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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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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.

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Jordan Reed ruled out for Redskins vs. Cardinals; Vernon Davis set for start

Jordan Reed ruled out for Redskins vs. Cardinals; Vernon Davis set for start

After separating his shoulder against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Jordan Reed has officially been ruled out for the Redskins game in Arizona. 

Friday, coach Jay Gruden said Reed doesn't have sufficient range of motion to play against the Cardinals but remains hopeful he'll be healthy for the following game against the Eagles. Reed estimated that range was at about 30 percent Monday.

The decision to sit Reed against the Cardinals comes with little surprise. The 'Skins star tight end did not practice all week, even after having a few extra days to rest after the game last Thursday.

Playing without Reed is obviously a blow to the Washington offense, but No. 2 tight end Vernon Davis has been a strong development for Gruden's team this year. Thursday, Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay said that while losing Reed is a blow to the unit, the team can run almost all of the same plays and sets with Davis that they can with Reed. 

"Fortunately you’re in a situation where you feel really good about your tight end in Vernon Davis where he’s playing at an extremely high level in both phases in the run and in the pass game," McVay said.

As good as Davis has been, he's not the dynamic threat Reed presents. In the second half against Dallas — while playing with the injured shoulder — Reed hauled in two touchdowns and played arguably the best football of his career.

On the season Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns despite missing two games earlier this year dealing with a concussion.

Davis has played in all 11 games this season and has 31 catches for 450 yards and two TDs. 

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