NFC Wild Card: Packers-Redskins Preview & Picks

Since the Vikings beat the Packers in Week 17 to decide the NFC matchups, this is the one game that I haven’t been able to get a feel for whatsoever.  The line has been hovering between either team favored by up to 2 points depending on where you check, because nobody else has a feel for this game, either.

These two teams are going in opposite directions, but you already knew that.  Green Bay is 10th in total DVOA and 19th in weighted DVOA, while Washington’s rankings are 15th and 12th, respectively.

Here’s the one bit of analysis that you probably haven’t heard enough about, though.  The Redskins have a weak pass defense.  They’re 19th overall in pass defense DVOA, and they’re 25th in run defense.  The Packers without Jordy Nelson will struggle against any strong defense, but the Redskins aren’t very strong. Meanwhile, the Packers (somehow) clock in at the 6th best pass defense in the league, and that will help them greatly against a Kirk Cousins passing offense that has surprisingly become potent.

The fact that people are picking the Redskins seems a little bit too trendy.  They’re forgetting that Aaron Rodgers is a damn good QB who can win any game by himself, especially if the opposing defense isn’t great.  People are forgetting that the Redskins didn’t beat a single team as good as the Packers, and they’re forgetting that the Redskins played in the NFC East.

I’ll take the Packers +1 or whatever the spread is now, and I’ll obviously take them straight up as well.

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