Redskins

Need to Know: Can Redskins' Kelley get going against Packers' D?

Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 20, the day the Washington Redskins play the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs Packers, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 4; Redskins @ Cardinals 14; Redskins @ Eagles 21

Injuries of note
Questionable:
LS Sundberg (back), WR Jackson (shoulder), OT Moses (ankle)
Full Redskins-Packers injury report

Redskins vs. Packers
Line: Redskins -3
Weather: Clear, gusty winds, low near 30

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Packers

—There was an interesting article in the Green Bay papers on how much Mike McCarthy preaches the importance of turnovers. From 2006, the year McCarthy arrived in Green Bay, through 2015 the Packers were plus-92 in takeaways, second in the NFL. In that time span the Redskins were 30th at minus-37 (Redskins numbers via Pro Football Reference). But this year the Packers are at minus-4 and the Redskins are even. If the Redskins maintain their edge they have a pretty good shot at winning. But it should be noted that Washington has turned the ball over at least once every game this season.

—The Redskins have been running the ball well, rushing for at least 100 yards in five of their last six games. Green Bay has allowed 100 rushing yards in just two games this year. But during their current three-game losing streak the Packers’ rushing defense has not been quite as stout, giving up an average of 109 yards per game. If Rob Kelley can get going and the play action passing game works the Redskins will be in good shape on offense.

 

—The Packers have allowed Aaron Rodgers to be sacked 22 times this year and from what I’ve seen in a few of their games Rodgers has evaded quite a few more sacks with his legs. With 226 yards on the ground he is the Packers’ leading rusher among the team’s active players (behind Eddie Lacy, who is on injured reserve). He has all three of the team’s rushing touchdowns. The Redskins must be disciplined in their pass rush or Rodgers will take off for a first down and more. Of course, teams have been saying that for years and he gets free anyway.

—I think that the pass rush pressure shows up in the form of Rodgers’ stats not being as good as they usually are. He is completing 63 percent of his passes, down from 65 percent for his career coming into the season. Rodgers’ passer rating is 93; it was 103 coming into this year. And he is averaging 6.5 yards per pass attempt compared to 8.0 since he came into the league in 2005. Clearly the Redskins can’t sleep on him but he’s not what he used to be.

—If this was almost any other team coming into FedEx Field a game under .500 and on a three-game losing streak with the last two losses coming at the hands of the Colts and Titans I wouldn’t hesitate to predict a Redskins win. But we saw this movie earlier this year with a Packers team that came in for a playoff game on the heels of a two-game losing streak and a struggling Rodgers. We know how that one ended. This is a better Redskins team with an offensive line that has it together and Josh Norman in the secondary, among other things. The Packers don’t have Lacy and James Starks, who rushed for 53 yards in the playoff game, has been ailing. Although the ghosts of last January are still there, I’m taking the Redskins in a typical Redskins type of game.

Redskins 28, Packers 24

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