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Vegas changes course in setting early line for Redskins vs Packers

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Vegas changes course in setting early line for Redskins vs Packers

After weeks of being underdogs by the Las Vegas experts, the trends are turning with the Redskins set to host the Packers in the Wild Card playoff round next Sunday.

For four weeks as part of their NFC East title run, the Redskins were getting points against teams like Buffalo and Philadelphia. Even in a Week 17 matchup against the lowly Cowboys, Vegas considered the Redskins underdogs. None of it mattered though as Washington continued to roll off win after win. 

So now with Green Bay coming to FedEx Field for a Wild Card round matchup, Vegas actually likes the 'Skins. Or they did at least, briefly.

The Pinnacle Sports Group opened the game with a line of Redskins -2 against Green Bay, before action quickly moved the line to a pick 'em. It appears to have settled there, depending where you look. The Westgate Resort has the 'Skins a 1-point favorite.

MORE REDSKINS: NEW STADIUM COMING? BUT WHERE?

Obviously, these lines are fluid and move as more bets come in. It's interesting to note the difference in the early lines for the actual playoff matchup compared to hypothetical lines set last week. Prior to Week 17, Bovada.lv provided CSN with lines for all three potential Redskins Wild Card opponents: Seattle, Minnesota and Green Bay. Bovada had the Redskins as home dogs in all three, with the Seahawks favored by 7 and both the Packers and Vikings favored by 3. 

What happened in between? Well, Green Bay lost at home to Minnesota, and perhaps more impactful, again their offense looked pedestrian. While Aaron Rodgers and crew made the final result tense, had the Vikings' Cordarrelle Patterson held on to the ball on a late kickoff return, the game likely would have ended without drama. 

And it's not just that the Packers come into the game losers of two straight.

Kirk Cousins and the Redskins come in hot, winners of four in a row and with a high-octane pass offense. Against the Cowboys, Cousins threw for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns in less than a half. In his last 10 quarters, Cousins has totaled 12 TDs with zero turnovers, all the while breaking just about every meaningful Redskins passing record. 

Washington is hot, and Green Bay is not. Yet, the Redskins are already not favored to win, and by game time next Sunday, it seems highly possible will again be underdogs. After their four-game win streak, that might be just the way the 'Skins like it.

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198