April 21, 2019

Washington Redskins to face Green Bay Packers in Wildcard matchup

The Washington Redskins have known for two weeks they would host an NFC Wildcard game. Now we know who they will face.

By virtue of the Minnesota Vikings defeating the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, the Vikings won the NFC Central North [eds. Old habits die hard.], earning the right to host the Seattle Seahawks in the other wildcard game.

That means the Packers, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, will travel to FedEx Field next Sunday at 4:40 p.m. to face the NFC East Champion Redskins. The game will be broadcast on Fox.

The Packers started the season 6-0, but struggled down the stretch, losing back-to-back games to Arizona and Minnesota with the division on the line. Rodgers was 28 of 44 for 291 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings, but also threw a pick.

Against Arizona the week prior, the Cardinals pasted the Pack, 38-8. Arizona sacked Rodgers eight times and returned two of his fumbles for touchdowns. He was 15 of 28 for just 151 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Running back Eddie Lacy has rushed for 94 yards in the past two weeks combined.

All of this is taken with a grain of salt. The week prior to getting pounded by Arizona, the Packers clinched a playoff spot with a win over Oakland, which was their third in row following wins over Detroit and Dallas, two other non-playoff teams. In fact, the last time Green Bay beat a “good” team was Nov. 11 when they beat the Vikings.

Of course, that win was sandwiched by losses to the Bears and Lions. Oh my.

The Redskins, winners of their last four games and 6-2 at home, have to like the matchup with the slumping Packers, despite the reputation that Rodgers will bring to the game.

The Skins will be hampered by injury in the defensive backfield, as both Dashaun Phillips (cervical stinger) and Kyshoen Jarrett (concussion) left the win over Dallas and did not return.

But Kirk Cousins is peaking at the right time. The signal-caller passed Jay Schroeder to become the franchise all-time single season passing yardage leader on Sunday and completed what has to be argued as one of the finest passing seasons in the franchise’s history –which includes some pretty good quarterbacks through the years.

The Redskins were an afterthought by many in the preseason, and when the organization decided to bench Robert Griffin III during preseason and go with Cousins, once again they were derided as dysfunctional.

Through the first few weeks of the season, Cousins played poorly and the Skins took their lumps. But since the comeback win over Tampa Bay, things have continued to look up for Washington football, and it wouldn’t be a shock if the Redskins could knock off the Packers in the Wildcard round.

Regardless, Redskins fans should savor the division title and home playoff game next week.

This franchise has made itself hard to love over the past decade and a half, but GM Scot McCloughan has started to increase the level of overall talent on the squad and seems to have returned a semblance of competency to the front office, which was once occupied by lackies and yes-men.

Worry about next year later. Enjoy things now. You never know when the next chance for postseason happiness might come.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

Comments

  1. Just a correction to your article. There is no NFC Central division. It is the NFC North division that Minnesota won last night.

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