Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson ran for 120 yards on 19 carries with two 2-yard scores and quarterback Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes in the Redskins’ 31-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers in Landover, Md., on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers played with limp most of the game for Green Bay, which was victimized again by a controversial roughing-the-passer penalty on Clay Matthews.
Washington (2-1) never trailed while building leads of 14-0 early and then 28-10 at halftime with touchdown drives of 74, 75, 79 and 98 yards.
“We have to clean our own house,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said moments after his team fell to 1-1-1. “It’s sloppy right now.”
Smith’s two touchdown passes happened in the first half — 46 yards to Paul Richardson on the game’s fourth play and 9 yards to Jamison Crowder in the second quarter.
“We had a great mix going,” Smith said. “We had them on their heels in the first half. It’s fun when you get on a roll like that offensively.”
Peterson increased his career total to 102 rushing touchdowns, breaking a tie at 100 with Marshall Faulk and Shaun Alexander. Peterson is alone into seventh place in NFL history behind Emmitt Smith’s record of 164.
Peterson has 52 games with at least 100 rushing yards. It is his first 100-yard game since Nov. 5, 2017, for Arizona against San Francisco.
Rodgers played with a bulky brace on his left knee, which he hurt in Week 1, and he played hobbled throughout. He completed 27 for 44 pass attempts for 265 yards with two touchdowns of 64 yards to Geronimo Allison and 2 yards to Davante Adams. He was sacked four times.
In the third quarter, Matthews was flagged for roughing Smith in what looked like a normal football play. Matthews broke through Washington’s line and charged at Smith, wrapped him and brought him down. The NFL office later explained via Twitter that Matthews was flagged because he landed on Smith with his full body weight.
McCarthy threw down a play-calling sheet and argued with two officials about the call, even chasing one along the sideline as the ref backpedaled away. At least two Green Bay assistants had to restrain McCarthy.
In Green Bay’s tie with the Minnesota Vikings last week, a potentially interception for the Packers that could have sealed the victory was wiped out by a roughing call on Matthews when he hit Kirk Cousins.
“Well, obviously, I don’t agree with it,” Matthews said after the game Sunday, adding that the NFL is “getting soft.”
“Again, last week I thought I hit the quarterback correctly,” he added. “Obviously, when you’re tackling a guy from the front, you’re going to land on him. I understand the spirit of the rule, I said that weeks prior, but when you have a hit like that, that’s a football play.”
Smith went 12 for 20 for 220 yards for the Redskins. Of those yards, 130 came on three completions, including the 46-yard scoring strike to Paul Richardson that set the tone.
“They made plays,” McCarthy said. “They took the shots one-on-one and they converted them. That’s what this league is all about.”
Smith’s streak of 156 consecutive passes without an interception, the longest active streak in the NFL, ended in the second quarter when safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix made the interception when Smith failed to connect with tight end Jordan Reed.
Washington coach Jay Gruden thought Smith’s performance overall was favorable especially with Green Bay going without a sack after Matthews’ was ruled a penalty.
“Alex did an excellent job, but you can’t do that without time,” Gruden said. “For the most part, I thought the offensive line blocked very well.”
NOTES: Packers DT Muhammad Wilkerson was carted off in the second quarter with an ankle injury and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. … Packers RT Bryan Bulaga never returned after leaving with a back injury and Jason Spriggs replaced him. … Redskins RT Morgan Moses exited in the first quarter with a concussion. He was replaced by Ty Nsekhe. … RB Adrian Peterson did not play late in the game because he was accidentally kicked in the ankle, an injury that Washington coach Jay Gruden said was not serious.