It’s game day … it’s playoff game day for the Green Bay Packers as they travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Redskins in the final game of Wild Card Weekend.
With Kansas City and Pittsburgh emerging as winners yesterday, the NFC takes its turn today as the Minnesota Vikings host the Seattle Seahawks in the first game at noon CST, followed by the Packers and Redskins at 3:40 p.m. CST.
What are the experts saying about this Packers vs. Redskins matchup?
Well, if they were the decision-makers, it would be the Redskins moving on in the tournament next week.
But that’s why they play the games, right?
Just ask Pittsburgh fans how they felt with a little over a minute to play in that game last night against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was all but over until Vontaze Burfict and Pacman Jones got into the act.
We’re hoping nothing like that occurs today in Washington.
All Packers fans are hoping for is a competitive game with a chance for Green Bay to win it in the end.
So, with that said, enjoy the predictions provided below …
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
BOB McGINN, Packers beat reporter
Playing on the road shouldn’t be a factor. There’s no reason the Packers can’t win this game against the Redskins, a playoff neophyte. On Tuesday, four NFL scouts and coaches were unanimous picking the Packers. Everything should be available for Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers to exploit. It’s time both of them show up.
TOM SILVERSTEIN, Packers beat reporter
You would expect the Packers offense to show some life. But they won’t be able to sustain it against a very tough Washington defense and there’s no way their own defense can hold Kirk Cousins to 17 points without Sam Shields in the lineup. This might turn out to be a decent game, but it won’t go in Green Bay’s favor.
Washington 30, Packers 27
MICHAEL COHEN, Packers beat reporter
A puzzling, perturbing season finally deflates in Washington. Kirk Cousins outscores the Packers offense, and that phrase just about says it all.
Washington 31, Packers 22
LORI NICKEL, Packers beat reporter
Tough game to predict. So many individual matchups to watch on the line, in the secondary. Washington is on a roll; Green Bay struggling so much offensively. Flip a coin.
Packers 21, Washington 13
RICK KLAUER, Packer Plus Editor
The Packers are 4-6 in their last 10 games and their offense is sputtering. But if Green Bay can exploit Washington’s generous defense — and get a scoring boost from their own defense or special teams — then the Packers have a chance. Washington, however, has an offense with firepower to win a close game.
Washington 27, Packers 24
Green Bay Press Gazette
WESTON HODKIEWICZ (11-5)
PACKERS 26, REDSKINS 23
This is as winnable of a matchup as the Packers could ask for to open the playoffs and yet it’s practically a pick-em game. An offense that has struggled all season has grown increasingly lethargic in recent weeks, so why the reason for hope? Washington’s 28th-ranked defense provides a golden opportunity for a turnaround. It’s up to the Packers to take advantage of it. Green Bay’s defense has what it takes to make Washington one-dimensional. It’s up to Aaron Rodgers to get the offense back on track. He says he needs to “let it fly a little more.” Something tells me he will. At least, this week.
RYAN WOOD (11-5)
REDSKINS 17, PACKERS 13
In theory, this NFC wild-card playoff matchup should be no contest. The Packers have a more talented team, a better team, at least on paper. But if this season has taught anything, it’s that what’s on paper doesn’t mean nearly as much as what’s on the field. You have to look at who’s playing better, and that would be Washington. The Packers stumbled into the playoffs after losing their last two games. Washington has won four straight and looked like a team trending in the right direction. It would be a bitterly disappointing end for the Packers to bow out in the wild-card round, but it’s a fitting end to this bitterly disappointing season.
PETE DOUGHERTY (12-4)
PACKERS 28, REDSKINS 24
Looking at how the teams have played the second half of the season, you’d have to pick Washington. And the way the Packers’ offense has under-performed for most of the last 10 weeks, there’s plenty more reason to think their season ends with a thud Sunday. But Washington’s weak secondary could be a cure for the Packers’ ills, and if Aaron Rodgers loosens his own reins, as he’s suggested he will, he could have a big day. The guess here is that he’ll outplay Kirk Cousins, and the playoff-experienced Packers will survive for another week.
STU COURTNEY (11-5)
PACKERS 38, REDSKINS 28
The Packers’ offense that has been missing in action all season? It will turn up alive and well Sunday against a weak Washington defense. A free-wheeling Aaron Rodgers will post his first 100-plus passer rating since Week 6, Eddie Lacy will plow his way to 100 yards and Green Bay will avoid the unthinkable: a three-game losing streak to end a season that started 6-0. After that? A likely rematch in the desert against Arizona, and a return to reality.
ROBERT ZIZZO (10-6)
REDSKINS 24, PACKERS 20
Washington has a red-hot quarterback (Kirk Cousins has thrown 23 TDs/3 INTs in past 10 games), a deep threat at receiver (DeSean Jackson averages 17.6 yards per catch) and a touchdown machine at tight end (Jordan Reed has 11). Those are three things Green Bay doesn’t have. Plus, Washington is pretty good at home, where it’s won six of its past seven games. The Packers can win, however, if they take more chances on offense with a high-risk/high-reward passing game.
NFL Expert Picks Wild-Card Weekend