Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers overcame a sluggish start before dominating the Washington Redskins 35-18 Sunday to advance to the Divisional Round.
Rodgers led the way with a pair of touchdowns, while Eddie Lacy and James Starks each rushed for a score as the Packers overwhelmed the NFC East champions in their own backyard. With the victory, the Packers punched their ticket to a divisional round tie against Arizona Cardinals next Sunday. |Box Score|
“We just needed a game like this to get our mojo back. We got our confidence going. It just takes one. It’s tough to win these type of games. We’ve done it before. We know how to win these games. We came together today and played for each other. Didn’t let doubt creep in when we went down 11-0,” Rodgers said after the win.
At the end of the first quarter, Rodgers and the Packers had all of 11 yards. That’s right! While Rodgers opened to 1 for 8, the Packers’ first four drives ended this way: punt, safety, punt, punt. At that stage, one wondered if the Packers, who entered the game a 4-6 record from their last ten outings, had enough in the tank to rally back against the home team.
Trailing the Redskins 11-0 early in the second quarter, Rodgers began their comeback effort with a series of rushed yards and touchdowns. Rodgers connected with with Randall Cobb and Davante Adams in the end zone as the Packers asserted a 17-11 halftime lead. In the second half, James Starks scored from four yards while Eddie Lacy from two as Green Bay ran the football on 13 of 15 snaps. With 17 yards on 9 carries in the first half, Packers finished with more than 140 yards rushing. It was a dominating performance that’s ought to inject fear in their forthcoming opponents.
Rodgers, the two-time NFL MVP, finished the game 21 for 36 for 210 yards with zero interceptions. Kirk Cousins, making his first playoff start after a breakthrough season for the Redskins, was 29 for 46 for 329 yards. Cousins threw one TD, lost a fumble and was sacked six times. One felt that Cousins was jittery on the big stage.
With their highest point total since Week 3, the Packers reminded their fans that they were overlooked in the pre-playoffs betting odds. With the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks joining the AFC’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round, it’s the first time road teams went 4-0 in the wild card under the current playoff format, which began in 1990.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 210 yards & 2 TDs in today's Wild Card victory.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 11, 2016
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 11, 2016