LANDOVER – On a first down play late in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at home on Sept. 23, Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson took a handoff from Alex Smith and must have jump cut through a time machine as he galloped for 43 yards setting up his team in prime scoring position for an eventual touchdown reception by Jamison Crowder to go up by three scores.
The 11-year veteran did not play like a 33-year old and showed the rest of the league that he still has some gas left in the tank as he led Washington to a 31-17 victory over Green Bay.
Peterson rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns while averaging for more than six yards per carry en route to the 14-point win anchored by the league’s No. 1 defense.
Smith drew first blood on the opening possession when he reared back and fired a 46-yard strike to former Seattle Seahawks wideout Paul Richardson who made a diving catch and popped up to cross the goal line.
On the Redskins third drive of the game, Peterson plunged into the end zone from two yards out to go up by two scores. Packers Kicker Mason Crosby nailed a 41-yard field goal to answer on the ensuing drive early in the second quarter.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was hampered by a knee injury that appeared to hamper his mobility. However, he was efficient through the air, throwing for 265 yards and two touchdowns.
After the 43-yard rush by the ageless wonder, Crowder scored on a 9-yard dart from Smith that slipped in between two Packers defenders.
Rodgers did not go down without a fight. He connected with wide receiver Geronimo Allison on a 64-yard bomb down the middle of the field to cut Washington’s double-digit lead to 18 points.
Peterson punched in another 2-yard run for a score that was set up by a 50-yard strike to University of Maryland alum Vernon Davis down the right sideline on the following drive to damper Green Bay’s expectations of a win.
Even though Rodgers had a decent day statistically, he was limited to extend plays downfield and the Redskins defensive front made life difficult for the perennial pro bowler.
Former University of Alabama standouts Jonathan Allen (four tackles, two sacks) and Da’Ron Payne (four tackles, one sack) combined for five tackles and three sacks disrupting the flow of Green Bay’s offensive attack.
Rodgers found wide receiver Davante Adams for a 2-yard touchdown reception in garbage time but the Redskins defensive unit stood strong and kicker Dustin Hopkins scored the final three points of the afternoon on a 35-yard kick and Rodgers could not spark another magical comeback.
The Redskins (2-1) will enjoy a bye week and will hopefully have time to heal up as they get ready to take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 8.