PLAY OF THE GAME
With a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter, the Packers' drive was in the process of stalling after an untouched blitzer forced one incompletion and Aaron Rodgers missed James Starks on a checkdown. That set up a fourth-and-3 from Washington's 35-yard line, with coach Mike McCarthy turning down a 53-yard field-goal attempt.
This was X's and O's at its finest. The Packers lined up with Jermichael Finley and James Jones to the left and Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson to the right, with James Starks the lone back out of shotgun. Jones motioned to the right, with the ball snapped as Jones got just past the right tackle.
Pre-snap, cornerback Josh Wilson had lined up against Cobb, who had been in the slot. With Jones now the inside receiver, Wilson jammed Cobb before going over to Jones, who was running a short route to the flat. That meant inside linebacker Perry Riley had to race outside to get to Cobb. Cobb took his route inside, using his quickness and working against the momentum of Riley. Cobb caught the ball in stride at about the 26, then accelerated away from Riley, safety Brandon Merriweather and cornerback David Amerson for a touchdown.
"Was it a linebacker?" Cobb asked. :I think it was a zone coverage and he was buzzing out and I was able to come underneath him and make a play on the ball."
That made it 10-0, and the rout was on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Who else but Aaron Rodgers, though to be sure he had plenty of help from his friends. He completed 34 of his 42 passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns. Rodgers tied Matt Flynn's franchise record for passing yards in a game and made NFL history in the process. (See notes below.) Unoffically, based on Packer Report's statistics, 270 of those yards came after the catch.
En route to a 24-0 lead at halftime, Rodgers threw for an astounding 335 yards on 26-of-31 accuracy. While the Packers have had their troubles in close games, few teams can match the Packers' prowess for putting teams away.
"Aaron spoils you," McCarthy said. "He makes it look easy. He was on point all day. I thought the communication, just all the little things just went right. But he did a great job distributing the football and I thought our perimeter did an outstanding job breaking tackles, extending plays and then generating a lot of big plays."
THE CRYSTAL BALL
If there was ever a must-win game in Week 2, this was it. Rallying from an 0-2 start to a playoff spot in the superior NFC would have been an incredible challenge, even with a team as polished and as potent as the Packers.
For the second consecutive week, the Packers catch a break in the schedule. Just like Washington, which had played on Monday night against Philadelphia, the Packers will face Cincinnati, which plays AFC North rival Pittsburgh on Monday night.
You hate to look too far ahead, but if the Packers can beat the Bengals, that would get them to 2-1. The comes the bye, a home game against Detroit, a game at punchless Baltimore and a home game against perpetually rebuilding Cleveland. So, the potential is there to be 5-1 with some momentum headed into back-to-back division games at Minnesota and home vs. Chicago.
"I think we just need to settle down a little bit because it's the second game of the year, we're 1-1," Rodgers said, sounding a cautionary tone. "Obviously, we're going to feel good about this performance offensively. We have a tough game next week at Cincinnati and then the bye and then 13 in a row after that. It sets up pretty tough for us, you got to win your home games, but we're going to enjoy this one and then come in tomorrow and get to work."
0: Points scored by the Redskins' offense in their two season-opening losses.
0: Number of teams that have reached the playoffs after starting 0-2 from 2009 through 2012.
16: Touchdown receptions by Jordy Nelson at home since the start of the 2011 season, tying New England's Rob Gronkowski for tops in the league.
22: The Packers have scored at least 22 points in 17 consecutive regular-season home games, the longest streak in the league and the longest in franchise history. That's more than the next two teams (Denver, 9; Dallas 7) combined.
41: Number of games without a multi-interception game by Aaron Rodgers, extending the league's best mark since the 1970 merger.
65: Receiving yards by Jermichael Finley, giving him 2,605 for his career. That puts him past Ron Kramer (2,594) for second place among tight ends in Packers history.
132: Rushing yards by James Starks, snapping the team's 44-game regular-season drought without a 100-yard rusher. It was the biggest game by a Packers back since Ryan Grant ran for 137 against the Bears on Dec. 13, 2009. It's the 21st 100-yard rushing game in the McCarthy era. By season, there were six in 2006, six in 2007, four in 2008, three in 2009 and one in 2010.
178: Receiving yards by James Jones. Plus, Randall Cobb had 128 receiving yards. Not since a Dec. 21, 1969, game against the Chicago Cardinals have the Packers had two receivers with 100-yard games in which the leading receiver had as many yards as Jones. In 1969, Carroll Dale had nine catches for 195 yards and Boyd Dowler had six for 102.
335: Rodgers' first-half passing total. If he would have stayed in the locker room to eat a few hotdogs, that would have ranked as his 15th-best day of his career. His full-game passer rating of 146.0 was the third-best mark of his career, behind 155.4 vs. Cleveland in 2009 and 146.5 against Minnesota in 2011.
450/125: The Packers became the first team in NFL history to have a quarterback throw for 450 yards and a running back rush for 125 yards.
480/4/0: Passing yards, touchdowns and interceptions by Rodgers, a feat matched only by Y.A. Tittle in NFL history.
580: The Packers finished with 580 yards of offense, second-most in team history behind the 628 piled up by Vince Lombardi's juggernaut against the Eagles in a 49-0 victory in 1962.
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.