The Green Bay Packers got their first win of the young season last Sunday as they defeated the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field, 38-20. The offense was clicking on all cylinders for the majority of the game and the defense also held their own while the game was still close.
Sunday's performance was one of the Packers' best performances in recent memory. The win helped head coach Mike McCarthy improve to 6-2 in home opening games at Lambeau Field.
Now lets take a look at some of the winners and losers of Sunday's dominating win over the Redskins.
Of the 17 players that took an offensive snap in Sunday's game, only two players finished with a grade below (0.0). Seven players received grades of (+2.0) or greater, with two of those players receiving an overall grade of (+4.0).
After having a rough game against the San Francisco 49ers, guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton bounced back with a very good performance against the Redskins. Against the 49ers, Lang and Sitton received identical grades of (- 4.0), the two worst grades given out on offense for Green Bay. Against the Redskins last week, both graded amongst the best on the team. Lang earned a team-best (+4.8) and Sitton also turned in an impressive grade of (+3.8). The two combined to allow zero quarterback hurries or hits, which makes their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, very happy.
It's not surprising that Rodgers received a high grade from PFF this week as he turned in arguably the best game of his career. Rodgers finished the game with a grade of (+4.6), second highest grade overall on the team behind Lang. Rodgers finished the game with 480 yards passing and four touchdowns, good enough for a quarterback rating of 146.0.
The rookie left tackle continues to impress after replacing Bryan Bulaga. This week he earned a grade of (+3.8) and was nearly impossible for Redskins' defensive ends Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo to get past. Like Sitton and Lang, Bakhtiari didn't allow a single quarterback hurry or hit the entire game. Through two games in his young career, Bakhtiari has earned an overall grade of (+2.6).
While nearly everyone on offense shined last Sunday against the Redskins, Dietrich-Smith was not one of them. Dietrich-Smith gave up one of the three Redskins' sacks on Sunday and also gave up two quarterback hurries. Dietrich-Smith was badly beat by Kerrigan on a stunt on the Packers' first drive, which lead to a sack and forced the Packers to settle for a field goal. Dietrich-Smith was solid in the run game (+.9), but really struggled in the passing game (- 1.3). Overall, not one of Dietrich-Smith's best performances.
Daniels received the highest grade for any Packers' defensive player (+2.7). In his 31 total snaps, Daniels tallied two quarterback hurries and two solo tackles. Daniels' performance so far this season, including: training camp, preseason and the regular season has led to more playing time for him. He's been one of the most impressive players for the Packers, even at a position that is arguably the Packers' deepest in terms of depth.
Pickett continues to have a very solid career in Green Bay. He had another solid game for the Packers earning a grade of (+1.7) in a total of just 19 snaps. Pickett finished the game with a batted pass and a quarterback hurry. It appears that the Packers may have Pickett on a snap count in order to keep the 33-year-old fresh later in the season.
While the Packers certainly passed the eye test on defense, in particular their performance in the first half, PFF still graded the Packers' defense harshly for the second week straight. There were a total of seven Packers' defenders that graded in the "red" (less than - 1.0) and all but four Packers' defenders earned a negative grade overall.
Not often does Matthews find himself on the loser side of any list; however, he earned his spot this week. The Redskins came out with brilliant scheme to slow down Matthews and it worked to perfection. Redskins' left tackle Trent Williams held Matthews to just three total tackles and only one quarterback hurry. One play particular stood out when Redskins' running back Alfred Morris broke a run for 32 yards, Williams pushed Matthews 10 yards up the filed paving way for Morris.
Matthews is certainly afforded a few bad games here and there, though.
The Secondary (again):
The secondary played very well in the first half, but in the NFL you play 60 minutes, not 30. With the Packers holding a 31-0 lead in the third quarter the defense went into prevent mode and got gashed by Robert Griffin III and Pierre Garcon.
Micah Hyde was the biggest loser earning the second worst defensive grade of (-2.1) in 24 plays. He was targeted one time and gave up a catch for 15 yards. The Packers seemed content in not playing Hyde much in the game, instead playing much of the game in their base defense with Tramon Williams and Sam Shields as the only corners on the field or bringing Davon House in for the nickel package and shifting Williams to the slot.
Jerron McMillian also turned in another subpar performance with a grade of (-1.7) although it was an improvement on his (-5.5) grade he received against the 49ers, McMillian still has a lot of work to do. He was targeted five times in the game and gave up three receptions for 20 yards and a touchdown, good enough for a quarterback rating of 108.3.
There you have it, final grades from the Packers big win over the Redskins. Keep it here at APC as we preview the Packers-Bengals game all the way up until game time.
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