The other sack of intravenous fluid can be administered to the anemic and disoriented D.C. defense. These Packers become the first team in Green Bay’s long history to have a 400-yard passer and a 100-yard runner in the same game. But this record came with a telling twist. Aaron Rodgers, who ended with a franchise record-tying 480 yards passing and backup running back James Starks, who gained 132 yards on 20 carries, had their 400/100 game in the books before the third quarter was even over. That’s a stomping.
The Packers took such pity that they ended the game by kneeling three straight times at the 10-yard line. What honor could there be in breaking the Packer passing record against such a defense or for James Jones, a wide receiver who doesn’t start, to pad his 11 catches for 178 yards?
Against a bewildered backfield that included rookies Bacarri Rambo and David Amerson, and which was without safety Brandon Meriweather (injured again, concussion in the second quarter), what would be the challenge?
Washington could not cover or tackle any of the Pack’s five primary receivers. Jones had his 11 catches on just 12 targets, Randall Cobb had nine catches on 10 targets for 128 yards. Jermichael Finley had six catches on seven targets, Starks, four of five, and Jordy Nelson, three of four.
Two weeks into its season, Washington has no consolation as it looks at the 14 games remaining on the schedule. After being scorched by Michael Vick and the Eagles’ blitz-speed attack and — in Shanahan’s words — “embarrassed” by the Pack and Rodgers, at least Washington doesn’t have to face many more good quarterbacks on its tough schedule. After all, Washington was almost last in pass defense last year and may now be worse.
Let’s see, after Rodgers, Washington only has to face the immortal Peyton Manning at Denver, Super Bowl runner-up Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers, playoff star Matt Ryan of Atlanta, Vick (again), the Giants’ two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning (twice) and the Cowboys’ erratic but gifted Tony Romo (twice). There’s also Philip Rivers of the Chargers, Matthew Stafford of the Lions next week at FedEx Field and Jay Cutler of the tough Bears. None are slouches. Whatever’s busted must be fixed, not finessed.
So far, the only play Washington stops worse than the run is the pass. If every team still on the schedule picked up Tim Tebow as quarterback for a week, Washington might still have their hands full. In NFL history, Rodgers became only the second quarterback to throw for 480 yards, four-plus touchdowns and no interceptions. Y.A. Tittle did it to Washington in ’62.