Back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012, Washington will play Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs on Sunday afternoon. We’re going to take some time and highlight some of the important matchups to keep your eye on.
Aaron Rodgers vs. the Redskins secondary
The Packers started off the season 6-0, but were exposed by the Denver Broncos. Since Week 7, Aaron Rodgers has been sort of pedestrian especially by his standards. The quarterback has completed just 57 percent of his passes and has thrown 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Green Bay went 4-6 in that span. The Broncos jammed the Packers wide receivers at the line of scrimmage and played two safeties deep with a quarterback spy to nullify Rodgers’ ability to scramble. Taking advantage of the Packers wide receivers inability to create separation. Team after team has followed this blue print and I expect the Redskins to do the same. Washington doesn’t have the secondary talent that Denver has, not to mention they’re beat up at the safety position. The Redskins are ranked 25th in pass defense so Sunday won’t be a walk in the park, but they seem to be getting Aaron Rodgers at a good time.
Redskins running game vs. the Packers run defense
Matt Jones returned to practice on Wednesday after missing two games, but he hasn’t exactly been missed. Washington went to the passing game to defeat Philadelphia and against Dallas rushed for 146 yards. Green Bay finished the regular season ranked 21st in rushing yards allowed per game, while Washington finished 20th in rushing yards per game. The numbers would indicate that neither team will have the clear advantage running the ball on Sunday, which means who ever can impose their will on the ground will have the edge.
Jay Gruden vs. Mike McCarthy
The sideline chess match could very well decide Sunday’s game. Mike McCarthy like the rest of his team is more playoff tested than the Redskins but Washington comes in with the hot hand. Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator, Sean McVay have done a great job of putting Kirk Cousins and the offense in positions to succeed during the win streak. On the other hand, Mike McCarthy has come under fire for the play calling in Green Bay. McCarthy handed over play calling duties last offseason to Tom Clements but took it back before the December 13 game against the Dallas Cowboys. Green Bay went on to score 28 points that game and 30 the next week against Oakland but in the last two games have scored just 21 points. The matchup between two proven offensive minds in Gruden and McCarthy will be interesting to watch.