Perhaps the most stunning part of the Redskins' playoff scenario is that we already know so much. They will play their first playoff game at FedEx Field and they will be the No. 4 seed. Whom Washington's faces in the NFL Wild-Card weekend round, that remains a mystery.
Yesterday on BreakingBurgundy.com we took an early look at the three options. The Redskins have no choice and no control over whether the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers or Seattle Seahawks visit the city previously known as Raljon. We just know one of them is coming.
The real intrigue is pondering which foe offers the best hope for Jay Gruden's team.
The scenarios are as such:
* If Minnesota wins the NFC North at Lambeau Field on Sunday night, the Redskins will host Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
* If Green Bay wins at home and clinches the # 3 seed combined with a Seattle loss in Arizona – the Vikings would visit FedEx Field.
* If the Packers win and the Seahawks win at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, Seattle would return to Washington D.C. and bring back plenty of postseason pain.
Let’s take a further look at what potentially lies ahead.
Green Bay Packers
Even with Rodgers, the Pack could be the desirable opponent. In some ways, they're the better matchup for Washington, but it’s hard to say you would rather face Rodgers than Bridgewater.
The Packers will go as their running game takes them and if their offensive line is able to withstand more injuries. Based on the instability in those two areas recently, Green Bay could be in trouble. They've allowed 42 sacks. The backfield duo of Eddie Lacy and James Starks, while talented, has been inconsistent throughout the year.
Arizona shredded Green Bay last weekend in the desert. The Packers, in my eyes, are hardly reliable. What they on their side is playoff pedigree, the many “cheese-heads” that will attend no matter what their seed or situation is and Rodgers.
The Packers offense is clearly not as explosive as they used to be without Jordy Nelson, who has missed the entire season with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason. No one player picked up the Nelson slack. Randall Cobb has been a bit of a disappointment this year, but can hurt you from the slot and with a broken play.
James Jones stunk everywhere else, but in the green-and-gold, he's viable. He's is just four receiving yards behind Cobb for the team lead and has eight touchdowns, though only two over the last nine games. Clearly, Jones is their big play target with Nelson out, which explains plenty.
Don't forget about tight end Richard Rodgers who caught that miracle "Hail Mary" in Detroit for one of his seven touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball, Green Bay is better than they have been in recent years. Pass rusher Julius Peppers leads the way with 9.5 sacks. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews gets a lot of publicity, deservedly. The real difference is up front with the combination of Mike Neal and Mike Daniels, who each have four sacks.
Always impressive in the draft, the Packers, have two of my favorite players from last year's crop in safety Damarious Randall (three interceptions) and Quinten Rollins (2 interceptions).
Desiring a matchup with the Packers could look silly if Rodgers and the offense find momentum. That they haven't this deep into the season is one reason why Washington might prefer Green Bay in the Wild Card most of all.
Next up: Seattle Seahawks
Chris Russell is a senior writer for Breaking Burgundy, longtime reporter on the Redskins beat and radio host for 1067 The Fan. Follow Chris on Twitter @russellmania621https://twitter.com/Russellmania621.
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