The Green Bay Packers enter the 2015 NFL playoffs following a pretty tame season which ended with back-to-back loses – allowing the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC North.
Their immaculate offence of 2014 has dwindled this season. The loss of Aaron Rodgers’ favourite receiver Jordy Nelson, has had a big impact on their passing game; then there’s running back Eddie Lacy. He was very strong last year but seems to be struggling to haul his extra bulk past defences.
Now they have to travel away from their beloved Lambeau Field to FedExField, and take on a resurgent Washington Redskins.
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The embodiment of a wild card
The Washington Redskins qualified as leaders of the NFC East with nine wins and seven losses, taking them past the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys.
They went on a great run of games at the end of the season, winning four straight – two of which were against divisional rivals.
The NFC East comprised of disappointment this season. Philadelphia saw their Chip Kelly experiment come to an almost inevitably disappointing end.
The New York Giants suffered losses due to so many occasions of poor clock management late in games. Then the Dallas Cowboys had very little to work with offensively – being without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for much of the season.
That left Washington to rise to the top of the pile, mainly on home performances.
The Redskins really struggled away from home, ending with a record of 3-5, but they made the FedExField into a near fortress with their 6-2 record. However, all three of their away wins came during their current four game win streak.
Packers play away from the Bay
According to Pro-Football Talk, Aaron Rodgers has centered Green Bay for 18 playoff games. At home, he posts a 7-5 record but away Rodgers is 3-3.
What’s more troubling is that Green Bay haven’t won away from Lambeau Field in the postseason since their Super Bowl XLV victory in 2010.
When you consider that one of the two home losses that the Redskins suffered this season was in their very first game, it doesn’t give too much hope for Green Bay’s trip.
The other home loss that Washington have suffered this season came in the Week 13 match-up against Dallas – which they rectified on the return leg, in Week 17, with a 34-23 victory. Kirk Cousins threw three touchdowns in the first quarter to go 21 up in that final game of the regular season.
The Green Bay Packers may have the better playoff pedigree in Aaron Rodgers – Cousins has only managed10 playoff passes in 2013, as RGIII’s relief – but the favour is tilted towards the Washington Redskins given their current form and home advantage.