Note: If you’re looking for the 2016 NFC Wildcard
game between these teams, please go here: Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins NFC Wildcard Preview and Pick
Green Bay Packers (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (2-2 SU,
2-2 ATS), Week 5 NFL, 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, October 10, 2010, FedEx
Field, Hyattsville, Md., TV: FOX
by Badger of Predictem.com
Two NFC teams that are both looking to break from the pack in their
respective divisions will strap it up at FedEx Field in Washington
D.C. on Sunday when the Green Bay Packers face the Washington
Redskins in an early NFL game on Fox.
The Packers, who are tied atop the NFC North with the Chicago Bears,
nearly fell asleep at the wheel last weekend allowing the Detroit
Lions to shrink their 14-point lead down to two points before finally
putting them away, 28-26. At 3-1 the Packers have yet to play a
perfect game this season, something they are hoping to do on the road
this week against the Skins.
Washington is one of the three teams tied at 2-2 atop the NFC East, but if you ask the Redskins players, coaches or fans they should be much better than .500 thus far. After playing two strong games to
start the season versus Dallas and Houston, the Skins have laid two
duds in recent weeks including a loss to St. Louis and a less-then-
stellar victory over Philadelphia, 17-12, in Donovan McNabbs return
to Philly last weekend.
With injuries starting to pile up, the Redskins will try and find a way to score a big NFC victory over the Packers at home in FedEx on
The oddsmakers out in Las Vegas are expecting a close game, listing
the visiting Packers as road favorites with an opening point spread
of 2.5-points. With a few days of action at the window the number has
moved up slightly to minus -3 at a few offshore sportsbooks, but a
majority of them are still sitting right on the minus -2.5 number
they opened with.
The over/under total opened at 43.5 and has moved up the hook to 44
at most books. Theres even a few 44.5s on the board here and there,
so the total appears to be trending upward after the early steam.
Both of these teams are facing similar situations on offense, relying
almost entirely on their quarterback and the passing game to put
points on the scoreboard due to injuries to their main running threat.
For the Packers, the loss of Ryan Grant a few weeks ago has made the Packers
very one-dimensional and has put more pressure on Aaron Rodgers
to carry the team. Green Bay already threw the ball more to begin with (226.8
ypg passing-to-94.5 ypg rushing), but with Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn
picking up the load at running back opposing defenses are hardly even honoring
the Packers running game anymore.
But this week the Redskins will experience a similar feeling with the
loss of running back Clinton Portis to a groin injury, forcing McNabb
to pick up the slack in the passing game. McNabb was average last
week (8-of-19, 125 yards), but with Ryan Torain as the new feature
back you can bet the Packers defense will be expecting McNabb to
throw early and often.
Which brings us to the reason why the Packers might enjoy a big advantage come Sunday.
On paper, the Packers defense figures to match up much better versus
McNabb if hes forced to throw it a lot, since the Pack is currently
the 7th-ranked pass defense in the league allowing 185 yards per
game. The Packers can also move reigning defensive player of the year
Charles Woodson around for different matchups because, frankly, the
receiving crew of Santana Moss, Joey Galloway and Chris Cooley just
doesnt have a dominant threat.
The Packers can also bring a strong pass rush if the Skins become so
one-dimensional, with Clay Mathews coming off the edge against
Washingtons starting tackles Stephon Heyer and Jammal Brown.
Meanwhile, the Redskins pass defense is one of the worst in the
league thus far allowing 305 yards per game (31st). The Packers
weapons on the outside, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and tight end
Jermichael Finley are more dangerous in the open field too. The Skins
defense has been giving up big yardage (406 ypg 31st) each week but
hasnt seen it translate directly into points (19.8 ppg allowed
19th), which could change quickly if they continue to tread on the
Green Bay has won the last four games these two have played,
including the last one which turned into a 17-14 victory at home in
Lambeau in 2007. The Packers also won their last visit to the
nations capital, beating the Skins 28-14 in 2004 in their only
appearance in Washington.
All told the Packers are 4-2 SU against the Redskins (dating back to
But they are an ATM-like 5-0-1 ATS in the head-to-head series
history, including a 3-0-1 mark when they have been listed as the
favorites. Add in the fact that Washington is just 4-12 ATS in their
last 16 home games and you can see why everyone has been going to the
window on the Packers.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im leaning strongly toward the Packers in this spot,
simply because they are the better team top to bottom. But McNabb has
been a thorn in the Packers side dating back to his days in Philly, so
Im wavering on a side bet. Instead Im playing it safe and going
with the over, because with all of the passing there are bound to be
several big plays in this one. Take the over of 44.