According to the lines in Vegas, the Redskins are either slight favorites to beat the Packers in their wild card playoff game on Sunday or slight underdogs. Either way, it’s essentially a coin flip in the eyes of the bookies.
But betting lines are designed more to get an equal amount of money wagered on both teams so that the sports books don’t risk losing money than they are to predict the winner of the game. And, according to some NFL team assistant coaches and personnel guys, the Packers are the pick to win.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talked to two assistant coaches and two personnel executives and asked them to predict the outcome of the game on Sunday. All four picked Green Bay by scores of by scores of 31-24, 24-20, 28-24 and 28-21.
One was not a believer in Kirk Cousins. "You keep waiting for the bad Cousins to show up," an NFC East personnel man said. "He has had a good year, but there are some turnover traits in play and Green Bay has the personnel to pressure him."
Hmmm. “Turnover traits in play”? Cousins has thrown three interceptions in his last 10 games and one of those bounced out of the hands of the intended receiver. Sure, he has had possible interceptions dropped by defenders but so has every other quarterback playing out there.
It’s even more surprising that the personnel man was from the Redskins’ division. Cousins threw two interceptions three and a half months ago in Week 3 against the Giants. Those were the only picks he threw in the NFC East all year.
One of the coaches polled wasn’t impressed with the noise generated by the
"You'd love to have the home-field advantage, but I don't think they (the Redskins) have an unbelievable home-field like Green Bay, New England or Seattle," the offensive coach said. "They don't have that kind of aura. Maybe their fans will be excited, but they haven't had a lot to cheer about for a couple years.
I would think that Redskins fans will take that as a challenge.
That offensive coach did have the only positive comment on the Redskins that McGinn passed along.
"I think the Redskins will manage the game well,” he said. “They're a better team when they're ahead."
We will see how this one turns out. But it looks like there are plenty of NFL types who don’t think the Redskins have much of a chance. It’s up to the team to prove them wrong.