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(Sunday, September 15th)
Final Score: Green Bay 38, Washington 20
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - Aaron Rodgers tied a franchise record with 480 passing yards and threw for four touchdowns, leading the Green Bay Packers to a convincing 38-20 victory over the slumping Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers made good on 34-of-42 attempts and did not turn the ball over to tie former teammate Matt Flynn's club mark set in the 2011 regular-season finale. Green Bay (1-1) amassed 580 total yards as a team in bouncing back from last week's season-opening 34-28 loss in San Francisco.
A few other Packers enjoyed career days in the rout, with James Jones totaling 178 yards on 11 receptions and James Starks churning out 132 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 attempts. Randall Cobb added 128 yards and a touchdown on nine catches, while Jordy Nelson hauled in two of Rodgers' scoring strikes.
"I think that was the tip of the iceberg today," said tight end Jermichael Finley, who also came down with a touchdown catch, of Green Bay's impressive offensive display. "It was awesome to see it."
Robert Griffin III put up three touchdown passes for Washington (0-2), though each came after the Redskins were faced with a 31-0 deficit midway through the third quarter. The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year finished with 320 yards on a 26-of-40 completion rate and was intercepted once.
Pierre Garcon had 143 yards and a touchdown on eight grabs in the loss, which gave the Redskins their first 0-2 start since 2006, while Alfred Morris rushed for 107 yards on 13 carries.
"We know this isn't who we are as a team, and we're going to work to figure this out," said Griffin afterward.
Rodgers piled up 335 of his yards during the first half as Green Bay took a commanding 24-0 lead into the intermission, with the Packers producing points on four of five drives out of the chute.
The 2011 NFL MVP hit on seven of his first eight throws to move Green Bay inside the Washington 10 on its opening possession, but was sacked by Ryan Kerrigan on back-to-back plays and the Packers settled for Mason Crosby's 28- yard field goal that concluded a 14-play, 70-yard series.
Green Bay extended the lead by capitalizing on excellent field position later in the first quarter, the result of a 25-yard shank by Redskins punter Sav Rocca that placed the ball at the Washington 42. Four plays later, Rodgers hit Cobb on a slant across the middle on a 4th-and-3 situation, with the playmaking receiver finding a seam and sprinting his way into the end zone for a 35-yard score that put the Pack up 10-0.
While Griffin and the Redskins' offense continued to struggle, Rodgers remained on point on Green Bay's next trip. He moved the Packers 75 yards in eight plays and capped the sequence with a 14-yard strike to Nelson on 3rd- and-goal that created a 17-0 differential less than 3 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.
Washington's haphazard defense offered little resistance on the Packers' subsequent drive. Rodgers found Jones uncovered down the left sideline for a 57-yard gain on the second play to quickly get Green Bay back in the red zone, then later fired a dart to an open Finley from three yards out just past the midway mark of the second period for his third TD toss of the day.
The Packers had a chance for more points before the half came to a close, but Jones fumbled while trying to stretch a 9-yard catch into a touchdown and the ball landed out of bounds after striking the pylon with nine seconds remaining.
Green Bay's offense kept moving the ball with ease following the break. The Packers went 60 yards in just four plays on their second possession of the second half, highlighted by Rodgers' 15-yard connection with Nelson that increased the lead to 31-0.
Washington's initial trip into the red zone didn't come until under five minutes to go in the third quarter, when Griffin's 13-yard delivery to Garcon shortly after Morris had ripped off a 32-yard run gave the Redskins a 1st-and- goal at the Packers' 10. The two teamed up again later in the drive, this time for a 5-yard touchdown that finally got Washington on the board 4:15 prior to the start of the final frame.
The Packers had a swift answer, though, needing only four plays to march 80 yards and reach the end zone once more. After a 37-yard Nelson grab put Green Bay deep in enemy territory, Starks broke free off the left tackle for a 32- yard score and a 31-7 advantage that came just 1:34 after Garcon's touchdown.
"All training camp he's had a chip on his shoulder, and he came in there and ran like that today -- tried to punish people, tried to finish runs," said Jones of Starks, whose extended role came as a consequence of rookie Eddie Lacy suffering a concussion on Green Bay's opening drive. "If we can get that out of him every game, he adds another dimension."
Griffin had a pair of TD passes in the final 11-plus minutes to make the outcome a little more respectable. He concluded a 12-play, 75-yard jaunt with a 3-yard hookup with rookie tight end Jordan Reed, then found Santana Moss for a toe-dragging 9-yard score with 7:36 left to play to bring the Redskins within 38-20.
Washington went for two after Moss' touchdown, but Griffin's pass intended for Reed was broken up.
"We've got to start the game off as if we're down 14-zip or something," said Garcon, whose team spotted Philadelphia a 33-7 lead in Monday's opener before scoring the game's final 20 points.
Starks recorded the first 100-yard rushing effort by a Packer in the regular season since Brandon Jackson had 115 against the Redskins on Oct. 10, 2010 ... Jones had nine catches and 152 yards by halftime, becoming the first Green Bay player to eclipse the century mark in receiving yards in the first half since he did so at Atlanta on Oct. 9, 2011 ... Cobb went over the 100- yard barrier for the fourth time in his last five regular-season tests dating back to last year ... Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather exited with a concussion early in the second quarter following a collision with Starks ... John Potter, signed by Washington on Saturday with regular kicker Kai Forbath out with a groin injury, missed a 50-yard field goal attempt in the second half ... Packers safety Morgan Burnett missed a second straight week with a hamstring injury.
09/15 19:28:54 ET
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