Sunday Night Football, week 11. Tonight we have an NFC clash between the suddenly vulnerable Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins. The Packers travel to our nation's capital in an attempt to turn around their fast fading playoff hopes.
The Green Bay Packers come into the game in the unaccustomed position of third in the NFC North, reeling from three straight losses in which their defense has collapsed, giving up more than 30 points in each loss. The Packers are led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is suffering through his second straight subpar season. Subpar for Rodgers that is. If he were on the Jets he would still be the best quarterback the Jets have had in ages. The Packers, despite their struggles, are still only one game out of first place in the mediocre NFC North. What makes this game extremely important to the Packers is that, if they do not win the North, then they are currently sitting a game and a half back of the second and final wild card spot, currently held by their opponent in tonight's game, the Washington Redskins. A loss to the Redskins tonight could deal a serious blow to any wild card hopes the Packers may have and force them to win the North or watch the playoffs on TV.
The game is equally important to the Redskins, currently sitting in third place in the NFC East with a record of 5-3-1, trailing the first place Dallas Cowboys by two and a half games. With first place in the East all but out of reach, the Redskins are fighting for a wild card spot in the playoffs, and they currently hold the second and last wild card position. A loss at home to the the Packers tonight would not cripple the Redskins hopes, but it would certainly make their road to the playoffs more perilous. The Redskins come into tonight's game on a roll, having lost only once in their last seven contests. The Redskins are led by quarterback Kirk Cousins and perhaps the best tight end tandem in the NFL outside of New England in Jordan Reed and a suddenly rejuvenated Vernon Davis.
As the season wears on these late season matches between contenders have major playoff implications. So while the Jets founder on the shoals of Fitz and lick their wounds on their bye week, you can still enjoy tough, hard fought playoff caliber football tonight on Sunday Night Football.