And quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a man on a mission after the Packers’ Week 1 loss against the San Francisco 49ers, as the Packers move even at 1-1 with their 38-20 victory in their home opener.
Rodgers put together perhaps the best first half performance of any quarterback in Week 2, completing 26 of his 31 passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns. His chance at a fourth failed when receiver James Jones reached out and fumbled the ball at the pylon, which was ruled a touchback. Rodgers would finish his day in Lambeau with 480 passing yards and four touchdowns.
The Packers even ran the ball well without rookie Eddy Lacy, who was put out of the game by Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather with a concussion. Veteran James Starks paved the way on the ground with 132 rushing yards and a touchdown. He became the first Packer running back to rush for 100 yards since the 2010 playoffs. With Lacy’s injury, Starks will likely be asked to handle the load until Lacy’s return. Thus far, Starks has struggled with injuries in his first three seasons with the Packers, but he made it through training camp healthy and has not experienced any setbacks.
Griffin struggled in the first half, failing to get the Redskins in any kind of rhythm offensively, and on the one drive that the Redskins had some success, it was cut short thanks to a tipped interception by the Packers’ hybrid defensive end/linebacker Mike Neal. Their lone touchdown didn’t come until the second half thanks to a catch by Pierre Garcon.
While Griffin had a stronger second half and finished the day 26-of-40 with 320 passing yards and three touchdowns, any attempts of a comeback were futile. The story of the Redskins’ these first two weeks have been their slow first half starts and even the possibility that Griffin came back from injury too soon. Starks showed great running ability against the Redskins’ front seven and has an opportunity to carve out a bigger role for himself than the Packers may have originally envisioned.
The Packers, meanwhile, bounced back from their physical bout with San Francisco to beat a Redskins team that suddenly looks in doubt these first two weeks. They look to move up in the NFC North when they face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3.