The first game of the season for the Green Bay Packers got off to a rocky start. They held San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to 22 yards rushing, something they failed to do during the playoffs last year. They did, however, allow 412 passing yards and three passing touchdowns from Kaepernick, which in part is the reason the Packers lost 34-28. Turnovers also played a key in the Packers loss. A fumble by running back Eddie Lacy and a dropped pass by tight end Jermichael Finley that ended up being intercepted also contributed to the defeat.
While the negatives were big, the Packers were able to take some positives away from the game. First, against the very tough 49ers defense, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was able to pick apart the secondary, passing for 333 yards and one touchdown. Lacy was able to rush for 41 yards on only 12 attempts, and wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb each had over 100 yards receiving. Finley did rebound from that drop to score a touchdown right before halftime.
This week, the Packers host the Washington Redskins in their home opener. The Redskins are also coming off of a week one loss in which they gave up 33 points to the Philadelphia Eagles. Aside from the passing game, the Packers main concern with the Redskins will be to contain their quarterback Robert Griffin III. This will be RG III’s second game returning from a torn ACL last season, and he looked very tentative during Monday night’s game against the Eagles. It seemed like he was afraid to put pressure on that right knee, which could bode well for the Packers defense. If there is limited concern about the Redskins’ read option game, the Packers defense can game plan to stop the pass.
Now, that might be easier said than done, considering what Adrian Peterson did coming off of his torn ACL last season. If linebacker Clay Matthews can stay on Griffin like he did on Kaepernick, the focus will shift to the secondary to stop RG III’s passing attack. Injury wise for the Packers, it looks like cornerback Casey Hayward will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Additionally, Finley and guard Josh Sitton both missed practice on Wednesday, putting their status for Sunday in jeopardy.
For the Packers, a win is necessary to salvage their season. Only 12 percent of teams that have started the season 0-2 have managed to make the playoffs. Whether they win or lose, Lambeau will be full of screaming fans cheering on their team. Living rooms will be filled with fans screaming at their TV’s. It is time for a Packers win!
On another note, considering this is the week of September 11, please take a moment to thank all of our soldiers that serve our great nation and never forget all the lives that were lost on that terrible day in 2001.