Donald Lee

Donald Lee fumbles on the Packers first drive.

The Green Bay Packers did everything they could to keep the Washington Redskins in the football game for four quarters. In the end, the Redskins finally took advantage to win 16-13 on a Graham Gano 33-yard field goal in overtime.

After a strong first half, the Packers offense failed to do anything of note in the second half. The passing game was out of sync and plagued by dropped passes. Without tight end Jermichael Finley, who was injured on the Packers’ first series, Aaron Rodgers and company looked pedestrian. Receiver Donald Driver was especially inefficient, missing several opportunities to make plays, even though he finished with four receptions for 58 yards. On the other hand, James Jones had perhaps his best effort of the year, catching four balls for 65 yards.

Rodgers finished 27-of-45 for 310 yards, one touchdown and in Brett Favre fashion, managed to throw the game away in overtime by throwing a ball behind Greg Jennings and into the hands of LaRon Landry.

Running back Brandon Jackson broke the 100-yard mark for the first time this season, finishing with 10 carries for 115 yards. Jackson’s day was buoyed by an early 71-yard run. Still, the Packers running game isn’t scaring anyone. The team had only 17 rushes on the day, four of which were by Rodgers.

Rookie tackle Bryan Bulaga, who started for Mark Tauscher, played well despite a couple penalties. In fact, he played better than Tauscher has all year. It’s hard to see how the Packers can take him out of the lineup. The other tackle, Chad Clifton, didn’t look quite as good, getting beaten continually by the younger, faster Brian Orakpo.

The Packers defense played well, making several opportune plays in the passing game and harassing Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb for most of the day. Clay Matthews was his usual disruptive self, adding 1.5 sacks, but the pass rush took a noticeable step backwards when Matthews went out with a hamstring injury in the third quarter. Cullen Jenkins provided a strong inside rush, even though he didn’t finish with any sacks.

Filling in for injured starter Nick Barnett, Desmond Bishop played a solid game, finishing with 12 tackles and a sack. Charlie Peprah, the Packers new starter at safety, looked fairly average. Although he acquitted himself well for most of the day, he did get beat on a couple of deep balls. Peprah finished with five tackles.