Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/15/13
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The Green Bay Packers were not going to start the season 0-2.James Jones had career highs with 9 catches and 152 yards. Aaron Rodgers was 26-for-31, 335 yards and 3 TDs. Green Bay converted a 4th down for a touchdown from the Washington 35-yard line, while racking up 24 points and allowing none. Then the second half started.When the second half concluded Green Bay came away with a 38-20 score that was closer than the game really was. It was a shellacking of the Washington Redskins."We were able to catch the ball well, had yards after the catch and we were able to run the ball better than we have in a long time," Rodgers said.The game had an ominous start for the Packers.During the opening drive Rodgers was sacked twice and pressured on almost every other of his eight passes. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy was knocked out the game by Brandon Meriweather with a concussion, more on that later, and Green Bay came away with just three points.The Packers shrugged off the beginning game jitters to steamroll Washington from there, reeling off 28 more points before Washington was able to get a touchdown in the third quarter.Before Green Bay went soft on defense with the huge lead in the second half, Green Bay amassed 373 yards while yielding just 155 yards in the first half.The Packers were clearly on cruise control from there, allowing 267 second half yards and 20 points.For the second week in a row Washington had trouble getting going in the first half before taking advantage of softer second half defense."We can't really put our finger on what it is, and that's the real frustrating part," Griffin said."I thought we almost had to play error-free football, play one of our better games," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said, "and probably did just the opposite in the first half."The first touchdown of the game came with 2:34 left in the first quarter. On 4th-down-3 from the Washington 35-yard line, Randall Cobb executed a perfect inside slant. Rodgers hit him in stride and Cobb ran it all the way to the end zone.That was followed by two Jordy Nelson scoring catches of 14 and 15 yards, with a Jermichael Finley 3-yard touchdown grab sandwiched in between.Pierre Garcon score the first Redskin touchdown on a 6-yard toss form Robert Griffin III.James Starks tacked on a fifth Packer touchdown running through a gaping hole for 32 yards.Starks became the first Packer to rush for more than 100 yards in 45 games and nearly three years, finishing with 132 yards and the score.I was excited to see Lacy against the weak Redskin run defense, but he managed just one carry before being knocked our by Meriweather.Meriweather should be facing hefty fines for hitting Lacy with the cronw of his helmet while launching himself.In the second quarter he lowered the crown of his helmet again. This time on Starks along the Packer sideline. This time Meriweather knocked himself out cold.I never like to see a player hurt, but if Meriweather cannot learn to tackle with his head up he ought not be playing anymore. He is going to cause more serious injuries to himself or others.Even though he wasn't flagged on either play he will be fined and should be facing suspension because these are not his first offenses. It is his reputation. He deserves a suspension, though I doubt the league will have the moxie to suspend him like he deserves.Griffin threw for two more scores, of 3 yards to Jordan Reed and 9 yards to Santana Moss, in the 4th quarter for the final 38-20 score.Rodgers tied Matt Flynn's single game passing yards record of 480 yards, to go with his four touchdowns and 146.0 quarterback rating.Rodgers had his big game after waking up with a stiff neck."I was hurting pretty bad. I wasn't feeling great pregame," Rodgers said.What he termed as an "adjustment" from a trainer once he got to the stadium made him feel better."Once the adrenaline started going, I just kind got into a rhythm," he said.Head coach Mike McCarthy knows how important Rodgers is."You know, he spoils me. He makes it look easy," McCarthy said."No doubt, Aaron is a special football player. He's at the point of his career where he is about making other people better, pulling everybody up."Jones ended up with game and career highs of 11 grabs for 178 yards.Cobb finished with 9 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown, while Nelson had two touchdowns on 3 catches for 66 yards.Finley also caught 6 passes for 65 yards and a score.Morris lead the 'skins in rushing with 107 yards on just 13 carries and the touchdown.Garcon had a game high 13 targets, grabbing 8 of them for 143 yards and a touchdown.NOTES:I was hard on Nick Perry a week ago, but it was all part of the game plan to stay in the lanes against Colin Kaepernick. Without such restrictions this week Perry looked better, tallying 3 tackles and a pass knocked down.The Packer offensive line allowed 3 first quarter sacks and four more quarterback hits. They settled down to allow just one sack and two hits the rest of the way.Johnny Jolly and Finley left the game briefly with minor injuries.After missing all of last season, Green Bay tight end Andrew Quarles saw his first action of 2013, garnering three targets and catching one.Green Bay held the ball for 18:39 in the first half. More than one-third of it coming on the opening drive, 6:58.Morris averaged 8.2 yards-per-carry. More than 60% of his yards came on two 32 yard runs, one in each half.Starks averaged 6.6 yards-per-carry.Despite the Lacy injury, no other tailback other than Starks, namely Jonathan Franklin, made an appearance in the game.Next week Green Bay travels to Cincinnati (0-1). Washington hosts Detroit (2-0)
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