A playoff matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins a few months ago would have seemed impossible — laughable, even.
The Packers, after six weeks of the regular season, were 6-0 and rolling. Washington, on the other hand, were 2-4, with plenty of questions to answer about the team, the coach and the starting quarterback.
Things have changed in a big way since then.
The two teams will meet Sunday at FedExField in an NFC Wild Card Game with Washington — not Green Bay — coming in as the team playing well. The Packers kind of fell apart down the stretch, losing four of their last six, while the Redskins turned things around with a four-game winning streak to finish the season and capture the NFC East.
Packers Player To Watch: Eddie Lacy/James Starks
OK, so it’s two players to watch, but after Eddie Lacy popped up on the injury report with a rib injury (insert food joke here), it’s unclear who exactly will get the majority of the carries. With the Packers offense this season, that’s been tough to pinpoint no matter who’s behind Aaron Rodgers. Whoever’s getting the carries, though, the Packers will need to make the running game a focal point of the offense. Washington tied for the second-worst rushing defense in the league this season, allowing 4.8 yards per carry. If Green Bay can get going on the ground, it should take the pressure off of Rodgers — literally and figuratively — and it will also keep the suddenly potent Washington offense on the bench.
Redskins Player To Watch: Jordan Reed
The Washington Post declared this week the “Packers Won’t Be Able to Stop Jordan Reed or DeSean Jackson,” which is a bold claim to say the least. If Packers cornerback James Shields can return from a concussion, and that’s a big if, he might be able to neutralize Jackson. With Reed, however, Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers might have his hands full. Reed’s red-hot, and it’s no surprise Kirk Cousins’ dominance of late has coincided with the emergence of Reed. In the final four games of the season, Reed caught 29 passes (on 31 targets) for 378 yards and five touchdowns. That’s, uh, pretty good.
How To Watch
When: Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET
Live Stream: FOX Sports Go
Thumbnail photo via Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images
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