With injuries at safety and inside linebacker, the Packers may have trouble containing Redskins' TE Chris Cooley. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Good day everyone. Our bruised and banged-up Packers travel to the Capital city this weekend to do battle with the Washington Redskins. The glut of injuries up the middle on defense will be a key for the Green and Gold - they will need solid performances from players like Desmond Bishop and *wretch* Jarrett Bush. If the Redskins are able to exploit their matchups, it could be a long day for the Packers' defense.
Look for Mike Shanahan to attack between the numbers as much as possible and avoid the Packers' talent on the outside. The Skins don't really have an over-the-middle possession receiver, so don't expect too much out of their wideouts. The running backs and tight ends will likely be the focus on Sunday.
QB Donovan McNabb - 18 points
McNabb could have a lot of success throwing to the tight ends Chris Cooley and Fred Davis especially on short passes, much like the way the Lions had success last week. I see a 250-yard day for McNabb, with two touchdowns and an interception.
TE Chris Cooley - 15
Cooley will be a big weapon tomorrow. He's athletic and can stretch the field, but he's a powerful runner after the catch as well. Cooley doesn't have more than 65 yards in any one game yet this year, but my guess is he beats that on Sunday, going for 90 yards and a score.
RB Ryan Torain - 11
Torain stepped in for an injured Clinton Portis last week and responded well, running for 70 yards and a score. He'll be the featured back from the first play Sunday, and could have a productive day against a run defense that struggled last week. Shanahan always likes to establish the run, so look for Torain to get the ball early and often. I'm going to say he goes for 110 yards but is kept out of the end zone.
WR Santana Moss - 5
As I mentioned earlier, I expect the Redskins to stay between the numbers with their offense and not test Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson downfield much. Moss has a quiet day with only about 50 yards.
FB Mike Sellers - 7
Sellers is a frequent short-yardage target for this offense, and will get a short receiving touchdown.
I see this to be a game Packers are capable of winning through the air. The play of the offensive line will be critical to the offense, and must have success against the Redskins' talented linebackers. The secondary is talented, but can be mistake-prone, so Rodgers must force those mistakes.
QB Aaron Rodgers - 20
And I expect Rodgers to do just that. We all know about the challenge of the running game, and with a strong linebacking corps, Rodgers will need to throw a lot. I expect a big day thanks to yards after the catch, and he'll end with a 300-yard, 2-touchdown day with an INT and another 20 yards on the ground.
RB John Kuhn - 10
I see the same sort of breakdown of the carries as last week for the running game, with Kuhn getting 40 yards and a goal-line score.
RB Brandon Jackson - 6
Jackson will see a lot of action in the passing game this week on screens, as the Skins' outside LBs are excellent pass-rushers. I'll say he breaks a few tackles and ends up with 30 yards on the ground and 30 through the air.
WR Donald Driver - 5
Double-D will get some looks in the red zone, but I don't think he scores this week. 50 yards for Driver.
TE Jermichael Finley - 16
Finley is a matchup nightmare for any team, and he remains a frightening weapon. I'll keep thinking they'll use the fade at the goal line, and he scores and puts up a 100-yard day.
And that's it. I see this game being won by less than a touchdown either way. Whichever team can get a big turnover on defense or make a big special teams play will get the win.
* Scoring based on the following scoring system:
1 point per 10 rushing yards, per 10 receiving yards, per 25 passing yards
6 points per rushing or receiving TD
5 points per passing TD
-2 points per turnover (INT or lost fumble)