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Washington Redskins (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date and Time: Sunday, September 15, 1:00pm ET
Where: Lambeau Field
by Evergreen, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Wash +7.5/GB -7.5
Over/Under Total: 48.5
It seems more than a little early to start talking about must win games
in Week 2 of the NFL schedule but there are plenty of playoff contenders
trying to avoid an 0-2 start. Two of those teams match up Sunday when the
Washington Redskins travel to Lambeau Field to take on
the Green Bay Packers. The loser of this game is likely
the best two-loss team in the league but that will be of little consolation
going forward to the team that will face a suddenly uphill climb to the
The online betting sites have the Packers as a 7.5 point favorite but you can find 9 point lines at some books. The early storylines for this week look to be about RGIII and his less than explosive ground game on Monday Night Football and the relative collapse of the Green Bay defense in their loss at San Francisco.
In regards to Robert Griffin, it certainly looks like he is weeks if not months away from regaining the burst he showed in his rookie campaign. That said, he performed well in the pocket last week, especially in the second half, and totaled 329 passing yards with two scores as the Skins nearly came back against the Eagles. He might be more thrower now than dual threat but he gets a juicy matchup against the Green Bay secondary that just allowed Colin Kaepernick to throw for 412 yards and three touchdowns. Leonard Hankerson had a nice game (5/80/2) Monday night so it seems there are enough targets for RGIII to utilize when you throw in the veteran presence of Pierre Garcon and the ageless Santana Moss. Washington only ran for 74 yards as a team last week but the score really forced them to abandon the ground game, I would expect a better balance come Sunday as the Redskins should look to get Alfred Morris more touches early.
The Packers did a heck of job in Week 1 of limiting the 49er rush offense but I believe Dom Capers forgot that QBs are allowed to throw the ball as well and it just didnt look like the Green Bay secondary ever had an idea last week. That unit will be thin again this week with both Casey Hayward and Morgan Burnett listed as questionable on the injury report and the game tape has to show exactly how to attack this defense. Time and time again, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis ripped off run and catch gains and it ruined what was another great performance by the Packer offense, especially on the road against an elite defense. Aaron Rodgers threw for 333 yards and three scores with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb seemingly unable to be covered. That duo combined for 238 receiving yards and two touchdowns with a very agile looking Jermichael Finley grabbing the other. Its the same story for the Pack as has been in recent years, the offense is elite, but the defense just gives up too many big plays.
So, what does that all mean for Sunday? I expect Green Bay to put up 30-35 points at home and they should again give some better attention to the run game to keep the heat off of #12. Eddie Lacy looks the part of an NFL running back and can make some very shifty moves for a bigger back but he will need to keep his hands on the ball as his fumble in Week 1 had him riding the pine for a bit. Washington can easily get the 24-28 to give them an ATS win and they should be able to control the clock better than last week as I dont think they will fall behind as quickly as they did against the Eagles.
If Griffin is the passer he looks to be, this game is certainly a toss-up provided Washington can keep Clay Matthews from bringing the pressure too often. Nelson, Cobb and the rest will get their yards but again, it looks like Green Bay will have a tough time winning the passing yards battle against any team. The Packers will again face a collection of wide receivers that are good after the catch so the one-on-one tackling comes into play in a big way. If they clean up some of those failures from last week, they will be much better equipped overall as I doubt RGIII will be any more mobile on Sunday, especially coming off a short week.
Green Bay is great at home with 22 against the spread wins in their last 31 contests at Lambeau but Washington has had some success on the road with 5 ATS wins in their last 6 as visitors. Expect the Redskins trend to pay this week as RGIII and company make this one close throughout. Rodgers gets his 300 yards as usual and the Packers get the win but go out and find that 9 point line and take the Redskins and the points. Green Bay 31 Washington 27
Evergreens Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Washington