Preseason Football Predictions: Redskins Ready For Packers Visit

Jay Pryce

Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:21 PM UTC

Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 1:21 PM UTC

Expect the Redskins to be better prepared when they host the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET) in Week 2 of the NFL preseason. Betting preview and game pick here.

Packers vs. Redskins

To say the Redskins offense played poorly in their 23-3 loss to the Ravens last week is an understatement. The unit mustered just 138 total yards, averaging 2.9 per play.

First-team quarterback Kirk Cousins led for two series, consisting of back-to-back three and outs. Nate Sudfield and Colt McCoy shared the majority of time under center, tossing for a combined 108 yards on 11-of-25 passes. The run game was held to 49 yards on 18 carries with only one rush breaking for more than 10 yards. The performance proved a wake-up call, particularly for the O-line which was bossed up front all game.

Part of the problem for Washington was the Ravens atypical defensive attack. The victors showed a myriad of blitz packages and sent five rushers routinely, uncommon for a Week 1 matchup known for vanilla schemes. Washington did not scout Baltimore either. Coaches have spent all week covering Green Bay’s personnel and packages to assure a more effective outcome.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said he has not determined the amount of playtime for the first-team heading into Saturday, including that of franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers. One as to go back to 2015 to find the last time the two-time MVP touched the field in Week 2 of the preseason. Running back Ty Montgomery, who took over as starter late last season, is unlikely to suit up as well with an unspecified leg injury. Green Bay had six different backs attempt a rush in its 24-9 win over the Eagles in Week 1. Expect another carousel of rushers in this one as the offense looks to fill in its backfield depth chart. Joe Callahan, Brett Hundley, and rookie Taysom Hill combined for 256 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT on 22-of-36 passes under center in the victory.

The Packers defense caused the most concern last week. Despite yielding just 9 points, Philadelphia accrued 322 total yards, including 275 through the air. Poor tackling, which has plagued the unit in recent years, was a problem. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers noted his group missed 16 tackles in the game. The starting unit played just 13 snaps, so many of gaffs were made by second- and third-stringers. Still, the issue is endemic, and you can bet it will be the primary focus at Washington. 

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Final Analysis

The Redskins have put up 21 points or more in each of head coach Jay Gruden’s three Week 2 preseason matchups. The passing game tends to show maturity with two scores or more coming through the air in each. McCoy, one injury away from assuming the starting quarterback role, really shines. The veteran backup, comfortable in Gruden’s system, has tossed for 312 yards with 4 TDs and 2 INTs on 20-of-28 passes. Two of Green Bay’s top three cornerbacks are not playing, so Cousins should be able to take advantage early. McCoy and Sudfield will assure production late.

Green Bay will challenge for the win, pushing the combined score ‘over’ the total. The over/under opened at 40 points, slipping to 39 at some books by Friday morning. Play against the line movement, but hold out to see if the number drops even more.

Free NFL Pick: OVER the Total - Best Line  38 1/2 at Wager Web 

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