LANDOVER, Md. – Washington put together a late touchdown drive to close the first half, but the Packers took a 14-10 lead into the locker room at intermission on Saturday night from FedExField.
Here’s a recap of the first half.
A sharp first possession by the Packers’ offense and QB Aaron Rodgers gave Green Bay a 7-3 lead after one quarter.
The Packers’ defense stood tall early. After forcing a three-and-out on the game’s first possession, the unit had to go right back on the field after Packers WR Trevor Davis muffed a 56-yard punt.
Taking over at the Green Bay 16-yard line, Washington couldn’t do anything, though. CB Josh Hawkins broke up a second-down pass to the end zone for TE Vernon Davis, and the Redskins had to settle for a 34-yard field goal by K Dustin Hopkins.
With Rodgers starting, the Packers’ offense got on the board. The chains first moved when the Packers successfully challenged that the Redskins had 12 men on the field. From there, Rodgers hit WR Jordy Nelson twice for 18 yards and WR Randall Cobb twice for 9. RB Jamaal Williams rushed five times for 15 yards. Rodgers scrambled 13 yards to convert a third-and-6 and put the ball in the red zone, and he finished the drive by connecting with TE Martellus Bennett on a 3-yard touchdown.
The 15-play drive covered 75 yards and consumed 7 minutes, 41 seconds, giving the Packers a 7-3 lead.
Green Bay’s defense got another three-and-out, in essence its third straight to open the game. With the starters still in, rookie CB Kevin King made the tackle after a short pass reception, and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix nearly picked off Washington QB Kirk Cousins’ third-down pass. The ensuing punt was fielded by Davis for a 1-yard return.
QB Brett Hundley took over for the Packers as the starters exited, and his first series did not go well. He was sacked on first down, and the offense was also flagged for delay of game on the drive, leading to a punt from deep in Green Bay territory. Rookie P Justin Vogel’s 41-yard boot was returned 5 yards by former Packers DB Will Blackmon, giving the Redskins the ball near midfield.
The Packers’ defense continued a strong start to the game. A defensive holding call on third down gave the Redskins a gift first down when Cousins was under siege, but on the ensuing series, a host of Packers stacked up RB Rob Kelley on fourth-and-1 from the Green Bay 27.
Hundley and the offense then got going. Two runs by rookie RB Aaron Jones picked up 10 yards, and Hundley hit Davis for 12 yards and WR Jeff Janis for 38 down the sideline for a first down in the red zone. A 7-yard catch-and-run by WR Geronimo Allison was preceded by a 5-yard TD pass to Jones in the flat, extending Green Bay’s lead to 14-3 with 7:38 left in the half.
Washington finally made a play of significance on offense, as Cousins connected with RB Chris Thompson for a 29-yard gain into Green Bay territory, but Green Bay’s defense held from there, forcing another punt.
Hundley directed one first down with an 8-yard pass to Janis, but he was sacked on the next third down. Vogel’s punt rolled dead at the Washington 22, good for 58 yards in all.
Just after the two-minute warning, the Redskins got into scoring range on a 43-yard pass from Cousins to TE Vernon Davis. A 12-yard pass to WR Josh Doctson gave Washington a first down at the Green Bay 15. A 13-yard pass to Thompson made it first-and-goal, and then Thompson was stopped for a 2-yard loss. On third down, Thompson was held to no gain on a pass reception, and the Redskins decided to go for it from the 4.
Cousins found WR Jamison Crowder for the TD with 13 seconds left in the half.