This is certainly unfamiliar territory for the Green Bay Packers as they enter NFL Week 11 at a meager 4-5. On both sides of the ball, they’ve been hugely disappointing throughout the season. Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins continue to improve and look dangerous in the NFC East. These two teams on different trajectories will meet on Sunday Night Football at FedEx Field.
Despite the struggles of Green Bay overall, Aaron Rodgers has come into his own in recent weeks. The trouble is that his receiving weapons, running game, and defense have all faltered consistently around him. As great as the quarterback is, he can’t do it alone with this team. To take down a talented Washington team in primetime, he’s going to have to get some assistance.
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Kirk Cousins and the Redskins have been great this season at times and have seemingly been getting better as the season goes on. The quarterback is looking like he wants a contract while the defense has become much more impressive. Moreover, undrafted rookie Robert Kelley has finally given them life in the running game, giving balance to the offense. Now they look to make their move down the stretch of 2016.
These are the keys to victory for each Week 11 matchup:
Particularly in front of what’s sure to be a fired up home crowd, the Redskins have an easy key to victory. Even with the emergence of Kelley in the running game, this offense thrives on their passing game. Contrarily, the Packers secondary has been short-handed and generous all season. As long as Cousins is able to consistently avoid forcing throws and turning the ball over, Washington can exploit this matchup and put up a big total on the scoreboard.
For the Packers, they simply have to keep Rodgers clean and give him time. The pass rush of Washington has improved seemingly week-to-week while the Green Bay O-line is a bit depleted and has struggled regardless of health. Meanwhile, Rodgers is the best weapon that this Packers team has still and they won’t get a win without him being lights-out. The bodies around him have to keep him upright, a position that he’s able to have a chance to take over the game.
Point Spread: Washington -3 Moneyline: Washington -150, Green Bay +130 Over/Under: 49.5
There’s a good chance that we’re letting the Packers off the hook because of their traditional pedigree. In fact, they might just be a slightly below-average football team. Meanwhile, we might not be giving the Redskins enough credit for being quite good in 2016. I think those will be undeniable on the field come Sunday night, though. Washington should win this one without it ever really being in doubt.
Pick: Green Bay Packers: 23, Washington Redskins: 34