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Sun, Oct 10, 2010 - 1:00 PM ET
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Packers-Redskins Preview

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Aaron Rodgers wasn't happy after attempting the fewest passes in his career as a starter last week. It's safe to say the gameplan could call for him to throw more this week against the worst pass defense in the NFC.

Rodgers and the Packers will look to be more productive Sunday when they travel to face the Washington Redskins, who will begin a lengthy stretch without Clinton Portis.

Green Bay (3-1) held on for an ugly 28-26 home win over winless Detroit last Sunday as Rodgers completed 12 of 17 passes for 181 yards and three first-half touchdowns. The Packers' offense did not score in the second half, and the Pro Bowl quarterback voiced his disappointment.

"Offensively, we've got to find our identity again," said Rodgers, who never had fewer than 20 pass attempts in 35 previous starts. "I think we've got to make sure that we've got our best players on the field at all times and find ways to get them the ball."

The Packers' 261 yards of total offense were their fewest since having 226 in a season-opening win over Chicago last year.

Mike McCarthy diffused the possible controversy by saying he and Rodgers were on the same page, but the coach made clear he has the final say.

"Our identity hasn't changed," McCarthy said. "We're a multiple offense. We have the ability to get in and out of a number of different personnel groups. We spend a lot of time trying to stress out our opponent from a personnel standpoint, formations included, and at the end of the day we're about the fundamentals of football. That's what I focus on."

Rodgers will be looking to take advantage of a Washington defense that has allowed 305.0 passing yards per game - second-worst in the NFL - and has only one sack in three of four games.

That unit could be weakened if Albert Haynesworth doesn't play. It's uncertain whether Haynesworth will return by Sunday after leaving the team following the news his half brother was killed in a motorcycle crash Thursday.

"Obviously what he's going through right now is paramount," coach Mike Shanahan said. "We're giving him and his family all of our prayers and thoughts. I think that's the main concern right now."

Shanahan has regularly feuded with Haynesworth but praised the disgruntled nose tackle for his performance in last Sunday's 17-12 win over Philadelphia.

The Redskins scored on their first three drives in Donovan McNabb's return to Philadelphia. The running game was the key, with Ryan Torain getting 18 carries for 70 yards and his first touchdown of the year.

Torain, on the practice squad two weeks ago, has been named the starter following the news Wednesday that Portis would miss four to six weeks with a groin injury. The former Pro Bowl running back, who has rushed for 195 yards and two TDs, missed the final eight games last season with a concussion.

Torain spent time with Shanahan in Denver two years ago, and he has 116 yards on 25 carries in two games since being put on the active roster.

"I definitely had a good time on the practice squad, but there's a main goal to be on the roster," he said.

McNabb turned in his worst effort in a Redskins uniform last week, completing 8 of 19 passes for 125 yards and one touchdown. His one interception came during a second half in which he went 2 of 11 for 10 yards.

He'll be looking to avoid a Packers' rush that is tied for the league lead with 16 sacks - seven by NFC defensive player of the month Clay Matthews.

Green Bay, though, gave up a season-high 431 yards of total offense against Detroit. The Lions converted 10 of 17 third downs.

"We need to play better on defense," McCarthy said. "That was not our best performance by far this year."

The Packers' defense, though, lost rookie safety Morgan Burnett for the season to a torn ACL suffered last week. Burnett started the first four games with veteran Atari Bigby out after ankle surgery, and McCarthy is unsure who will replace him.

It's also unclear if Jordy Nelson will continue to be used on kickoff returns. Nelson lost two fumbles on returns last week, and he was pulled after making a similar mistake in last year's playoff loss at Arizona.

"I'm glad they came through and saved my butt," Nelson said. "I'm part of this team and I can't be making mistakes like that."

Green Bay has won the last four meetings with the Redskins - all from 2001-07. Prior to that, the teams had not met since 1988. This is the Packers' second visit to Washington since 1979.

Tagged: Packers, Redskins, Albert Haynesworth, Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Ryan Torain

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