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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Packers

Jan 10, 2016, 7:00 AM EDT

Baker celebrate vs Cowboys

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:

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

  1. garg8050 - Jan 10, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    I think the ‘Skins will come out and try to control the ball, and the clock, with the short passing game and occasional running plays. The wind may play a role and affect the ability to throw the ball deep. Even though their offense has struggled, the best way to defend the Packers is to keep Rodgers off the field as much as possible. It will be imperative that the ‘Skins score touchdowns and not kick field goals in the red zone. If the ‘Skins can get off to a quick start, might be enough to make the Pack throw in the towel given their recent struggles.

    Avoid any major mistakes or any special teams gaffes and I think the ‘Skins will win, Probably 27-20 or 30-20.

  2. JOHNNY B - Jan 10, 2016 at 7:35 AM

    If this was any other Qb than Rodgers or Brady we would be going into this game saying if we play well we will win. But this is Arron Rodgers probably the best Qb in the league sorry Brady it’s true. So now we go into this game saying even if we play well there’s a good chance that we will lose. Well guys I am here to tell you that even if it is Rodgers ,stick to what has been working. Beat them up in the first half and keep the pace with them in the second half and we will win. Balls to the wall on offense and defence the whole game don’t back off. Sack Rodgers 10,15, 20 times if you can. Show the world who the Redskins are. Make the other teams scared to play us not the Seahawks. HTTR

    • rjhnyc52 - Jan 10, 2016 at 12:14 PM

      Dream on….

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:09 AM

    “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.”

    The last time we won a playoff game, it was 2005. We can win this one! HTTR!!

    • veejh - Jan 10, 2016 at 10:16 AM

      I was in Tampa for that game. Seems like that was sooooo long ago.

  4. sidepull - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    I will tell you who the losers are right now and thats the Bengals. What a way to lose a game. I just hope, pray, that the Redskins show everybody today what they are made of. If they lose I will be upset sure. Just be competitive. If they can be competitive it is all I can hope for. If they win, its more than I would have ever expected this season. Icing on the cake. Go get em Redskins. Just have a great day, a great game and afterwards, no matter what…HTTR.

  5. kenlinkins - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    Rich: “You are who you are! Until you aren’t”. Last night I saw Cincinnati prove that. IYO what will the Redskins prove they aren’t any more? There is a long list of things most Redskins fans believe that have changed in the 2015 season but the time frame was so short that the case could be made it will be short lived or mostly just luck. IYO how much has been luck and how much real change has happened?

  6. colmac69 - Jan 10, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Had gd feelings all wk and still feel same way

    Our offense error free with few pens we will score at least mid 20,s prob more…if we crank up run game even higher….

    Can our defense get more stops than packers is the key…green bay will score pts without doubt but our defense has bn producing couple key t/overs and there could b td ret today…still like us to attack on defense….make packers offense beat us…

    Place will b rocking….players believe…..we get early lead and clicking offensively it could b a 35-17 kind job….if game up and dwn could b a 24-21 game…….

    Whatever I think we going to arizona nxt sat….

    • rjhnyc52 - Jan 10, 2016 at 12:16 PM

      Another dreamer….!

    • Jax4 - Jan 10, 2016 at 1:05 PM

      I think I understand your post just by reading the words you left out…LOL


      • colmac69 - Jan 10, 2016 at 3:15 PM

        Lol my friend… messages from my phone so try and shorten words when possible….

        With qtr to go in minn looks like skins could b heading down south to charlotte

        • colmac69 - Jan 10, 2016 at 3:34 PM

          Change charlotte to arizona after Peterson fumble leads to fg and 10-9 lead for seahawks

  7. jonevans511 - Jan 10, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    I am very nervous, but not because I question the Skins’ ability to win this game. It’s there for the taking and we’ve earned the right to host this playoff game. But people, in my very humble opinion, are far too confident…… It’s true the Packers are in a funk and do not look like themselves. That being said they have much more playoff experience and a QB who’s been through these situations several times before. None of this means they’ll have an advantage necessarily, I just hate when people get over confident only to act like we “failed” if we lose today. We are playing with house money right now, so any outcome today will not change the fact this season was a huge success for the future of the Redskins. As long as those of you who think this game is an easy victory don’t come on here acting like the Redskins somehow disappointed you this year if we lose, I support your predictions and confidence 100%. Let’s just not forget we’re playing against a soon-to-be if not already all-time great QB.

    • goback2rfk - Jan 10, 2016 at 10:58 AM

      I agree. Folks are much too confident in the Skins winning this game. Overall, the Packers are a slightly better team but the Redskins are hot. So it should be an even match up. This game should come down to the end.
      Folks keep saying we are going to go up big in the 1st half and cruise to victory in the 2nd half.
      Its the playoffs, its going to be a close game, and Cousins wont have 3 TD passes in the 1st quarter again.
      This will be a in the trenches hard fought game which I ultimately believe is too close to call.
      My instincts tell me that one of the teams is going to win by a last second field goal.

      • skinsgame - Jan 10, 2016 at 11:15 AM

        Cousins won’t likely have 3 TD’s in the first quarter, no, but who usually does? The Packers aren’t projecting strength from the CB spot and the Redskins are bringing the hottest QB into the game.

  8. skinsgame - Jan 10, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    The Redskins have to find a way to stop one facet of the Packers offense. Today is not the day to give up 175 yards to Eddie Lacy & Co. Putting up points on offense should take away the run game if the D line struggles to stop them.

    If Kory is getting manhandled at Center, hopefully the team isn’t afraid to bring Leribius back in, odd as that actually sounds to say.


  9. rjhnyc52 - Jan 10, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    Packers 27 – Redskins 24…..

  10. Jax4 - Jan 10, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    No predication Rich?

  11. Jax4 - Jan 10, 2016 at 1:01 PM


  12. brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    While I am confident about today’s game I am mos def not too confident. (Anybody who is, gotta be crazy or just blowing smoke out their… well, you know.)

    Here’s why I feel good — because I can refute the Top 3 arguments against the Skins;

    1) “They haven’t beaten a winning team”. As I said another day I think its because they haven’t faced a winning team since they started this run. If they had, I think they coulda. (And besides, at this point in time I don’t really consider the Pack a “winning team” Sorry, GB.)

    B)” The Skins haven’t played in playoff pressure”. TECHNICALLY true. But imho, they have been playing playoff-like, pressure games for the last several weeks and have come upon big — all but once. By the same token, the Packers have been in a similar boat and ended up going under more often than not, losing their division title along the way. (Now if ACTUAL payoff football so much different from what we’ve seen recently — and the Packers are masters of it — I may stand corrected.)

    3) Finally … “The Pack has Aaron Rodgers”. This is the Ghost of Wild Card Weekend I fear most of all. He can do a lot of damage all his own, but not enough to beat a hot, confident, motivated Redskins team, imho. (Even tho Fat Francesca on WFAN said he’d take AR12 with only FIVE guys, I ain’t buying it!) Exploit his poor pass blocking and control the line of scrimmage — which should be easier because of his ineffective deep game — and the B&G should be able to pull one our against this all-time great QB.

    (A nice take away or two, or a special teams play wouldn’t hurt a bit either! LOL)

    HTTR! Check yallz at 8:00!

  13. squawonthewarpath - Jan 10, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    I am nervous, but I always am no matter when or who they play. I do think they have a great chance of pulling out a victory and like many have stated, if we don’t win this game the season has still been a great success. Was out shopping earlier today and saw more folks adorned in Redskins attire than I have seen in years and then on my home there was a jeep in front of me whose personalized license plate had GOSKINS! That says it all GO SKINS!!!!!!!!

  14. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 10, 2016 at 4:05 PM

    Dang, Vikings. YOU HAD ONE JERB!

    • brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 4:32 PM

      Got me thinking of that 1999 playoff loss to TB! That stuff tends to stick with you.

  15. brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    Ooof! All the FOX pregame doofusses just picked the Skins!! Not a good omen.

  16. kenlinkins - Jan 10, 2016 at 4:36 PM

    “Use your head, Keep your head, let’s get ahead and stay ahead. Today is not the day we are the ones to have to clean out our lockers” HTTR!

    • kenlinkins - Jan 10, 2016 at 5:59 PM

      Green Bay has weathered the storm as the Redskins leave 5 points on the field, Cousins has placed the ball on the ground twice and is taking way too many chances throwing the ball into coverage, Big Saggy is standing still trying to call a time out after the ball is snapped and G.B. is throwing a TD pass, D Line are not getting all the way off the field. Redskins acting like this one is in the bag when only up by 4. Coaches better get these guys back to basic football fast. I do not like what I am seeing.

      • ajbus1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 6:29 PM

        I hope they make some adjustments. They haven’t been great after the half all year but that’s gotta change today.

        • brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 10:02 PM

          It’s 10pm and I’m STILL waiting on those adjustments!

        • ajbus1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 11:03 PM

          Lol bruce!

  17. Cassandra - Jan 10, 2016 at 5:31 PM

    Rodgers is good at what he do in the game I’m a redskins fan but going for green bay like i said before it was mess up the way they done RG111now everything is Kirk Cousin he’s not all that they wanted him because he’s white redskins owner and coach they are red necks and don’t want a black GB.

  18. JOHNNY B - Jan 10, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    Well I thought we could have beaten them but who am I kidding. We are rebuilding but we have a good team just too many injuries in the secondary and not great pass rush. The defense was very soft not Aggressive enough for a playoff game. We are fighting but not getting it done.

    • goback2rfk - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:02 PM

      Blown out! Well that will let the air right out of the balloon eh? Terrible effort today, defense got gashed. No pressure on Rodgers at all. Offense was not clicking, Jackson all but shut out. I DONT LIKE THAT!
      Cousins coming back down to earth on that contract price. Probably just lost 8 mil a year.

      • brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:21 PM

        Whatever the price tag is … just keep it realistic.

        • hail74 - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:25 PM

          Certainly won’t be 10 mil/yr. Either they tag him or he gets a contract somewhere in the 17-18 mil per range.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 10, 2016 at 11:39 PM

          The price is not the biggest concern. It’s if the money is back loaded to be cap friendly with performance incentives for the initial few years. Any guaranteed money should be on the back end of a 4 to 6 year contract. No way in hell should we provide a large up front guaranteed money at 17 million a season. There was an elite QB on that field today but it wasn’t Cousins. He needs to demonstrate he can have success against defenses playing on above average teams. Today showed some good out of Cousins against a good team, but overall there is much about him that makes him too much a risk for a big money contract.

  19. goback2rfk - Jan 10, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    I DONT LIKE THAT! Thanks for the winning season Skins but damn that sucks! RIP Skins Season.

    • goback2rfk - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:04 PM

      Clean out the lockers. Season is Over. Cya in February for the Combine. Out..

    • brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:24 PM

      Gotta wonder … was any of the last two months real??

      (LOL Just kidding … it was a lotta fun while it lasted , right?)

      • squawonthewarpath - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:48 PM

        LOL Bruce…my thoughts exactly about it all being a dream. It was fun.

        • goback2rfk - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:03 PM

          Should have never printed those I LIKE THAT rally towels. The phrase should have been used sparingly. Its only great when you win but if you lose it opens it up for trolls.

        • brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:25 PM

          D’ja notice the Packer fans who took over FedEx at the end were chanting it lustily??

          Ya know how it goes; Live by the slogan …

    • colmac69 - Jan 11, 2016 at 3:05 AM

      For start no one was saying cousins is an elite qb (u nd quite few yrs of performing at high level to get that status)……he will get paid the going rate for starting qb with potential to get better with better team around him……..he didn’t have his best game….packers pressure rattled him especially second half……but we have our qb for nxt few yrs…….that’s gd starting point for nxt season…..offense has lot gd pieces in place for winning games……priority is big upgrade defensively…..d’line…..Secondary. ..pass rush…..speed overall on defense needs to improve…….

      This team going right direction with right guy in charge at Gm.(for first time in ages)….anyone who can’t see that is either dumb or completely blind to the situation….

  20. brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    Well … back to the old drawing board for Scotie Mac! (At least there will be a few less things on it this year than last.)

    • brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:27 PM

      (KNEW that all the FOX stooges picking the Skins was the Kiss of Death!! Ouch)

      • squawonthewarpath - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:59 PM

        LOL@Stooges. I swear, Bruce, there have been times in the past where some of the things you said just totally irked me. but you have grown on me. I like how you keep things light and fun and don’t get too ticked when someone disagrees with you. Wish we had more humorous fans posting here.

        • squawonthewarpath - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:01 PM

          Of course, as those of us long-term fans know, we HAVE to laugh to keeping from crying over this team..LOL

        • brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:21 PM

          Squaw, will you marry me?! (Assuming you are actually a “squaw”, that is. ;^} )

          If we can’t have fun talking about games, there can’t be too much else to have fun talking about.

  21. John - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:21 PM

    Defense was weak today. Not enough points from the offense. Green Bay D and Rogers to much this time around. Regardless the loss, great season. Unexpected when all said and done.

  22. hail74 - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:22 PM

    Oh well it was a fun ride anyway. Looking forward to seeing How Scot address’ the run game and defense as a whole.

  23. skinsgame - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    D line struggled to get push or key stops. Packers DL consistently pushed C & LG into the backfield the whole game. T Will looked bad a couple times but watching replays showed he was blocking the left side nearly alone.

    Cousins never able to step up onto the pocket. In the end, weak defense seemed the obvious culprit.

    Kerrigan was, once again, not an influence. Preston Smith was far better throughout the game. They need a difference maker and Kerrigan is not living up to his contract.

    I like Hall but he’s not a safety, he’s a liability.

    Center is a hot mess. One of them will not be here next year, the survivor will be a backup at best. I’d be rid of Lichty. He’s a weakling.

    Scot Mc is good for this club beyond his scouting prowess. Watching him at the end there on the sidelines was a good sight.


    • goback2rfk - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:57 PM

      The defense did not have a great game at all, however, the defense is pretty suspect overall. Lots of holes in this porous defense. I don’t think the defense looked as bad as they really are cause of the week schedule this year.
      When we played better and winning teams this year we lost or were blown out.. The 3 P’s kicked our ass this year Packers, Patriots, Panthers.

  24. squawonthewarpath - Jan 10, 2016 at 8:54 PM

    I agree, Skinsgame with your statement about the defense as they were just totally out of sync today. I also thought the Skins never really got into a good rhythm on the offensive side of things, either. They played flat. Their overall play wasn’t what I would coin really bad, so bad that you feel like hurling chicken bones on the field, but it was far from good. Mediocre??? Yep.

    • goback2rfk - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:00 PM

      The exact opposite of what needed to happen, happened! Rodgers stayed upright and Cousins was on his ass. The Packers were able to run the ball, and the Redskins for the most part could not.
      Overall, the team played mediocre. From offense to defense it was just a sh|t day. Outplayed by the better team. It was a fun ride while it lasted. good try, and no I don’t like that.

      • squawonthewarpath - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:05 PM

        Me no like either! But you know what, I am not ticked off or upset. Or even necessarily surprised. Just pehaps a tad disappointed. Yet I look at all the strides this team made this season and how we as fans never in a million years would have expected THIS team to host a wild card game in January. Close the books for another season and we’ll be here waiting come August just as we have since 1972.

  25. goback2rfk - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    But on the bright side it probably knocked a few mil per year off of the Cousins contract. I hope the players and fans enjoy the offseason. We will see you back at the start of training camp. Till next year! Salu!

    • brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:45 PM

      If some here are to be believed, today probably won’t effect Cuz’s next deal much.

      I’ve called for it to be “fair” once and got of a reply of “fair shmair” (which was fair). Today I asked that it be “realistic” and was told to expect $17-$18 mill per. Sure, “realistic” … in a Bizarro world, maybe?? LOL

      Both opinions are probably right,… but today just points out an NFL truism; an QB can’t do it all himself! Today Rodgers didn’ have to and Cuz pretty much DID. (Cuz has to just be sure to NEVER say that truth publicly. We know where THAT gets you! Yikes)

  26. kenlinkins - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    I thought the Redskins were over the losing focus thing when the other team starts trash talking and getting chippy but tonight they feel back into a old habit. T. Williams should know better by now but he seemed fall for this old trick again. It seems that both the O-Line and D-Line fell into that trap. Give Green Bay credit, they keep their minds on business even when down by 11 (should have been 16) and just beat up the Redskins. Even after allowing a safety, FG, and TD both D and O Lines of Green Bay showed up to play for 60 minutes and the Redskins packed it in after about 20 minutes. This was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. So, let the rebuilt continue, there is still a lot of work to do.

    • brucefan1 - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:58 PM

      Ken, I saw what the announcers thought might be a turning point of the game at the time, but I didn’t believe it till later; that nonchalant brain cramp by DJax that resulted in his being denied a TD, and THEN having to settle for 3!!

      I was a bit concerned it might geek up the Pack, but didn’t expect it to dampen the Skins fire so much. But they were never quite the same after that. Neither was Jackson.

  27. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 10, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    It showed McGlue what we have to do.

    Things that happened all year: when the offense suffers a few 3 and outs, our D up front gets gassed and whomever RB our opponent is playing looks like Walter Payton.

    Our O.L. is good in pass protection, until we face a team that really knows how to get to the passer. This might be fixed when our young guys get more experience/Callahan coaching. And we do need another center to take Kory’s place at some point.

  28. goback2rfk - Jan 10, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Time to put away that ‘you like that’ phrase and rally towels. I hope they only bring that out sparingly from now on.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 11, 2016 at 7:50 AM

      …and I was really hoping a ‘You Like That” rap video would soon follow. Archives

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