Washington jumped out to an 11-0 lead early in the second quarter, but a string of five-straight scoring drives by the Green Bay Packers led the way to a 35-18 Redskins loss in Sunday evening’s wild-card game.
Spurred by a bit of hurry-up, and a bunch of running, the Packers got going after a rough start Sunday, with Aaron Rodgers throwing for a pair of TDs while Eddie Lacy and James Starks each rushed for a score, and Green Bay beat the NFC East champion Redskins to reach the divisional round.
Rodgers opened 1 for 8, and the Packers' first four drives ended this way: punt, safety, punt, punt. They had just 11 yards after one quarter.
Green Bay got the ball first, but Washington’s defense was first to strike, staking the Redskins to a 2-0 lead when Preston Smith sacked Rodgers in the end zone for a safety.
Then Washington quickly reached scoring territory, but a DeSean Jackson touchdown catch was overturned on review. Despite the Redskins having first-and-goal from about a half yard out, the Packers defense and a delay of game penalty pushed the Redskins backward, and they settled for a 25-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal and a 5-0 lead heading in to the second quarter.
After a 24-year touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to tight end Jordan Reed early in the second quarter, Hopkins’ extra point attempt hit the right goalpost, leaving the score 11-0.
Rodgers and the Packers then began to show the ability to gain yards in chunks and put points on the board they had been missing while losing six of their final 10 games and letting the NFC North title slip away.
Green Bay scored on a 12-yard pass from Rodgers to Randall Cobb midway through the second quarter to start a streak of five straight scoring drives during which the Packers built a 32-18 lead. Rodgers went 5 for 6 for 68 yards on the drive, pulling out all his usual tricks, twice going with a quick snap that generated a too-many-men penalty on Washington's defense.
After Cousins fumbled on a sack by Mike Neal, Mason Crosby made a 43-yard field goal to cut the Redskins lead to 11-10.
Then late in the half, Rodgers found Davante Adams for a 10-yard touchdown pass that gave the Packers a 17-11 lead at halftime.
The Redskins opened the second half with an impressive nine-play, 73-yard drive ending in a three-yard run by Cousins to give the Redskins an 18-17 lead.
But the Packers took the lead back on Starks' rushing touchdown later in the third quarter. They pulled away in the fourth quarter with a touchdown and two-point conversion followed by a late field goal after a failed Washington attempt to convert on fourth down.
Rodgers finished 21 for 36 for 210 yards and no interceptions. Washington QB Kirk Cousins, making his first career playoff start after a breakthrough season, was 29 for 46 for 329 yards. He threw for one touchdown, lost one fumble and was sacked six times.
Washington had won four games in a row, but its season ends without a single victory over a team that finished with a winning record.
This weekend marked the first time in all four road teams won in the wild-card round.
'You Like That!' Fans Greet Cousins, Redskins Before Game
A couple dozen fans gathered outside a stadium tunnel to greet Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins and other Redskins players as they got off a bus more than a couple of hours before kickoff for Sunday's playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.
When Cousins, wearing a burgundy sports coat, went to grab his bag, a loud chant arose: “You like that! You like that!” That's the catch phrase accidentally coined by Cousins earlier this season. He yelled those words toward a local TV reporter while heading to the locker room after leading the Redskins to a comeback victory over Tampa Bay.
On Sunday, the Redskins handed out white towels bearing those words to spectators.
Rookie running back Matt Jones, who has an injured left hip, was inactive for Washington. Center Kory Lichtensteiger, recently activated from injured reserve, returned to the Redskins' starting lineup.
Green Bay will travel to Arizona to play the Cardinals Saturday night on NBC.