LANDOVER, Md. – The Washington Redskins made big play after big play on Sunday night, and the offensive onslaught sent the Green Bay Packers to their fourth straight loss, 42-24, at FedExField.
With the loss, the Packers dropped to 4-6, two games behind co-NFC North leaders Minnesota and Detroit, who play one another on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit.
Washington QB Kirk Cousins put up impressive numbers, completing 21-of-30 for 375 yards with three touchdowns for a 145.8 passer rating. Redskins WRs Pierre Garcon (6 catches, 116 yards, TD) and Jamison Crowder (3-102-1) both went over 100 yards and scored. TE Jordan Reed added five catches for 79 yards, and WR DeSean Jackson had four grabs for 51 yards and a score. Redskins rookie RB Rob Kelley carried 24 times for 137 yards and three TDs.
For the Packers, QB Aaron Rodgers was 26-of-41 for 351 yards with three TDs for a 115.4 passer rating. TE Jared Cook had six catches for 105 yards and a TD, but his return to action after a long injury absence ended with a fourth-quarter fumble. WR Randall Cobb added three catches for 84 yards, and RB James Starks had 71 yards from scrimmage (25 rushing, 46 receiving, TD).
Here's a quarter-by-quarter recap of the action.
On the first play of the final period, Rodgers found RB James Starks all alone in the right flat, and he raced 31 yards for a touchdown. K Mason Crosby was good on the PAT to pull the Packers within 22-17.
The Redskins wasted no time answering. On the second play of the ensuing drive, WR Pierre Garcon got behind CB LaDarius Gunter and hauled in a 75-yard TD pass to put the Redskins up 29-17.
The Packers tried to fashion their own answer. Rodgers hit WR Randall Cobb on a third-down slant, and Cobb went for 47 yards in all to the Washington 37. A scramble by Rodgers for 9, a run by Starks for 8, a pass to Starks for 6, and a pass to TE Jared Cook for 8 made it first-and-goal on the 6. Rodgers then hit Cook on a slant pass for a 6-yard TD, and the Packers were back within five points at 29-24 with 10:04 left.
The Redskins moved the chains twice to burn clock. A pass to WR DeSean Jackson converted on third-and-3, and a sneak by Cousins on fourth-and-1 picked up another first down. LB Blake Martinez then went down with an injury on the next snap, which put LB Carl Bradford into the game on defense.
Three plays later, on third-and-7 from the Washington 46, Cousins found a bad matchup against the blitz, with LB Joe Thomas trying to cover speedy WR Jamison Crowder, and the deep throw went for 53 yards, all the way to the 1-yard line. RB Rob Kelley finished it off from there, and the TD put the Redskins up 35-24 after the PAT was missed with 3:54 left.
The Packers then committed the game's lone turnover, as Cook's good night was marred by a fumble after a short reception. Redskins CB Josh Norman punched the ball out, and LB Will Compton recovered, sealing Green Bay's fate.
Washington poured it on, as Kelley broke free on a 66-yard run and finished off the drive with a 4-yard TD for his third score of the night.
Backup QB Brett Hundley then threw an interception with a little over a minute to go.
The Redskins extended their lead to 22-10 heading into the fourth quarter on Sunday night at FedExField with the Packers driving to try to get back in it.
The Redskins got the ball to start the second half and immediately got a gift. Packers DT Mike Daniels was called for roughing the passer on a third-down incomplete pass, giving Washington a first down near midfield. On the ensuing third down, QB Kirk Cousins found TE Jordan Reed for 28 yards over the middle to the Green Bay 21.
The Packers' defense stopped it there, though, as LB Julius Peppers sacked Cousins on third down, forcing a field goal try. K Dustin Hopkins was good from 37 yards out, making it 16-10 Washington with 9:23 left in the third.
On the ensuing kickoff, WR Jeff Janis misjudged the ball and let it bounce in front of him, and rather than go into the end zone, it bounced back toward the middle of the field. Luckily for the Packers, TE Richard Rodgers recovered, but Green Bay had to begin on its own 2-yard line.
The Packers began the second half with rookie Jason Spriggs playing RG in place of Don Barclay, who it was announced had a shoulder injury. After a 7-yard run by FB Aaron Ripkowski, QB Aaron Rodgers hit TE Jared Cook deep down the sideline for a 47-yard gain to convert on third-and-3. Two plays later, WR Randall Cobb hauled in a 22-yard pass, and a delay of game penalty on the Redskins put the ball on the Washington 15.
The drive stalled there, though, as Spriggs was called for a false start, and a third-down pass for rookie WR Geronimo Allison was too high. K Mason Crosby then missed wide left on a 36-yard field goal try, keeping the score 16-10 in favor of Washington.
Green Bay's defense continued to struggle. A 9-yard pass to RB Chris Thompson converted on third-and-5, and Cousins followed with a 17-yard completion to WR DeSean Jackson. Then on third-and-11, WR Jamison Crowder got behind CB Quinten Rollins, and Cousins found him for a 44-yard touchdown. The Packers stopped the 2-point try on a run by Cousins, and Green Bay trailed 22-10 with 2:00 left in the quarter.
The Packers got back into scoring range as the third quarter expired. A 29-yard completion to Cook converted on third down, and a 7-yard run by WR Ty Montgomery put the ball on the Washington 31 heading into the fourth.
Some fourth-down gambles helped the Packers score 10 points in the second quarter, but the Redskins scored a TD in the final minute of the first half to take a 13-10 lead into halftime on Sunday night at FedExField.
The first big play of the second quarter came on fourth-and-7 from the Washington 38. The Packers decided to go for it, threw incomplete, but caught a break. Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland was called for illegal hands to the face, giving the Packers a first down.
Three plays later, the Packers went for it again on fourth down, needing 2 yards from the Washington 25. QB Aaron Rodgers scrambled for 7 yards for a first down in the red zone. A 9-yard pass to TE Jared Cook on a screen made it first-and-goal from the 6, but on the next play, Cook wasn't looking and the pass bounced off him wide open at the goal line.
On third-and-goal from the 3, Rodgers threw a TD pass to WR Ty Montgomery, but RG Don Barclay was called for holding. Rodgers then connected with WR Jordy Nelson on a 13-yard TD on the next snap, despite a roughing-the-passer penalty on Redskins S Su'a Cravens. The penalty was assessed on the kickoff, and the Packers had tied the score at 7 with 9:27 left in the half.
The full drive was 17 plays covering 75 yards and consuming 8:29.
The Packers' defense then got a three-and-out, with LB Julius Peppers deflecting a third-down screen pass at the line of scrimmage. WR Randall Cobb returned the punt 9 yards, giving the Packers the ball on their own 44. Packers CB Demetri Goodson was down on the field after the punt and needed to be carted off. It was announced he had a knee injury and was out for the game.
The Packers got going on a 7-yard run by RB James Starks and a 15-yard pass to Cobb over the middle on third down. Starks then took a short pass 5 yards, and Redskins CB Josh Norman was called for delay of game after the play, giving the Packers a first down on the Washington 24.
An 11-yard pass to TE Richard Rodgers was good for another first down, but Barclay was called for holding on the next snap, moving the Packers back to the 23. QB Rodgers scrambled 17 yards to make it second-and-3 from the 6, but Starks lost 2 yards on a run and Rodgers was sacked on third down by LB Ryan Kerrigan. K Mason Crosby came on to make a 36-yard field goal, giving the Packers a 10-7 lead with 3:37 left in the half.
The Redskins came right back, as TE Jordan Reed broke free on third down for a 26-yard completion across midfield. Reed caught two more passes, gaining 18 yards on the second one when he juked LB Joe Thomas in the open field to get the Redskins in the red zone.
Two plays later, RB Rob Kelley ran up the middle for a 10-yard TD, giving the Redskins the lead back with 39 seconds left in the half. The Packers stopped RB Chris Thompson on a run for a 2-point try, so Washington led 13-10.
The Redskins struck first and took a 7-0 lead over the Packers into the second quarter on Sunday night at FedExField.
The two teams traded punts to start the game. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers didn't see a wide-open TE Jared Cook running deep down the middle of the field on the first play of the game, and Green Bay went three-and-out.
Washington did the same, as WR DeSean Jackson dropped a pass over the middle on second down, and LB Nick Perry sacked QB Kirk Cousins on third down.
The Packers went three-and-out again on their second drive, and P Jake Schum drilled a 58-yard punt that was downed on the Washington 6.
Washington faced second-and-13 from its own 3 when the Packers' defense started to break down. An 11-yard pass to WR Pierre Garcon followed by an 18-yard run by RB Rob Kelley and a 17-yard pass to Garcon got the Redskins to midfield, but the drive stalled there. TE Jordan Reed dropped a pass on second down, and Washington punted the Packers back to their own 10.
The Packers went three-and-out for a third straight drive, and WR Jamison Crowder returned Schum's punt 8 yards to the Washington 45.
A 14-yard pass to WR Maurice Harris converted on third-and-6 from the Green Bay 39, and then three plays later, Cousins hit Jackson for a 17-yard TD on third-and-2, putting the Redskins on top.
The Packers finally got their initial first downs of the game on their fourth possession. A 9-yard pass to WR Ty Montgomery converted on third-and-5, and QB Aaron Rodgers followed with completions of 10 yards each to TE Richard Rodgers and Montgomery to get across midfield as the quarter expired.