On Sunday night National Football League fans get to watch an extremely critical game between the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins.
In the first half, the Redskins seemed to validate those fears, jumping out to a quick lead and containing Aaron Rodgers. While the offense has been able to score touchdowns, the defense has been getting torched left and right, including giving up 47 points to the Tennessee Titans last week. The Redskins had their season ended with a playoff loss to the Packers, but Green Bay has looked nothing like a top team in 2016, making Sunday's betting line all the more confusing.
Then there's the man behind center, who commands immediate respect. "We have to go back, the focus has to pick up, the urgency has to pick up and we got to play better", said Rodgers Sunday, per Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post. "We still have challenges". Rodgers' 37 carries for 226 yards are second on the team.
With that, it's on to Washington, and the most notable difference from last year's playoff matchup has been the introduction of backend weapon Josh Norman in our nation's capital.
The Packers are playing three road games in a row for the first time since 2012 and only the third time in the last 19 seasons (also 1998).
Now we get to the Redskins, who have had their fair share of ups and downs this season. I think we are all growing together. "Never will be. There's so much more to our football team than just our star players", McCarthy said earlier this week. With the poor play of the Packers defense, keeping Kirk Cousins and company off of the field is going to be huge for Green Bay. You can watch a live game stream here. "Just like any new player, you work him in packages". The Redskins (5-3-1) picked up a win last Sunday against Minnesota, 26-20. Green Bay scored 17 points in the second quarter and 11 in the fourth, running the ball well in both spots. Washington came out with the victory but knows it may not be the same outcome tonight.
Green Bay signed Jackson off its practice squad a month ago, but he was ineffective. He came back quicker than I think everybody expected from his surgery, so that's a real credit to James and his toughness and his commitment.
Compton, a Redskins linebacker, has his own motivation.
Washington now holds the sixth and final postseason spot in the NFC, having picked up where they left off a year ago when they won the NFC East. "It's a lot of guys trying to find ways to get to the quarterback, " Smith said. Whatever he calls, we have to communicate and make the play'. "To me, that's part of developing your awareness and your instincts and how you move forward".
The Redskins are seemingly better than they were when they lost 35-18 on January 10.