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Enemy intel: Early look at the Packers

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Enemy intel: Early look at the Packers

The Redskins weren’t the only team that had some defensive issues in their season opener. The Packers, their opponent on Sunday, did not have a good day defensively in San Francisco.

Colin Kaepernick lit up their secondary for 412 yards passing and three touchdowns. I think Anquan Boldin just caught another pass against them adding to the 13 for 208 yards and one touchdown on Sunday. Tight end Vernon Davis added six catches for 98 yards and two TDs. San Francisco also rushed for 90 yards, although it took them 34 attempts to get there (2.6 average).

Although the defense struggled, the Pack stayed in the game until the end thanks to Aaron Rodgers (21 of 37 for 333 yards, 1 interception, 3 touchdowns) and his stable of receivers. Two of them went over 100 yards, Randall Cobb (7-108) and Jordy Nelson (1-130).

One good thing for the Redskins is that the Packers don’t have a LeSean McCoy to run at the Redskins. A lot of analysts wanted to hand Eddie Lacy the rookie of the year award before the season even started but he picked up just 41 yards on 14 carries against the 49ers. He’s still a good combination of speed and power and the Redskins won’t sleep on him but he’s no Shady.

Thoughts from Green Bay

—Here are some thoughts on the Packers defense from Packer Geeks, a long running blog about the team:
Yes, the defense tried hard and I liked to see that. But like Mike Sherman, who spent 18-20 hours a day working on coaching stuff – sometimes the amount of effort just doesn’t matter if the job is not getting done. Bottom line – our defense was really bad.
—Packers safety Morgan Burnett, the quarterback of the defense, missed the game with a hamstring injury. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal:
The Packers really, really missed Morgan Burnett in the back end. Colin Kaepernick is that good, but a solid safety would have made a difference on a day when the Packers did not let Kaepernick beat them with his feet.
Burnett’s status for Sunday is undetermined. He did not miss a snap in 2012.

—The Green Bay starting offensive line doesn’t have much of a pedigree. Three of the players were drafted in the fourth round or later, including rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari (4th round) and two are undrafted free agents. Again from the Journal-Sentinal:
Green Bay's front five gave an admirable performance in the Packers' 34-28 Week 1 loss to San Francisco. Facing one of the NFL's top defenses, the line allowed two sacks and helped the Packers roll up 385 total net yards.

"If you play in the league, you play in the league," said Packer center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who went undrafted in 2009. "It's not an 'Oh, I was drafted here' or 'I was drafted there' type of situation.
"If you show up to a camp and you display that you can play in the league, then you're going to play. That's the bottom line. And if you don't, you're going to get cut."

An early preview on that site gives the Packers the advantage at quarterback, receiver, defensive line, secondary, and special teams. The Redskins have the edge at running back and coaching with the offensive line and linebackers being even.

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When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon just filled out his ballot for the annual NFL Top 100 Players list.

Let's just say it's pretty one-dimensional. 

Straight like that

A photo posted by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

As you can see, the form asks guys to rank who they consider the top 20 players in the league. But instead of naming 20 different players, Garcon voted for the same player 20 times. Talk about stuffing the ballot box. 

No surprise, but he's hyping his quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

Cousins is having a career year with the Redskins. His stock has soared over the last three weeks especially. Take a look at his numbers in that span: 84 completions on 116 attempts for 1,086 yards (72 percent), eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Those efforts earned the Michigan State product NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. And more importantly, Cousins has the Redskins in favorable position to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.

So far this season, Garcon has caught 52 passes from Cousins for 636 yards and two scores. 

MORE REDSKINS: Reed out, 7 other Redskins questionable

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus.