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Griffin, Rodgers try to get back in win column Sunday
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 9/15/2013  at  3:45:00 AM
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Kickoff: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
Line: Green Bay -7, Total: 49.5

Two defenses that were lit up in Week 1 will each face another stiff test on Sunday when Robert Griffin III and the Redskins visit Aaron Rodgers’ Packers.

Washington gave up 443 yards in a 33-27 home loss to the Eagles in the season opener, while Green Bay allowed 494 yards in a 34-28 loss in San Francisco. Griffin nearly brought his team back from a 33-7 hole, finishing with 353 total yards and two scores, while Rodgers threw for 333 yards and 3 TD in a losing effort. Both teams will likely be without key defensive players for this matchup. Redskins star LB Ryan Kerrigan suffered a concussion in Week 1, S Brandon Meriweather is questionable with a groin injury and CB DeAngelo Hall (ankle) remains out indefinitely. The Packers' outstanding secondary could be missing two starters in FS Morgan Burnett (hamstring) who is questionable, while CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) is doubtful. Although these injuries should contribute to this game being a high-scoring affair, the last time these teams met in 2010, Washington won 16-13 despite Rodgers throwing for 293 yards. Although the Redskins are 36-17 ATS (68%) as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992, they are also just 4-11 ATS (27%) after gaining 75 or less rushing yards in their previous game over the past six seasons. Green Bay is an excellent 10-2 ATS (83%) after an ATS defeat in the past three years, but only 8-16 ATS (33%) versus poor passing defenses (allowing 7+ passing yards per attempt) in the past six seasons.

Which high-profile quarterback will help his team avoid an 0-2 hole on Sunday? For the answer, connect to NFL Best Bets for all the StatFox Experts picks throughout the 2013 season and playoffs. During the 2012 campaign, the experts combined for a 52% ATS success rate in NFL Best Bets, highlighted by StatFox Brian's 60% ATS mark (36-24-2 ATS) and StatFox Dave's 53% ATS accuracy (44-41-4). StatFox Scott and StatFox Gary dominated NFL Totals, with Scott going 57% (38-29-1) and Gary cranking out a 56% clip (28-22-1) during the season, capped off by a perfect 4-0 run in the postseason.

Last week the Redskins trailed by 26 points late in the third quarter before ending the game on a 20-0 run. Griffin looked tentative for those first three quarters and only got into a rhythm once the Eagles dropped back into a prevent defense. Griffin completed 30-of-49 passes for 329 yards (6.7 YPA) and 2 TD, but also threw two picks and took three sacks. Because Washington was trailing for most of the game, the team abandoned the run, finishing with 74 yards on 18 carries (4.1 YPC), a far cry from its NFL-best 169 rushing YPG last year. RB Alfred Morris was held to 45 yards on 12 carries (3.8 YPC) and the only other running back with a carry was Roy Helu, who was given one hand-off. Griffin did a nice job spreading the wealth among his receivers, as five players caught at least four passes each. WR Leonard Hankerson was the star with 80 yards and two scores, while WR Pierre Garcon (11 targets) and WR Santana Moss (9 targets) were the most popular choices for Griffin when he dropped back. With the Packers defense stopping the run much more effectively than the pass last week, the Redskins could choose to throw the football more than usual. Washington's defense was chewed up by the fast-paced Eagles offense, allowing 263 rushing yards on 49 carries (5.4 YPC), but the Packers don't have the type of rushing offense that can compare to Philly's ground game.

Aaron Rodgers was able to make a whole slew of big plays against an excellent 49ers defense last week, completing 21-of-37 passes for 333 yards (9.0 YPA), 3 TD and 1 INT. He relied on basically three players who got 30 of the 36 targets, WRs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, and TE Jermichael Finley. Nelson and Cobb each had seven catches for over 100 yards and a touchdown while Finley wound up with five catches for 56 yards and a score. Finley injured his toe during that performance though, and is questionable for Week 2. The Packers tried only 15 rushing attempts from their running backs, which resulted in a mere 44 yards (2.9 YPC). Rookie RB Eddie Lacy had 14 of these carries, but none went for more than seven yards. Lacy figures to find a lot more holes in the Redskins run defense that was carved up by the Eagles on Monday night. The Packers defense allowed nearly 500 yards last week, but they were also on the field for 38:35. Although Colin Kaepernick averaged 10.6 yards per pass attempt, the 49ers managed only 2.6 yards per carry against Green Bay.

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