NFC Wild Card
(5) Packers at (4) Redskins
Packers: I’m still scratching my head with them. When Jordy Nelson went down in the preseason with the torn ACL, I stated that the Packers would be fine simply because they have Aaron Rodgers under center. Things looked to be fine when the season started. They got off to a hot 6-0 start, the defense was playing better and they were showing their dominance. Things would take a turn downhill after allowing 503 passing yards against the Chargers and Aaron looked terrible when they faced Denver. After that first loss, they lost two games after that. Carolina beat them and they were stunned at home by the Lions. The Packers went 4-6 after the 6-0 start including a beat down at the hands of the Cardinals and losing last Sunday night to the Vikings for the division. The home game in the playoffs would’ve done wonders for the Packers but now, they have to start it out on the road and face the Redskins on Sunday afternoon.
Redskins: In a division that was absolutely terrible this season, the Washington Redskins came out on top. After being heavily criticized by so many people on how they handled things with Robert Griffin III, Jay Gruden has the last laugh right now and rightfully so. Kirk Cousins has put together a really nice season for the Redskins and he’s the reason why they are playing January football right now. How’d they do it? First, Kirk has taken tremendous care of the football. When you don’t turn it over, good things will happen. He’s thrown 29 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions. Two, Alfred Morris has got more touches. the Redskins have really shifted away from running the football over the years and three, a guy by the name of Jordan Reed has become Cousins’ go to guy. They finished the season on a four-game winning streak and will look to win their first playoff game in ten seasons.
Prediction: What exactly is the Packers issue? There are two of them: the offensive line is struggling to protect Aaron Rodgers and he’s not able to extend plays with his feet simply because he doesn’t have the time to do so and the wide receivers are having a very tough time getting open. The Redskins can simply expose these issues even more. If I’m the Redskins, I’m studying the game film of the Vikings/Packers game last week and watching their defense. They don’t have the same philosophy, but they can implement their own system. Run Morris, control the clock and Cousins just has to play within himself. For the Packers, it’ll come down to these receivers and the running game. I like the Packers in this one. Packers 24 Redskins 21.