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Green Bay Packers – Washington Redskins Wild Card Weekend Preview

Coming into this season, the Green Bay Packers were a favorite to win it all. Now twenty weeks later, they find themselves as an underdog in a wildcard weekend match up with a team who was doubted to even make the playoffs. On the other side, the Washington Redskins were crowned the winners of a not so impressive NFC East division, but never the less will host a home playoff game in their first postseason appearance since 2012.

The Packers and Redskins find themselves trending in different directions as the playoff season gets underway. After a 6-0 start to the regular season, Green Bay finished losing six of their final ten contests for a 10-6 record. A week 17 loss to Minnesota cost the Packers a division crown and home playoff game.

The Redskins however finished the season winning five of their final six games, including four straight. Washington finished 9-7 on the year, good enough to claim the NFC East title.

The main story headlining this game is the emergence of Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins and the connection he has formed with tight end Jordan Reed. Cousins 2015 numbers are pretty impressive as the fourth year kid out of Michigan State threw for 29 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions and added five more rushing scores. He threw for a  total 4,166 yards and completed 69.8% of his passes.

Jordan Reed had himself an impressive year as well, hauling in 87 catches for a total of 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Reed has not only formed into a nice security blanket, but also seems to be Cousins number one target. The Redskins offensive success hinges on how effective the duo of Cousins to Reed can be.

INJURY REPORT

REDSKINS

Questionable

CB – Quinton Dunbar

S – Dashon Goldson

RB – Matt Jones

LB – Perry Riley

 

Probable

DE – Jason Hatcher

WR – DeSean Jackson

S – Jeron Johnson

CB – Dashaun Phillips

RB – Chris Thompson

OT – Trent Williams

PACKERS

DOUBTFUL

CB – Sam Shields (Has been ruled OUT)

QUESTIONABLE

OT – David Bakhtiari

LB – Jayrone Elliott

DE – Datone Jones

TE – Justin Perillo

PROBABLE

OT – Bryan Bulaga

DT – Mike Daniels

DT – Letroy Guion

RB – Eddie Lacy

G – T.J. Lang

C – Corey Linsley

LB – Clay Matthews

LB – Andy Mulumba

LB – Mike Neal

LB – Nick Perry

CB – Damarious Randall

G – Josh Sitton

G – Lane Taylor

The Packers come into this game with a lot of issues to sort out in a short bit of time. Aaron Rodgers has been the victim of a banged up offensive line and a wide receiver core that has struggled to create separation and produce. Eddie Lacy and the running game have been inconsistent as well for Green Bay, with an on and off trend. If Lacy and company struggle to produce on the ground, it doesn’t bode well for an already limited passing attack.

The Packers will have to play a complete 60 minute game and be effective in all aspects, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I expect the Green Bay defense to somewhat control Cousins and that Redskins offense but I firmly believe the Packers will have to score 20-24 points to be able to escape with a victory. The Packers will need someone to step up and assume the role of a play-maker on both sides of the ball.

GAME INFO

When: 4:40 P.M. ET
Where: FedEx Field
TV: Fox
Game Time Weather Forecast: Showers expected to be gone by kickoff with the temperature in the low fifties. As the game progresses high winds and a temperature decrease into the forties expected.

MY PREDICTION

Packers 27 , Redskins 24

 

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James Alexander
RSEN Packers and Heat beat writer

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