Gilmore (24). Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports photograph

6) Give me one player on offense and one player on defense the Packers will need to really plan for on Sunday.

Pierre Garcon is the heart of the offense besides Robert Griffin III. The Redskins have only lost two games so far in all the games he’s started in Washington. When he gets going, the offense gets going. He can make the big time catches and can burn you deep if you don’t watch him.

Defensively the Packers will need to watch for Riley. While the Redskins struggled against the Eagles, Riley was causing all sorts of disruptions, which helped them near their comeback. With Kerrigan having a possible concussion, Riley should see more playing time.

7) Any surprise players you see having an impact in the game that we may not know much about?

Chris Thompson is a dangerous return man who if given the room can break one for a touchdown on either punt or kick returns.

8) Finally, give us your prediction for the game and a brief rationale.

Washington has a lot of issues to work out, and with how the Packers played against the 49ers  (though a loss), they are a much better team than the Redskins. Washington will have a hard time staying with the Packers in the game. 

I would expect the Packers to run early and then throw it deep at a weak Washington secondary, which shouldn’t be able to get the job done unless the LB’s can get pressure on Rodgers. 

Green Bay 31, Washington 24. Victory for the Packers.

I would just like to say thank you to Kiel Maddox for taking time to answer our questions. Hopefully, you enjoyed his insight.

Check in regularly at Lombardi Ave for more coverage of the Packers’ week two matchup against the Washington Redskins.