Redskins won't panic, primed for Packers

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ASHBURN, Va. -- The defending NFC East champion Washington Redskins delivered a poor performance in their stunning season-opening loss to visiting Philadelphia, particularly in the first half in which they were outscored 26-7, outgained 322 to 75 and managed just three first downs to the Eagles' 21.
Now, Washington travels to defending NFC North champion Green Bay on a short week, but the Redskins aren't looking to push the reset button quite yet, even on a defense that struggled for much of 2012.
"Obviously we need to tackle better, but we don't have to re-invent the wheel," said left end Kedric Golston. It comes down to simple mistakes that make a team look average. We know the challenges that Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in the league, and those guys present. We know we're going to get their best shot because they lost a tough one last weekend, too."
Golston said that the Redskins, whose only loss in 12 games (including preseason) since Week 9 last year had come in the divisional playoff round against Seattle, weren't too cocky heading against the Eagles, who were 4-12 in 2012.
"Talk is cheap and we have to fix the mistakes that we made, but I don't think there was a false confidence coming out of camp," Golston said. "It's not how we wanted to start the year. We're a better team that what we showed. Now we have to go out there and prove it on the field."
That's easier said than done against Rodgers, the NFL's top-rated passer in each of the past two years and for a career, and the Packers at Lambeau Field.
"His accuracy, keeping the play alive and getting it to his playmakers," Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo said when asked what makes Rodgers special.
"When you face a quarterback like that, you gotta expect he's going to make some good plays and you gotta be able to let it roll off and have a short memory," said reserve inside linebacker Nick Barnett, who played for Green Bay from 2003-10. "He works pretty good on his tendencies. There's nothing I can (tell the Redskins) like he looks to the left before he throws back (the other way)."
Cornerback Josh Wilson said Rodgers' receiving corps also presents problems because there's no clear target to shut down like Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson or Detroit's Calvin Johnson, whom Washington faces next week. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb each had seven catches and touchdown last week with 130 yards and 108 yards, respectively. No. 3 receiver James Jones scored 14 times on his 64 catches in 2012.
"That's what make them so dangerous," Wilson said. "Rodgers doesn't have anybody he focuses on. He's just going to the best person on that play."
Quarterback Robert Griffin III was 6-of-14 for 62 yards with two interceptions during the first 31 minutes of his first action since knee surgery eight months earlier as Washington fell behind 33-7. He was 24-of-35 for 267 yards and two touchdowns the rest of the way as the Redskins outscored the Eagles 20-0.
"We weren't very solid in our execution all of the first half and into the second half," said Griffin, who said his knee felt fine and that he had the typical body soreness from being hit a dozen times by the Eagles less than 48 hours earlier. "Then we started getting better. Hopefully we can ride that execution into this next game. You just have a wakeup call sometimes and you gotta push even harder. It was disappointing, but it doesn't ruin your season. You move on to the next week. ... We'll play better."

What to Read Next