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Five keys from the Redskins playoff loss against the Packers

From the scoring runs to the sacks to the running game prowess, Dan Roth focuses on what transpired in Washington's 35-18 loss.

by Dan Roth, special to Breaking Burgundy

Taking a closer look at the key stats and moments from the Washington Redskins' 35-18 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card playoff round Sunday at FedEx Field. 

Hot to Cold (and vice versa)

The Redskins jumped out to an 11-0 lead against the Packers less than two minutes into the second quarter, but sputtered the rest of the way. They added just seven points to their total in the game’s final 43 minutes.

The Packers had trouble moving the ball to start the game, but the offense became increasingly fluid as the game went on. They eventually opened the floodgates, amassing 35 points, which marked their most prolific scoring all season. Starting in the second quarter, Green Bay scored on five straight possessions, amassing 32 points.  

Sacked

Washington’s first points came when Preston Smith brought down Aaron Rodgers for a safety on the Packers’ second drive. The pass rush pestered Rodgers on the next two drives, which resulted in consecutive three-and-outs. The safety, however, proved to be Washington’s only sack of the game against what was supposed to be a weak offensive line for Green Bay. The Packers played without starting left tackle David Bakhtiari.

As play continued, the Packers’ pass rush took over, sacking Kirk Cousins six times. The Redskins quarterback did throw for 329 yards and a touchdown, but pressure led to him fumbling three times, two of which he recovered. The one recovered by Green Bay in prime field position resulted in a field goal.

Running away

Green Bay's rushing attack doesn't carry the offense. For most of the season, the ground game proved inconsistent. Technically that was the case Sunday, but the good version showed late. Washington’s defense held the Packers’ rushing attack to 17 yards on nine carries in the first half, but Eddie Lacy and James Starks started rolling in the second half. The Packers ended up outrushing the Redskins 141 yards to 84. Leading 24-18 in the third quarter, Green Bay closed its next touchdown drive with 54 yards on six straight carries, including a fourth down conversion and 30-yard by Lacy plus Starks' 3-yard score. 

Cousins

Excluding the Redskins’ Week 17 win over the Cowboys, in which he was pulled in the second quarter to avoid an injury heading into the playoffs, Cousins finished the season with four straight outings with at least 300 passing yards.

Cousins’ rushing touchdown, which came on a designed quarterback keeper, three yards out, in the second quarter, was his sixth of the season.

There were issues with fumbles, but Cousins avoided throwing an interception for a fourth straight game.

Disappearing Act

What could’ve been Cousins’ first passing touchdown of the game was overturned. Replay showed the ball, hanging in DeSean Jackson's right hand, never crossed the pylon. Jackson coasted to the front, right corner of the end zone. Washington eventually settled for a field goal. After the mistake, which came less than halfway through the first quarter, Jackson didn't record another reception.

Dan Roth is a freelance sportswriter and Breaking Burgundy contributor. Follow Dan on Twitter @danrothdc.

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