For the second straight year, the Green Bay Packers started the season 0-1 after a loss to San Francisco. And for the second year in a row, they avoided an 0-2 start after coming up with a big win over a good opponent. In the case of Aaron Rodgers, the win wasn't only big, it was a personal best.
Rodgers threw for a career-high 480 yards and four touchdowns as the Packers beat the Redskins, 38-20. James Jones also had a day to remember, as his 11 catches and 178 yards were career highs. Green Bay moved to 1-1 on the season after a tough back-and-forth loss to the 49ers in Week 1.
While it was all celebrations and victory formations in Green Bay, Mike Shanahan has some questions to answer for the Washington Redskins. Most importantly, how can he fix a defense that has given up 71 points through two games?
The Redskins had a suspect defense last year when they finished 22nd in points allowed, but they have found themselves in big holes twice already this year against the Eagles and Packers, and the offense has had little chance to catch up. Although Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris were able to run Mike Shanahan's offense into a 10-6 record last season, they now find themselves at 0-2 in 2013. Washington was 3-6 last season before winning its last seven games to win the NFC East, but the secondary for the Redskins doesn't look any better than it did a year ago.
Washington finished 30th in passing yards allowed last year and just gave up a record day to Rodgers. While Rodgers fell a bit shy of the all-time single-game passing record of 554 yards by Norm Van Brocklin, he did become the first player since Y.A. Tittle in 1962 to throw for 480 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Randall Cobb had 128 receiving yards and a touchdown, while Jordy Nelson caught two touchdown passes of his own.
Griffin's stat line recovered nicely by the end of the day, throwing for 320 yards and three touchdowns with one interception, but his running game still isn't close to what it was last season when he ran for 815 yards and seven touchdowns. Griffin ran for one yard on four carries on Sunday against Green Bay.
It will be interesting to see how Griffin and Shanahan respond to the slow start and whether or not the offense will be as effective it was last season. It might have to be incredible if it's going to catch up to what the defense is allowing.
Though we must admit that in the case of Rodgers, he is simply just incredible on his own.
Fantasy studs and duds
Aaron Rodgers threw for 480 yards and four touchdowns, and receiver James Jones benefited the most from it with his 11 receptions for 178 yards. Randall Cobb hauled in nine catches for 128 yards and a score. James Starks rushed for 132 yards and found the end zone once.
Robert Griffin III passed for 320 yards and three touchdowns, though he did throw an interception. Pierre Garcon caught eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.
Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy had one carry before leaving the game with a concussion. Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather also exited the game with a concussion.
Did they cover?
The Packers opened as 7-point favorites and the line moved to 7.5 points during the week. They covered comfortably.
Green Bay at Cincinnati, Sept. 22, 1 p.m. ET
Detroit vs. Washington, Sept. 22, 1 p.m. ET