Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 8, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers in a wild card playoff game.
Five Redskins who have to step up to beat the Packers
QB Kirk Cousins—He is not just the straw that stirs the drink; he is the whole cocktail on offense for the last 10 games. The Redskins’ formula for success lately calls for scoring 30 points or more and they can only do that if Cousins has a big day.
RB Pierre Thomas—The veteran is kind of an X-factor for this game. He’ll almost certainly be active. I’m backing off of my prediction that Matt Jones will be able to go. He did not look too good in drills yesterday and time is growing short. Thomas is a fresh pair of legs and he looked good both rushing and receiving against the Eagles. The Redskins will need some semblance of balance on offense to be successful and Thomas may need to provide it.
OLB Ryan Kerrigan—Aaron Rodgers was sacked 13 times in the Packers’ last two games. Kerrigan can be the main force in getting to him on Sunday. The Redskins’ backfield will be stressed by Rodgers’ scrambling. If Kerrigan can corral him a few times the Redskins will be able to keep the Packers offense (four touchdowns in last three games) in low gear.
ILB Will Compton—The Packers’ offense is not a one-man show. Eddie Lacy and James Starks combined to rush for 1,359 yards this year so they will need to be contained. Compton and Mason Foster will have to plug the holes to keep them under control. The two runners both average 4.1 per return so it’s not like either is a home run threat. Good recognition and solid tackling will do the trick and those are right up Compton’s alley.
FS Dashon Goldson—Compton relays signals to Goldson, who gets the secondary set straight. When they get into nickel and dime situations Goldson will have to direct players such as rookies Quinton Dunbar, Dashaun Phillips, Deshazor Everett plus veteran Cary Williams who was just signed on Tuesday. He will have to get them in position and then, if James Jones or Randall Cobb gets past them, Goldson will need to be the last line of defense.
—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:55; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:15
—Days until: Redskins vs. Packers in wild card playoff game 2; NFL divisional playoffs 8; Super Bowl 50 30
In case you missed it
- An advantage at QB for the Redskins?
- Redskins' Jones limited for a second straight day
- 'Signs pointing positive' for Dunbar
- Gruden ready to utilize 'fresh' Morris against Packers
- Jay Gruden on Jordan Reed: He's a different animal
- DeSean Jackson discusses the state of the Redskins
- Packers won't shuffle O-line vs. Redskins
- Cousins named NFC Offensive Player of the Month
- Redskins will take a pay cut to play in playoffs
- OPEN THREAD: If somebody must sit, which RB will be missed least?
- Breeland says Redskins will miss Jarrett, but it's next man up vs Rodgers
- Redskins valued Cary Williams' experience