The loss of the season is upon us, as the Packers fell to the Redskins. Aaron Rodgers threw for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns while the offense looked sluggish, receivers dropped balls and looked out of sync with the quarterback. The defense gave up 28 points in the first half and allowed 120 rushing yards to an aging Adrian Peterson. Green Bay appeared unprepared and flat out played really bad football. The fundamentals were non-existent as the Packers were penalized 11 times for 115 yards. For the third consecutive week, Clay Matthews drew a questionable roughing the passer penalty in the third quarter.
Here’s the full recap:
For the third consecutive game, the Packers offense started slowly and didn’t appear to be in sync with one another. The offense had 17 plays in the first quarter and only gained 59 yards that resulted in 2 punts. Most of the yards occurred on their third drive that ended in a field goal shortly into the second quarter. The defense was no better at the start of the game. They gave up 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the first touchdown, Kentrell Brice didn’t look for the ball and overran the route, as Alex Smith found Paul Richardson for a 46 yard touchdown.
The second quarter was more of the same for the inept Packers offense, except they were able to score a touchdown on a 76 yard drive. Rodgers hit Geronimo Allison for a 64 yard touchdown on a broken defense play by the Redskins secondary. The defense was able to generate a turnover, as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix come up with an interception on the Redskins first drive. They couldn’t get off the field after that as they gave up touchdown drives of 98 yards and 74 yards. McCarthy called for a 61 yard field goal at the end of the quarter but the snap was mishandled and actually looked like a fake field goal attempt. Heading into halftime the score was a deflating 10-28.
If there is anything that we have learned in the first 3 games about Mike Pettine and his defense is that he makes adjustments at halftime. The defense came up big again and didn’t allow Washington to score in third quarter and definitely kept them in the game in the second half. The Redskins had two drives in the third quarter that both resulted in punts. The biggest defensive play was obviously the roughing the passer penalty on Clay Matthews. The penalty occurred on third down and kept a drive going for Washington. Clay shot up the middle breaking free alone on Alex Smith, he wrapped him and brought him to the ground and rolling off the quarterback. It was a great sack that would have given Rodgers the football with good field position. As soon as the flag was thrown, Matthews throw up his arms in disbelief and was then taken off the field to cool down. McCarthy was hot over the call, throwing his play sheet to the ground, arguing with two officials and even chasing one along the sideline as the official backpedaled away. Meanwhile on offense, Rodgers engineered a 15 play 75 yard touchdown drive to bring the score to 17-28.
Here is the Matthews roughing the passer call with explanation from the NFL Operations:
This is a foul for roughing the passer – the defender lands “with all or most of the defender’s weight” on the passer. Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9(b): https://t.co/s9YKN8NLuT #GBvsWAS pic.twitter.com/ei2QZkvvzx
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) September 23, 2018
The 4th quarter was more of the same for the Packers offense as they couldn’t sustain drives. Randall Cobb dropped a fourth down pass that would have resulted in a first down. Lance Kendricks dropped a first down that would have been for a huge gain along the Packers sideline. The defense did it’s job by holding Alex Smith and the Redskins offense to only a field goal. With the Packers playing from behind all game, McCarthy abandoned the run game and let it ride on the arm of number 12. Aaron Jones, who McCarthy deemed the third running back on the depth chart had 6 rushes for 42 yards with a long run of 17 yards. He was clearly the most effective back of the group. Despite everything, the defense gave the offense a chance to come back, Rodgers just couldn’t get in a groove with his receivers. Final score was Green Bay 17 – Washington 31.
Up Next: Green Bay hosts the Buffalo Bills who beat the Minnesota Vikings handily this week.
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag