Redskins vs. Packers checklist: Defense gets it done
My keys were simple and plain for this game. How did the Redskins fair? Let's start with the offense.
Run the ball to control the time of possession and limit Aaron Rodgers: Yes and no. The Redskins won the time of possession, but weren't nearly as effective running the ball.
Better passing day for Donovan McNabb: Yes. Green Bay's defense is known for causing turnovers and converting them into points. They will look to scheme off McNabb's main targets, Santana Moss and Chris Cooley. At this point who cares if the defense will bracket these guys; get them the ball! McNabb got it going with Moss, and Cooley. Each had seven touches, and Anthony Armstrong got involved with a long touchdown catch.
Convert third downs: No. The Redskins converted five of 17 third downs (29 percent); that must improve.
Red-zone efficiency: No. This continues to be a problem: 0 for 2 yesterday. They must improve here.
Cut down on penalties: Yes. The Redskins took four penalties for 28 yards. That's not bad but could be better.
Now let's look at the defense ...
Stop the run: Yes. Although the stats tell a different story, most of the yards gained came on one play, so I won't fault the defense totally.
Cover and tackle consistently in pass defense: Yes. We knew Rodgers would complete passes, but we tackled when they caught the ball and we break passes up when it counted.
Pass rush needed to be better: Yes. Four sacks represent an improvement from last week.
Force turnovers: Yes. Not many, but LaRon Landry got one when it counted.
Finally, there's special teams ...
Kickoff and punt coverage teams need to be sharp: Yes. There were some big hits by
Brad Mike Sellers, coverage was good
Solid return game: Yes and no. In the return games, Devin Thomas had been a solid guy returning the ball beyond the 20-yard line, but after his untimely release, Chad Simpson and Brandon Banks took over. Thomas gave the offense a good starting point all season; that average went down a bit. As for the punt returns, Banks continues to provide a much-needed spark. Let's hope he can do the same on kick returns in the future.
Stay consistent with field goals and don't have any breakdowns in blocking: Yes. Including the winner.
Punt the ball consistently: Yes. Hunter Smith did a fine job in his return to the Redskins
The Redskins played a vulnerable Green Bay Packers team, and after the continued assault by this ball-hawking defense, the Pack suffered more injures that literally crippled their offense. The offense and special teams did what it had to do to win the game, but the offense still has more burning questions than answers at this point.
| October 11, 2010; 10:23 AM ET
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