By: Ryan Cooley
The 3-9 Redskins travel to Lambeau Field to take on the 9-3 Packers. Green Bay currently holds onto the third seed in the NFC. The Redskins enter Sunday on a two-game winning streak. The Packers have slipped the last four weeks with a 2-2 record. They were blown out two weeks ago against the 49ers in a primetime game.
I believe the Packers are still a legitimate Super Bowl contender, so the Redskins will have their hands full.
How can they win?
If the Skins want to win this game, they will have to take the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands. To do this, they must dominate time of possession. The running game with Guice and Peterson will have to have another big day. Rodgers is one of the smartest QBs in the league, so teams cannot expect to go and shut down the Packers offense.
Shortening the game will be crucial because everyone knows even one or two minutes is all Rodgers needs to make the opposing team pay.
Players to watch for Washington
Derrius Guice: Along with two scores, Guice averaged 12.9 yds/carry last week. I was a huge fan of Guice coming out of LSU, and he is beginning to show his true potential. The Packers have had their struggles against the run, giving up 123 yds/game and 4.7 yds/carry.
It will be interesting to see how many touches he gets in this game. He and Peterson have split carries right down the middle in recent weeks. I would like to see him get more this week. While Peterson has done well with the Redskins, Guice is the future, and the more reps he receives, the better.
Montez Sweat: I said a couple of weeks ago that Sweat has been disappointing so far. Since then, he has played well. Most rookie pass rushers take a while before they reach their full potential. That is precisely what we are seeing with Sweat, who has three sacks in the past two games. The Packers have one of the better pass-blocking lines in the league, so Sweat will have to have a good game if they want to slow down the Packer’s offense.
The CBs: Since Josh Norman has been off the field, the secondary has played exceptionally well. Both Dunar and Moreau have helped shut down the opposing teams passing game. Sunday will be a true test of how great they can be. They are not only facing Rodgers but one of the best WRs in the league in Davante Adams.
Players to watch for Green Bay
Aaron Rodgers: No explanation is needed here. Rodgers is going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he decides to hang his cleats up. There are very few things he cannot do. He can pick defenses apart while in the pocket, but can also shred them while outside the pocket. At this point in his career, Rodgers has seen it all, so the Skins’ defense must play at the top of their game.
Aaron Jones: Jones has quietly become one of the better RBs in the league. He has over 1,000 total yds and 14 total TDs this season. He is a threat in both the run and pass game. My only knock on Jones this year would be in inconsistency. He has had huge games in which he scores three or more TDs. Then he’ll have games like last week where he only managed 31 total yds on 15 touches. The Redskins will need to prepare as if they are facing the RB who can put up elite numbers.
Preston Smith: Smith has had this date circled on his calendar for a long time. Smith was drafted in the second round by Washington in 2015. Many had high expectations for him, but he never reached his full potential in D.C. However, with Green Bay, he already has 10.5 sacks through 12 games. There is no doubt Smith will want revenge on his former team.
Prediction: Packers win 28-17
It is hard to say which Redskins team will show up on Sunday. Will it be the team that has impressed to past two weeks or the team that got blown out by the Jets? Either way, it will be very difficult for them to walk away with a win. The Packers offense has many playmakers, so it will be hard to stop all of them.