Week two is here and many are thankful. I know I am. It’s time to look forward and put the loss at San Francisco and questions about the mechanics of a Clay Matthews haymaker to the head behind us. The Green Bay Packers will host the Washington Redskins this Sunday in their 2013 home opener.
When the 2013 schedule was announced, this game appeared to be a stiff challenge to the Packers defense, who had struggled against mobile quarterbacks. After watching Green Bay stifle San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last week, followed by a poor performance by Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles in week one, there is a bit more confidence in the air that the Packers can and should get their first win of the season.
While it’s never wise to take any opponent lightly, it’s especially unwise against a good head coach who has had much success against your franchise and with a quarterback who still has decent athletic ability, albeit on a hobbled knee. Griffin was cleared to play late in the preseason and despite missing all of Redskins training camp and all four preseason games, he was named the week one starter. After a wretched first half against the Eagles, Griffin stormed the ‘Skins back in the second half, only to fall short in the end. Still, it was a sign that Griffin can still be very effective and will be a focal point of the Green Bay defense this week.
With that, let’s take a look at this week’s Keys to the Game.
The Packers need to make life difficult for Griffin on Sunday. It is unknown how mobile he can and, more importantly, will be this week. Griffin had just 24 yards on the ground against the Eagles and he looked hesitant, at times, when leaving the pocket. This is a sign that his recovery from offseason ACL surgery may still be ongoing. Griffin went under the knife back in January so we are just eight months removed from the procedure. While he was cleared to play, that certainly doesn’t mean he is 100% at this early stage.