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RG3 next new-age challenger on Packers schedule

Posted Sep 12, 2013

Clash of styles will help answer question about future of offense


GREEN BAY—Robert Griffin III and Aaron Rodgers will offer a study in contrast on Sunday. One is new age; the other is the way the game has been for a long time.

RG3 is a centerpiece player in the offensive revolution that’s currently being attempted in the NFL. He’s an outside-the-protections-of-the-pocket, caution-to-the-wind quarterback that is equal parts run and pass. He’ll bring his eye-popping talents to Lambeau Field this week.

Rodgers is etching his name on the list that includes all of the great ones: Starr, Unitas, Graham, Bradshaw, Staubach, Favre, Elway, Marino, Manning, Brady, etc. They’re pocket passers and they’ve defined the game for the better part of seven decades.

Now, there’s a clash between the new-age guys and the pocket passers. The new age is represented by RG3, Cam Newton, Michael Vick, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Terrelle Pryor. Rodgers tops the list of the pocket passers.

Which is the future of the NFL?

For the second consecutive week, that question will be one of the storylines in a Packers game. It was a storyline last Sunday when Rodgers and Kaepernick went head to head. Each played well and made strong statements for their sides in the revolution.

RG3 is on a surgically reconstructed knee. He showed signs on Monday night of not being fully recovered, but the guy can still play. He has talent and improvisational skills that make this a high-anxiety game for a 0-1 Packers team that doesn’t dare go to Cincinnati winless.

Here are 10 things the Packers have to do to beat the Redskins.

1. Stop the run—If the Packers don’t do that, they’ll never get the chance to test RG3’s knee. Mike Shanahan loves to run the ball.

2. Play fast—The Redskins are on a short week and on the road. The Eagles buried the Redskins with tempo; the Packers should try to do the same.

3. Fix the secondary—Completed passes came too easily last Sunday. The coverage must tighten.

4. Keep working on it—The running game is a work in progress, and the commitment to it must not lessen.

5. Help them—David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay were outstanding in pass protection against the 49ers, but Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan present another daunting challenge for the two young Packers tackles. A chip here and there wouldn’t hurt.

6. Play low—The Redskins are a cut-blocking offensive line.

7. Make him move—Even though playing outside the pocket is the strength of his game, RG3 will be in only his second game on a reconstructed knee. Test it.

8. Get a lead—The Packers played from behind nearly the whole game in San Francisco. That’s not a winning formula.

9. Win turnover battle—Yeah, it’s a no-brainer, but it bears mentioning after losing the turnover battle in San Francisco, which is usually what will happen when you don’t force any.

10. Release the sound—Lambeau Field has its new wall of sound. Time to turn up the volume.

Additional coverage - Sept. 12

 
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