Here is how the Redskins and Packers match-up at each position. For each position I’ll list the team that has the advantage, with a brief reason why:
Even with a healthy RGIII, this would be advantage Packers, though it would have been a lot closer. Now with Griffin still shaking the rust off, Rodgers is the clear cut favorite in this match-up. If Griffin could add his ground game to the mix it could help open things up for him through the air, but it is likely he will only be running if he’s forced to, not by design.
The Packers closed this gap some with the addition of rookie Eddie Lacy, but Alfred Morris was the league’s 2nd leading rusher last year and one down week is not going to knock him enough for this to be even close to a Packers advantage. Morris should have a bounce back week, and the combo of back-up Roy Helu and FB Darrel Young, gives the Redskins further advantages in the backfield.
This is close due to the Redskins depth, but it’s tough to beat a top three of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones. The Redskins are a deeper unit with 5 capable receivers, but none of them are on Nelson’s level, and Randall Cobb may be without a peer on the Skins as well. Redskins though will cause their own match-up problems, particularly if Leonard Hankerson can keep having games like week 1, giving the Redskins a 3rd quality threat to go with Garcon and Moss.
The Packers Jermichael Finley is the best tight end on either team, and that is even with a healthy Fred Davis. Finley is a huge weapon in the passing game for the Packers and can be a nightmare to cover. Where the Redskins tie it up is with their depth at the position. Both Fred Davis and rookie Jordan Reed can be threats in the passing game, and last season Logan Paulsen was a strong blocker for the Redskins.
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The Redskins aren’t perfect here, and they may have taken a step back in week one, but they are easily the better unit here. The Packers are starting a 4th round pick at left tackle, and are also breaking in a young center and right tackle. While the Redskins have some weaknesses at LG and RT, having a foundation like Trent Williams, Will Montgomery and Chris Chester gives them a big leg up.
This one is close, but with no Jarvis Jenkins and Adam Carriker, the Packers have the advantage here, particularly from a depth stand point. A back-up group featuring Mike Neal, C.J. Wilson, Mike Daniels, and first round pick Datone Jones is about as good as you can get. Raji and Pickett give the Packers a good one-two punch that eat up linemen, and with the return of Johnny Jolly this could be a pretty good group. Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield are pretty good, though you can see the big club does impact Cofield’s effectiveness a little bit. Behind them though the Redskins line was pretty disappointing week one.
Clay Matthews may be the best all-around LB in this game, but the Redskins trio of Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan and Perry Riley is tough to beat. London Fletcher has the experience and leadership, but he had a poor first week, the Redskins could use a bounce back from him to give this even a bigger advantage for them. In addition to Matthews the Redskins have to watch Nick Perry on the outside and Brad Jones, a former 7th rounder who has developed into a solid player, on the inside.
Sam Shields and Tramon Williams are a pretty good starting pair, and the Packers would have the advantage here if not for the fact that their top young 3rd corner Casey Hayward is out. That allows the Redskins top three to even up this contest. Though it is likely the Redskins 3rd and 4th corner (hopefully Biggers will no longer be needed at safety) will be tested more than the Packers’ unit.
Both the Packers and Redskins were without their starting strong safeties week one, and both are expected to be back this week. Of the two, I am more confident that the Packers Morgan Burnett will be suiting up on Sunday. Also Burnett is probably the better of the two safeties. Starting opposite Burnett is former UDFA M.D. Jennings who had a pretty solid 2012 campaign and looked good week one.
The Kai Forbath miss week one was slightly concerning, but the Packers don’t exactly have a reliable kicker in Mason Crosby after he made just 63.6% of his field goals last season. The reason why this is a tie for me is the fact that Crosby is far more familiar kicking up in Lambeau, and it is unlikely he’ll be as inaccurate this year.
Tim Masthay is a pretty solid punter, who got off to a good start with a 46 yard average week one. Masthay has also taken over kick-off duties for the Packers and seems to be faring well in that area. Sav Rocca is just too inconsistent as a punter. He’s never been a big distance guy, or one that forces a lot of fair catches/punts downed inside the 10.
Chris Thompson’s first day as a return man wasn’t too impressive and he might not have that job for long if he keeps making decisions like he did Monday night. The Packers primary returner, Jeremy Ross, didn’t do anything special week one, but they will also put Randall Cobb back there on some key returns and he can be very dangerous, giving the Packers the easy win here.