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Redskins 2013 Opponent Profile: Green Bay Packers

The reigning NFC North champs’ offense would be a handful for Redskins’ shoddy D. But if the Pack’s defense thinks Colin Kaepernick was unstoppable, wait’ll they get a load of the guy he was imitating.

Unless the Redskin defense improves considerably, Green Bay’s multi-talented Aaron Rodgers will give it fits this season.
Unless the Redskin defense improves considerably, Green Bay’s multi-talented Aaron Rodgers will give it fits this season.
Jonathan Daniel

Editor's Note: We will be running a series profiling each Redskins opponent in 2013. First up, the Redskins visit to Lambeau Field.

2012 Record: 11-5; lost to 49ers in divisional round
Key Free Agents: Cedric Benson, RB; Ryan Grant, RB; Greg Jennings, WR; Brad Jones, LB; Erik Walden, LB
GM/Coaching Moves: Front-office executive John Dorsey left to take GM job in Kansas City.

• 2012 wrap-up
After shocking the Lambeau faithful by limping to a 2-3 start, the Packers would go on to win nine of their next 10 decisions. It was the second-best mark in the league over that span, trailing only the Denver Broncos’ 10-0 record. Their final record of 11-5 earned the team its second straight NFC North crown. With All-Everything quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the controls, Green Bay ranked No. 5 in the league in scoring with an average of 28.9 points per game. It was the sixth straight season that the Packers finished in the top 10 in the league in scoring offense, with New England the only other team in the league to do the same during the same period (2007-12). Defensively, the team gave up 20 or fewer points in eight of its final 10 games to help earn it a No. 11 ranking in scoring defense at 21.0 points per game. 2012 was the third time in the last four seasons that the Packers finished the season ranked No. 11 in the league or better in the category.

• 2013 outlook
With $20 million in cap room and Greg Jennings the team’s only free agent of note, the Packers’ off-season priority has been signing Rodgers and linebacker extraordinaire Clay Matthews to long-term contracts. And according to press reports, both deals are imminent. And just for good measure, the Pack also re-upped TE Jermichael Finley, one of Rodgers’ favorite targets when healthy, which isn’t all that often. The Packers could do away with their perpetual revolving-door policy at running back and draft hometown favorite Montae Ball from Wisconsin, but after watching the way Colin Kaepernick carved up the defense in the playoffs, they’re more likely to find Matthews some help in the pass rush and/or shore up their suddenly suspect secondary.

• How do the Redskins match up

Overall, not so good. The Packers have a multitude of weapons on offense, along with the perfect ringmaster to pull it all together. Conversely, the Redskin secondary spent the best part of last season covering exactly nobody, and the best we can say at this point is that we haven’t lost anyone from that group. Assuming Brian Orakpo can stay healthy, he could add some bite to the pass rush, but the Redskins could still use someone who can bring pressure from the front three if they have any hope of forcing Rodgers into a few bad decisions. Offensively, however, the picture is much more favorable for the Redskins, solely because of RG3’s presence. Kaepernick isn’t chopped liver, but he’s no RG3. And if the Packers had no answer for RG3-lite, they’ll be utterly clueless against the genuine article. A lot can change between now and next fall, but if the two teams had to line up and go at it tomorrow, it would look a lot like most of the games the Redskins won last season — with RG3 running wild and the defense hoping for just one more stop than the other guys get.