The Packers statistically have controlled the game better than a 7-point lead would suggest, but that’s what happens when you don’t score on second-and-goal from the 1, and settle for a field goal after a long punt return into enemy territory.
Those were both missed chances for the Packers, who have racked up more than 225 yards in the half, and have a 52-yard punt return, but have only 10 points to show for it. Some may second-guess the decision to go for it on fourth-and-goal after plays on second and third down from the 1 already had been stopped, but the bottom line is the Packers’ execution in that goal-line sequence wasn’t up to snuff. The interior of the offensive line didn’t create any space for Kuhn on second down or Rodgers on the third-down sneak, and Rodgers’ pass to Quarless in the corner of the end zone on fourth down didn’t have enough loft under it, as it hit the Washington defender — who had his back turned — in the helmet.
The Packers also have had an inordinate number of dropped passes in this first half. Driver, Jones and Nelson all have dropped at least one or two. Rodgers is 14-of-25 for 152 yards, but his completion percentage should be a lot higher.
Washington has done very little on offense except for one play. The 52-yard pass to Moss on third-and-18 shouldn’t have happened, but Matthews gave McNabb room to scramble to his right when he spun inside on his rush. With only a three-man rush, Matthews is the only guy to contain on the outside, and he went all-or-nothing to the middle to try for the sack and the Packers paid for it. With a lot of time to run, Moss got behind Woodson and Peprah deep downfield and McNabb’s throw was on target.
The other big issue is just how many more injuries can the Packers sustain. Already coming into this game without RB Ryan Grant, S Morgan Burnett, LB Nick Barnett, LB Brandon Chillar and T Mark Tauscher, the Packers saw TEs Jermichael Finley and Donald Lee, and DE Ryan Pickett all leave the game with injuries early in the first quarter. The extent of the new injuries probably won’t be known until Monday, but any more long-term prognoses or season-ending ailments and it will be even tougher for the Packers to keep winning games. Green Bay still has four more games after this one prior to the bye week.
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