The Green Bay Packers hope that quarterback Brett Favre can continue his perfect record this weekend when they host the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field. The Redskins (3-1) are coming off an impressive 34-3 win over the Detroit Lions while the Packers (4-1) lost to the Chicago Bears last Sunday.
The Redskins are looking to get a good effort from an improving QB Jason Campbell (67-of-113, 869 yards, 4 touchdowns, 3 interceptions), while their running attack, led by running back Clinton Portis (66 carries, 299 yards, 3 TD’s) will need to step it up a notch, as Portis’ knee has been an issue periodically this season. The receiving corps is led by none other than wide receiver Antwaan Randle El (18 catches, 338 yards). The receivers as of late have had a hard time remaining healthy; they recently signed Keenan McCardell to add depth. WR Santana Moss still is out and hopes to return soon, so the receiving corps will rely on Randle El, Brandon Lloyd, James Thrash and perhaps Reche Caldwell to help out Campbell. Their defense is the heartbeat of this team (ranked 3rd overall – ranked 8th in rushing and passing defense and 3rd in pointsd alowed), led by linebacker Rocky McIntosh (32 tackles, 26 solo, 2 sacks), defensive end Andre Carter(17 tackles, 13 solo, 4 sacks) and safety Sean Taylor (2 INT’s).
The Packers’ secret to their success – not that it’s really a secret – is QB Brett Favre (141-of-210, 1,527 yards, 9 TD’s, 4 INT’s). Which is a good thing, considering that the running game has really had a hard time getting off the ground (no pun intended) except for last week (121 yards vs. Chicago), so they will need to continue their momentum. Their defense is neither the best nor worse in the league – more of the “bend-but-don’t-break” variety. Their undisputed leader this season is linebacker Nick Barnett (44 tackles, 30 solo, 1.5 sacks, 2 INT’s – which leads the team), with good support from 2nd-year player safety Atari Bigby (37 tackles, 27 solo, 1 INT) and LB A.J. Hawk (34 tackles, 25 solo). But perhaps the unsung hero in this mix could be rookie kicker Mason Crosby (9-of-10 field goals made, 14-of-14 extra points made), as he has won at least 1 game for the Packers with his foot.
The Redskins need to establish a decent pass rush against Favre; they also need to get Portis established early when they’re on offense. The Packers, in light of their running game from last week, may want to incorporate both RB’s DeShawn Wynn and Vernand Morency again. And expect Favre to throw the ball between 35-40 times against the Redskins’ secondary. This game will be close throughout; perhaps a game-winning FG by Crosby will propel the Pack to 5-1 this weekend.