LANDOVER, Md. — Entering Week 3, it was unsure which Redskins team would show up: the team that dismantled the Cardinals in Week 1 on the road, or the team that fell to the Colts by multiple scores in their home opener a week ago.
On Sunday, the Redskins looked a lot more like the team from week 1.
Behind a solid running game led by Adrian Peterson's two touchdowns and a strong defensive performance, the Redskins defeated the Packers 31-17 on Sunday.
Here are Rich Tandler's observations from Week 3.
FIVE KEY OBSERVATIONS FROM REDSKINS vs. PACKERS WEEK 2
1. They got off to a great start and kept going
If the Redskins were going to win this game they knew they would have to stick with the Packers score for score and score touchdowns, not field goals. They did what the doctor ordered, getting in the end zone on two of their first three possession. The first one was a quick strike with Alex Smith throwing a 46-yard TD to Paul Richardson to cap a four-play drive. The next one took 10 plays and it ended on a two-yard Adrian Peterson touchdown run. That made it 14-0. The Redskins kept their foot on the gas, driving to two more touchdowns before halftime to take a 28-10 lead into the locker room. It was exactly what they needed coming off a flat loss as favorites last week.
2. Alex Smith shows he can throw deep
During the week there were plenty of fans and members of the media pointing out that Alex Smith wasn’t throwing the ball deep, that he had returned to being the checkdown game manager he was for most of his career. But he limbered up his arm on the first series with the 46-yard touchdown bomb to. In the second quarter he went deep down the right sideline to Vernon Davis for a 50-yard game. He finished the day 12 for 20 with 220 yards and 2 TDs. Smith also ran for 20 yards. Smith had an interception due to a miscommunication with Jordan Reed. All in all, a better day for Smith.
3. The defense was strong early and late
The Redskins defense was good early, when the Redskins were in the process of building a 21-3 lead. And they were good in the fourth quarter when they held the Packers to a three and out from deep in their own territory. It should be noted that the did benefit from a dropped deep pass on third down that would have given the Packers the first down and excellent field position. With a little over five minutes left, they got a takeaway to put the Redskins in great position to win. After a short completion, Fabian Moreau stripped the ball away and Josh Norman recovered at the Packers 46.
4. Peterson gets back on track
There was talk that Adrian Peterson all of a sudden aged from Week 1, when he gained 96 yards, to Week 2, when he picked up 20 yards on 11 carries. Today he was back on the ball. He had a 41-yard run in the second quarter. But his best runs were when the Redskins were trying to kill the clock and he tore off gains of 17, two, and seven yards. He again looked like a viable NFL running back as he ran for 120 yards on 19 carries.
5. The bye is ahead
The Redskins are going into their ridiculously early bye week on a high note. They have played well twice, and they didn’t show up for the one in between. They will have a long, tough road ahead of them. The team will go to into it knowing that they can compete with one of the best teams in the league with the best player in the league and come out on top. When they return two weeks from tomorrow, they will face another one of the league’s best quarterbacks in Drew Brees.
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