The Green Bay Packers are bringing their offensive struggles to the nation’s capital to play the Washington Redskins in the final game of Wild Card weekend. Surprisingly, the point spread is favoring the Packers at -1.0 heading into the game, which is certainly due to the Aaron Rodgers effect. These two teams don’t play each other often, which should make for an interesting match up.
2015/16 NFL Playoffs: Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins
Point Spread: Green Bay -1 Over/under: 45.5 Date: Sunday, January 10, 4:40pm ET Location: Fedex Field, Landover, MD
Green Bay Packers
Something is wrong with the Packers offense and it’s rooted in poor play design and play calling. Green Bay needs to rely less on Rodgers’ ability to extend plays and more on getting their receivers open. More importantly, they need to find a way to pass protect with all five offensive linemen currently on the injury report. For all the issues the Packers have had through the air, their ability to win hinges on Eddie Lacy and James Stark having big games.
If the -1 favored Packers are going to win, it’s going to be because of their defense. The one factor that could be their undoing against Washington is their big, pass-catching tight end Jordan Reed who is leading the team in receiving. Green Bay has struggled to find answers to players like Reed, who extend drives by getting open in the middle of the field.
The offense has been on a bit of a roll heading into the postseason and it seems like they might have their franchise quarterback in Kirk Cousins. He’ll need to have a mistake-free game against Green Bay, whose defense is ranked near top of the league in takeaways. If Washington can strike a nice balance between passing and running the ball effectively, they could put up enough points to outlast their opponents lackluster offense.
If there’s one place Washington’s defense struggles, it’s against the run. They’ll have their hands full with Lacy and Starks both capable of racking up big yardage. Keeping the Packers’ rushing attack in check will go a long way to rendering Green Bay’s offense impotent. Forcing their offense to work through the air could be the key to getting off the field and giving their offense more opportunities to score.
Wild Card Playoff Prediction
Any other year and this game would tip heavily towards the Packers, but you can’t win games if you can’t find a way to score. Washington has an opportunity to win their first playoff game since 2005 if they can keep their offense hot.