Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 10, the day the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers in a wild card playoff game.
Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Packers
Today’s the day, folks. Here is my last look at the game.
—I took a look at the video of Packers against the Vikings and while the Packers offensive line certainly was leaky without left tackle David Bakhtiari, Aaron Rodgers still have some time to find receivers. Most of the five sacks against him came after he had a chance to scan the field and look at one or two receivers. He also made a few of his signature plays while running out of the pocket. The Redskins defensive backs are going to have to stick with their receivers.
—I tweeted this out a couple of days ago:
Gruden is cracking jokes at expense of his DE and busting on @CHICKatCSN. McCarthy is worried about his QB being “frustrated”. Pressure?— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) January 8, 2016
The part about McCarty and Rodgers being frustrated comes from this article, based on interviews conducted with the coach and quarterback about their relationship on Thursday afternoon, some 72 hours before kickoff of a playoff game. At about the same time, Jay Gruden was at the podium at Redskins Park explaining why Chris Baker was not at practice. “His wife had a baby – baby girl – so congratulations to Chris,” said Gruden with a smile. “Hopefully she looks like his wife.” I’m not sure if the looser team usually wins or not but I think I’d rather be where the Redskins are than where the Packers are.
—Who is the better quarterback in this afternoon’s game? You have to say it’s Aaron Rodgers. He did not forget how to play football this year after being the league’s MVP in 2014. But that question is not a relevant as this one—which team has the better passing attack? The way he is playing right now Kirk Cousins does not represent a large drop off from Rodgers. And his primary weapons—Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, and Jamison Crowder—are a cut or two above the group that Rodgers is throwing to. Washington has the better passing attack. So the debate about the quarterbacks may be over a distinction without a difference.
—While I think that the team that passes the ball better will win the game, I’m not going to ignore the importance of the running game. The Redskins have been able to gloss over their problems stopping the run lately by scoring 30 or more points in their last three games. Washington hasn’t been able to get its running game going but in their last four games the Packers have allowed 170, 121, 120, and 151 yards on the ground. If Green Bay can run the ball they will be able to keep the game close. If the Redskins can run it, they could win a laugher.
—The playoffs are a very different feeling for those of us who cover the game. For 17 weeks we are in a rhythm of games, press conferences, locker room sessions, and, for half of the games, traveling. Tomorrow we might be be going to Gruden’s Monday press conference at 3 p.m., looking forward to another week of news conferences and chatting in the locker room, and making frantic travel plans to get to Phoenix or Charlotte. Or we could be covering the players cleaning out their lockers for the offseason and talking to Gruden for the last time until the combine in late February. I think that we will be getting ready for another week of football and getting ready to go to Arizona. But I can’t dismiss the possibility that Rodgers finds a way to get it done and seeing everything come to an abrupt end.
—Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Packers, FedEx Field, 4:40 p.m., FOX
—Days until: NFL divisional playoffs start 6; Super Bowl 50 28
In case you missed it
- Packers' DB says Reed 'will be a huge challenge for us'
- Five stats to know ahead of Redskins-Packers
- Reed, Cousins help turn around Redskins' red zone performance
- Report: One of Packers best DBs ruled out vs. Redskins
- Redskins’ pass rush is getting heated up at just the right time
- Cary Williams 'elated' to get a call from playoff-bound Redskins
- The week that was at Redskins Park, playoffs edition