Heading into Week 11, it’s clear that expectations for the Green Bay Packers were too high at the start of the 2016 NFL season. Once considered among the Super Bowl favorites, the Packers find themselves struggling to make the playoffs.
Following a blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 10, things don’t get any easier for Green Bay. They visit the Washington Redskins on “Sunday Night Football,” with whom they are currently battling for a wild-card berth.
Washington currently holds the sixth and final postseason spot in the NFC, having picked up where they left off last year when they won the NFC East. The Redskins had their season ended with a playoff loss to the Packers, but Green Bay has looked nothing like a top team in 2016, making Sunday’s betting line all the more confusing.
The Packers are just 2.5-point underdogs in their visit to Washington, indicating that Green Bay is the slightly better team on a neutral field. But Aaron Rodgers and Co. have shown no signs that they are the superior team this season, and the Redskins have a good chance to hand the Packers their sixth loss of the season.
Green Bay’s loss to Tennessee shouldn’t have come as a surprise, considering the way they played heading into the Week 10 contest. The Packers have lost three games in a row, and their only road win came in the season opener against the last-place Jacksonville Jaguars.
Rodgers has not played like the quarterback that has won two NFL MVP awards. His 93.9 passer rating is just 15th among starters, and he hasn’t gotten much help from his supporting cast. Since the injury to Eddie Lacy, the Packers have little running game, often turning to wide receiver Ty Montgomery for carries. Randall Cobb no longer looks like a strong No. 2 receiver, totaling just 1,262 yards in his last 24 games.
Green Bay’s defense hasn’t been much better, and the Packers have managed to lose even at times when Rodgers has played well. The Packers have surrendered at least 31 points in each of their last three games, and the contest has one of the week’s highest over/unders at 50.5, as a result.
Washington has bounced back from a 0-2 start to this season to play better than most NFL teams. The Redskins have just one loss in their last seven contests, defeating the likes of the Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings, all of whom have winning records.
Kirk Cousins should be able to put up big numbers on Sunday, having thrown for 13 scores and just four interceptions since Week 3. The Redskins’ defense has allowed 20 or fewer points in five of the last six games, and unless the Packers’ playmakers drastically improve, it could be another long night for Green Bay.
Prediction: Washington over Green Bay, 27-21