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Reply To: ♦ NFC Wild Card Playoffs ♦ Sunday 1/10/16

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Green Bay Packers at Washington (-1, 45.5)

Washington faced an uphill battle to make the playoffs for much of the season, but they are on a roll heading into Sunday’s wild-card matchup against the visiting Green Bay Packers. Washington did not climb above .500 for the first time until Week 16 and did not post consecutive victories until rattling off four straight to close the regular season.

“It’s important to go into the playoffs with some momentum and a rhythm,” Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins said. “It’s crucial to keep that momentum and carry it into what will be the biggest game of the year.” While the fourth-seeded Washington surged into the postseason, No. 5 Green Bay dropped its final two games to squander the NFC North title and a chance to host a game this weekend. The Packers have been in a bit of a tailspin since a 6-0 start to open the season, dropping six of their last 10 games. “We have to prove to ourselves we can win the big games,” Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. ““There’s belief there, but we have to prove it to ourselves.”

TV: 4:40 p.m. ET, FOX.

LINE HISTORY:
Since Washington opened as one-point home favorites the line has jumped the fence twice with Green Bay moving to 1-point favorites and then back to 1-point dogs. The total has been bet down from 46.5 to 45.5. Check out the complete line history here.

INJURY REPORT:

Packers – RB E. Lacy (probable Sunday, ribs), T B. Bulaga (probable Sunday, ankle), DT M. Daniels (probable Sunday, hamstring), DT L. Guion (probable Sunday, foot), G T. Lang (probable Sunday, neck), C C. Linsley (probable Sunday, ankle), LB C. Matthews (probable Sunday, ankle), LB A. Mulumba (probable Sunday, knee), LB M. Neal (probable Sunday, hip), LB N. Perry (probable Sunday, shoulder), CB D. Randall (probable Sunday, groin), G J. Sitton (probable Sunday, back), G L. Taylor (probable Sunday, knee), DE D. Jones (questionable Sunday, neck), T D. Bakhtiari (questionable Sunday, ankle), LB J. Elliot (questionable Sunday, quadricep), TE J. Perillo (questionable Sunday, hamstring), CB S. Shields (doubtful Sunday, concussion).

Washington – DE J. Hatcher (probable Sunday, knee), T T. Williams (probable Sunday, knee), CB D. Phillips (probable Sunday, neck), WR D. Jackson (probable Sunday, knee), S J. Johnson (probable Sunday, chest), RB C. Thompson (probable Sunday, toe), C K. Lichtensteiger (probable Sunday, shoulder), S D. Goldson (probable Sunday, shoulder), RB M. Jones (questionable Sunday, hip), LB P. Riley (questionable Sunday, foot), CB Q. Dunbar (questionable Sunday, quadricep), DB K. Jarrett (questionable Sunday, concussion).

WEATHER REPORT:
It could be a wet and windy day at FedEx Field. There is a 66 percent chance of rain and a 14-17 mile per hour wind gusting towards teh eastern end zone. Temperatures will be in the low 50’s for the game.

POWER RANKINGS:
Green Bay (-2) – Washington (-2) + home field (-3) = Washington -3

ABOUT THE PACKERS (10-6, 9-7 ATS, 5-11 O/U):
Rodgers finished with his lowest passer rating (92.7) and completion percentage (60.7) since taking over as the team’s starter in 2008 and wound up the season by taking 13 sacks over his last two games in which Green Bay managed a combined 21 points. A1serviceplays.com Rodgers is not getting much help from a ground game that produced 75 yards in last week’s home loss to Minnesota, including 34 on 13 carries by Eddie Lacy. Wide receiver Randall Cobb has made 14 catches over the last three games but has turned them into only 92 yards. The defense rebounded from an ugly loss at Arizona to hold Minnesota to 242 yards.

ABOUT WASHINGTON (9-7, 9-7 ATS, 9-7 O/U):
With Washington already having locked up the NFC East title, Cousins played only one half in last week’s 34-23 victory at Dallas, throwing three scoring passes to give him 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in the last three games. Although tight end Jordan Reed had a relatively quiet season finale with four catches, he was unstoppable in the previous three games with 25 receptions for 333 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Alfred Morris is coming off his first 100-yard performance since Week 1, while Washington’s defense has collected 14 sacks over the last three games.

TRENDS:

* Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games.

* Washington is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

* Under is 6-1 in Packers last 7 vs. NFC.

* Over is 4-0 in Washington’s last 4 games overall.

CONSENSUS:
The public is almost dead even in this NFC Wildcard matchup, with 51 percent of wagers giving Washington the slightest of edges. AS for the total, 65 percent of wagers are on the over.

PREDICTION: Redskins 26, Packers 24