The BIG 3 are Coming up Huge for the Packers Defensive Line

Ryan “Big Grease” Pickett has anchored the Packers defensive line through the first two weeks.

The big three — and I literally mean the B-I-G three — on the Packers defensive line have come to play through the season’s first two games.

Packers = soft? It looks like B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly have taken it upon themselves to change that equation.

The trio, which weighs a combined 1,000 pounds, played a key role in containing Colin Kaepernick’s running and shutting down Frank Gore in week one. On Sunday against the Redskins, they collapsed the pocket in the first half, allowing blitzers to get in Robert Griffin III’s face.

Pickett even swatted a pass and Raji was wagging his finger after a couple stuffs at the line.

All three players are free agents after this season. It’s an easy talking point to say that players are better in their contract years, but I don’t necessarily buy that theory (that talking point has been proven false, for fantasy football purposes, anyway).

Pickett is a prideful leader who wants to prove he still belongs. Jolly knows he’s beyond lucky to have another shot at both life and the NFL. Raji is an uber-talented player who can be unblockable in stretches.

Whatever the reason, all three are playing great and it seems like they’re energy is giving the entire defense a boost. I’m really looking forward to what this defense can do when Morgan Burnett and Casey Hayward return and take advantage of what the Big Three are doing up front.

Sure, it’d be nice to get more of a pass rush out of the Packers’ defensive line, but if the Big Three can keep can keep winning their one-on-one matchups, it should free up others to get after the QB while keeping the run defense strong.

Another player to watch: Datone Jones.

The rookie has been invisible the first two weeks. Not sure if his ankle is still bothering him or if he’s just going through the typical struggles of a rookie defensive lineman. Either way, if he manages to come around and provide a little pass rush, this d-line could go from solid to downright dangerous in a hurry.

I know it’s early. But through two games, we can’t call this Packers defense soft (a little lost in the secondary at times, maybe, but not soft). A big reason for that is the play of Pickett, Raji and Jolly.



Packers vs. Redskins – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 38 WAS 20

Washington Redskins v Green Bay Packers

Packers’ Eddie Lacy goes aerial vs. Redskins

Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins:  2013 Game 2

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.



It’s pouring in Green Bay today. I believe the wet field factored strongly into the Packers’ decision to keep Burnett out one more week.

While the Packers face a mobile quarterback for the second week in a row, the offenses are fairly dissimilar.

Wilson out, Barrington in.  I think that gives you a subtle hint that the #Packers will not have the same game plan for the #Redskins as last week.

Today’s captains for the Packers: Jermichael Finley (offense), Clay Matthews (defense) and Robert Francois (special teams).


Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
24 CB Jarrett Bush
29 CB Casey Hayward
42 S Morgan Burnett
51 LB Nate Palmer
65 G Lane Taylor
93 DE Josh Boyd
98 DE C.J. Wilson

43 M.D. Jennings & 22 Jerron McMillian will start at safety for the Packers. 97 DE Johnny Jolly will start on the defensive line.

Washington Redskins

2 K Kai Forbath
8 QB Rex Grossman
22 RB Evan Royster
32 S Jordan Pugh
48 S Jose Gumbs
67 G Josh LeRibeus
95 NT Chris Neild


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

South End Zone: You can def tell the difference. It’s always great to be home, outr Alumni comes back for this game, it will be a great day.

Wet conditions: You’re aware of it, communication between QB and center is vital.

Bush: Suffered injury in Thursday’s practice. unfortunate, but our guys are ready

Burnett: He’s been a very good player for us for a number of years now, he’s taken ever rep in camp. No excuses,. MC MD and Banjo are ready

Strong play from front seven last week: Definitely – they set the edge vey well, particularly inside. Very pleased with the run defense. Three things we need to focus on today: stop the run, get after the QB in our pressure packages, taking the ball away too.

Redskins & RGIII last week: Any time you look at an individual’s performance, particularly at quarterback, you have to look at the whole game. They struggled early with the turnovers. but were much better later on.



Packers Periscope: Eyeing the Enemy (Washington)

With the heated battle with the San Francisco 49ers behind them, the Green Bay Packers now move on to their home opener against Washington.

Last week, Washington was defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles 33-27 after their late charge fell short.  Washington was down 33-7 at one point after their defense was exhausted by the incredible pace of the new Eagles offense under head coach Chip Kelly, but quarterback Robert Griffin III was unable to bring his team all the way back.

It took Griffin a little bit to reclaim his form from last season but he finished the game 30/49 with 329 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.  His struggles early put his team in a bit of a hole while the Eagles’ high-octane offense left the Washington defense gasping for air early.

The last time we met

The last time Green Bay and Washington met was back in 2010 at FedEx Field where Washington beat Green Bay 16-13 that saw tight end Jermichael Finley go down for the year.  It was the game where the Packers’ injury problems that season really began to mount.

Green Bay was in position to win the game in the final second of regulation, but Mason Crosby’s 53-yard field goal attempt clanged off the left upright in a bit of foreshadowing for 2012. Aaron Rodgers had a pass intercepted late and it was a game no one really expected the Packers to lose.

This also was the last time the Packers had a 100 yard rusher in the game when Brandon Jackson ran for 115 yards.

What’s Up with Washington

Heading into the game against the Packers, a lot of hype will be around second-year quarterback Griffin. He had an outstanding rookie season that came to a crashing halt when he was injured in the playoff game against the Seahawks.  Coach Mike Shanahan felt it fit to run him into the ground that game anyway.

There is real concern out there that Griffin is not 100% thanks to Shanahan’s controversial decision in the playoffs. The Packers aren’t biting though, and they are preparing for Griffin based on what they see on film from last year according to the Washington post.



Packers vs. Redskins Week 2 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

Week 2: Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 0-1 Green Bay Packers 21-17
It actually was tempting to pick Washington here. Whenever the Packers go up against Mike Shanahan, he seems to have his team ready. RG3 is another tough challenge for this defense and it will be telling in how this defense handles him. I say Washington leads most of the day, but Green Bay pulls it out late. Way too many people are looking past this game.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 0-1 Green Bay Packers 34-20
The Packers will get on the winning side of the ledger as they return home to Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers will shred the Redskins secondary and only a concerted effort to get Eddie Lacy snaps and ice the game in the 4th quarter will prevent the Packers from scoring more points. 
Adam Czech 1-0 Green Bay Packers 31-23
The Packers offense keeps putting up points and the defense survives a few RG3 hot streaks, forces a few turnovers, and the Packers get back to .500.
Marques Eversoll 1-0 Green Bay Packers 34-17
I’ll say it right now: Eddie Lacy, on Sunday, will be the first Packers running back to go over 100 rushing yards in the regular season since Brandon Jackson did it on October 10, 2010 against … the Washington Redskins. Behind a big day from Lacy (100 yards, 1 TD) and an efficient (300 yards, 3 TD) afternoon from Rodgers, the Packers win this one handily.
Thomas Hobbes 0-1 Green Bay Packers 31-20
I’d say it’s 50-50 how effective RGIII is in week 2; if he plays like he did in the first half against the Eagles, then the Packers win easy.  If he plays like he did in the 2nd half, the game is probably a lot closer but the Packers still probably win.  Look for the Packers to mix up some up tempo offense to see what the Redskins have done to correct their issues.
Cory Jennerjohn 1-0 Green Bay Packers 31-17


Looking at the Packers Through the Eyes of the Redskins…

The Washington Redskins surprised themselves and definitely their fan base by pulling out a win against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. And that’s not just my opinion.

Perusing comments on the game from the Redskins’ perspective, it quickly become evident they have a healthy respect for the Packers and are tickled pink they manage to pick up a win against them.

Here’s just a quick sampling of comments I’ve read:

Mike Shanahan:  ”The defensive line we played against is probably the best in the NFL. If they’re not, I don’t want to play the team that has better personnel than they do.”

That’s a pretty high compliment from a veteran coach like Shanahan. And that was without Ryan Pickett, the Packers’ best run-stopper. What that translates to is a very good sign that Mike Neal was indeed a fantastic choice by Packers GM Ted Thompson.

Guard Artis Hicks: “It was the best and most active front we’ve faced.”

Hicks is a nine-year veteran, so he’s seen his share of defensive fronts. The key phrase is “most active”. That is something the Packers have been hoping for to help improve the pass rush, so it’s not strictly linebacker-dependent. That showed big-time in this game. Cullen Jenkins could have had 3-4 sacks by himself, but with that club on one hand, just couldn’t hold onto the wily McNabb. As for B.J. Raji, he played so well that Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel named him the Packers player of the week.

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander:  ”They’re going to be in the playoffs, obviously. They’ve got Aaron Rodgers, that whip he has. That defense is deep. They get after you. Only thing they’re really missing is their running game. They had that big run today. Outside of that, they just kind of mix it in to keep you honest. Because you’ve got to run the ball sometimes.”

“Because you’ve got to run the ball sometimes.” The Redskins knew they didn’t have to worry too much about the Packers running the ball. It’s the reason they played with six defensive backs for most of the game. Speaking of that…



Redskins Put the Hurt on the Packers: Redskins 16 Packers 13: First Impressions

The Green Bay Packers got a good spanking today from the Washington Redskins, even with Albert Haynesworth missing (Redskins 16, Packers 13). Losing Jermichael Finley, Donald Lee, Ryan Pickett, Clay Matthews (the worst disaster) and then the game leave the Packers hobbling out of Washington and licking their wounds.

It’s becoming a recurring  theme for the Packers. Leaving points on the board in the first half and then poor and inconsistent play in the second half. What the future holds for this Packers team is now an impossible mystery to solve.

While I firmly believe the Packers win this game if Matthews doesn’t get hurt, the loss really should get pinned on the offense. Erratic play calling, shaky performances, lack of leadership, pick your reason. If your defense holds a team to 13 points in regulation, this “high-powered” offense should win the game. With or without Jermichael Finley. But lets not assume the season is lost. There’s still a long way to go. That’s all I have to say…

My thoughts and first impressions during the game:


Inactives:  Shields, Johnson, Chillar, Barnett, Tauscher, McDonald, Newhouse and Wynn.

With Tauscher out, Brian Bulaga gets his first start, although it’s at a position he’s apparently never played in a game; right offensive tackle.

With Barnett and Chillar out, AJ Hawk and Desmond Bishop will be getting a lot of snaps today. Maurice Simpkins has been added from the practice squad as injury insurance, and he’ll probably see some special teams action.

Word on Barnett (first heard from Jason Wilde) is that he could possibly return in 8 weeks, so the team is considering whether they should not place him on season-ending injured reserve.

Former Packer Quinn Porter was signed to the Redskins practice squad just this week. No coincidence, I’m sure…

New starters for this game: Bryan Bulaga, Desmond Bishop, Brad Jones, Charlie Peprah, Pat Lee (nickel corner)

Predicting a big day for Aaron Rodgers.


Despite Mike McCarthy saying earlier in the week that Jordy Nelson would be the #1 kick returner, Pat Lee takes the opening kickoff and runs backwards… wonderful…

Brandon Jackson? WTF? Obviously, all of the negative blog and forum posts about him have inspired him – haha.

Jackson with a 71yard run. Is this already his best day as a Packer?



Packers – Redskins Classic Video: 1983 MNF, Packers 48 Redskins 47

I searched far and wide for video of one of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen. Green Bay Packers 48, Washington Redskins 47.

This was the only video I could find (first half highlights from the game).The full game should be on hulu, no? Below the video is a description of the game, written by Drew Mitchell of ABC Sports Online.

October 17, 1983: Green Bay 48, Washington 47

by Drew Mitchell
ABC Sports Online

On a chilly October night in 1983, Lambeau Field turned into an offensive wonderland. The Green Bay Packers (3-3) and Washington Redskins (5-1) lit up Monday Night Football that evening with the show’s greatest scoring explosion ever. The teams combined for 95 points, 771 yards passing and 254 yards on the ground. And though they posted 10 fewer first downs than the Redskins’ 33, coach Bart Starr’s Packers held on for a 48-47 win.

Joe Theismann
Joe Theismann holds Redskin team records in pass yardage, completions and attempts.

Green Bay entered the game with the worst defense in the NFL, and it showed. Washington quarterback Joe Theismann completed 27 of 39 passes for 398 yards and two touchdowns. John Riggins rushed 25 times for 98 yards and two scores, while Joe Washington added 80 yards on 16 carries and a pair of touchdown receptions.

The Redskins defense also struggled, as the Packers averaged an incredible 9.1 yards a play. Green Bay quarterback Lynn Dickey connected on 22 of 30 passes for 387 yards and three scores, and even running back Eddie Lee Ivery completed a 35-yard pass.

Oddly enough, the Packers defense put up the game’s first points. Just over a minute into the game, linebacker Mike Douglass jarred the ball loose from Washington and sprinted 22 yards for a 7-0 Packers lead.

The Redskins tied the game with a fumble recovery of their own. Heading for an apparent touchdown, Riggins dropped the ball at the 1-yard line. But tight end Clint Didier pounced on the ball in the end zone for the score. Green Bay’s Jan Stenerud and Washington’s Mark Moseley traded field goals before the end of the first quarter to knot the game at 10.