Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice (29) and offensive guard Ereck Flowers celebrate Guice's touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Washington Redskins head coach Bill Callahan looks on during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Vernon Butler (92) rushes Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) as offensive tackle Morgan Moses (76) blocks during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams scores against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Washington Redskins this week prepared to face Aaron Rodgers by having backup quarterback Case Keenum try to do his best imitation of the two-time MVP in practice. Even mimicking the voice inflections and cadences Rodgers often uses to draw opposing defenders offside and earn free plays.
''We try to mirror that,'' interim coach Bill Callahan said.
The Redskins (3-9) look to extend their winning streak to three games Sunday when they face Rodgers and the Packers (9-3) in their first-ever December trip to Lambeau Field, a place Rodgers has been absolutely dominant over his career.
Rodgers has led Green Bay to a 16-3-1 record in his last 20 starts at home, with a passer rating of 100-plus in 11 of those games, including the first perfect passer rating (158.3) of his career in a Week 7 win over Oakland.
Rodgers has been especially good in the cold. He has a career passer rating of 111.2 in regular-season home games in December and January, ranking No. 1 in NFL history (minimum 200 pass attempts).
''The cold is a factor,'' he said. ''It's not like we're a bunch of Wisconsin folks who were raised here, but I think you just learn to deal with the elements a little bit better. You're spending eight months a year here. When I go back to California, I laugh at all the Californians wearing long sleeves and coats in 60-degree weather. I'm thinking, `Man, this is short weather, short sleeves, you know? Get the Speedo out or something, baby.'''
The forecast in Green Bay on Sunday says it will be cloudy with a high around 40 degrees, which shouldn't be an issue for Washington rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, a New Jersey native.
''Having played in the Big Ten, I've played some cold games,'' said Haskins, who will make his fifth career start. ''Try to stay as warm as possible - hand warmers, turtlenecks, soup, chicken broth. All of that.''
PEP IN THEIR STEP
After an 0-5 start cost coach Jay Gruden his job, Washington has gone 3-4 under interim coach Bill Callahan, including two consecutive victories.
Because they play in the terrible NFC East, the Redskins are somehow both technically still alive for a playoff berth - spoiler: that's not happening - and in line for the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft.
Going from 1-9 to 3-9 had an effect on the mood in the locker room.
''Winning some games definitely brings some energy and it makes everyone have a little more pep in their step,'' Haskins said. ''We want to continue to win and we're working hard to figure it out.''
Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith was drafted by Washington in 2015 and played his first four seasons there, averaging about six sacks per game. This season, after joining Green Bay in free agency, Smith leads the Packers with 10 1/2 sacks.
''He's had tremendous impact, obviously,'' coach Matt LaFleur said of Smith. ''You're talking about a guy that's got over 10 sacks, and just not only from his play, but from a leadership standpoint as well, I think he's done a great job. He is one of the leaders on this football team, definitely holds himself to a high standard and those around him to it as well.''
RUN, RUN, RUN
Adrian Peterson is moving up the NFL's career rushing chart, now just 40 yards from becoming the sixth player in league history to reach 14,000. Derrius Guice is at the opposite end of his career, getting his first 100-yard game and first rushing touchdown - two, actually - last week. They give the Redskins quite a ''two-headed monster'' in the backfield, as Guice put it after he ran for 129 yards on only 10 carries and Peterson gained 99 against Carolina in Week 13.
With Haskins still learning his way, Callahan is happy to emphasize the run, and so Washington could seek to do more of the same against Green Bay, which ranks 25th in the 32-team league, allowing opponents to run for an average of 123 yards each game.
''They're both consistent, durable, tough, powerful-type runners,'' Callahan said about Peterson, who is 34, and Guice, 22, ''but elusive enough where they can make people miss and also capable springing off explosive runs.''
MOST VALUABLE PUNTER
It is both a measure of how good punter Tress Way has been and just how bad the Redskins are that he might very well be their MVP this season.
Way's 49.9 yards per punt lead the NFL by nearly two full yards; for comparison's sake, Green Bay's JK Scott is averaging 45. Way also ranks No. 1 in the league this season with a 44.4 net average. He was chosen for NFC special teams player of the week honors after dropping a pair of punts inside the 20-yard line while also kicking a season-best 79-yarder in Washington's 29-21 victory at Carolina last Sunday.
RETURNING TO FORM
Green Bay's Davante Adams scored a season-high two touchdowns last week in his fourth game back from a turf toe injury. The two-time Pro Bowl receiver now has three scores in the last two games after being held out of the end zone in his first six games this season.
''It's been good to find the end zone a couple times the past few weeks,'' Adams said. ''But at the end of the day, I try to get in the end zone to help the team win. If I score one touchdown or two or zero, I'm not really worried about it. I would love to get in the end zone, obviously, but it's about that ultimate team goal to get the W. So if other guys are getting in and we're putting points on the board, that's all that matters.''
Since 2016, Adams ranks in the top five among active players in touchdown receptions at home with 16.
The Green Bay Packers Defense recorded one sack and allowed 37 points in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers steamrolled past Green Bay's unit for 285 rushing yards and four rushing scores. To make matters worse, they couldn't generate much pressure or any turnovers. Despite the disappointing end, the Packers defense was much improved from last year, ranking 15th in sacks with 41 as well as third in interceptions with 17. They may not be among the top defenses drafted in 2020, though they should be on every fantasy managers' radar.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham caught four of five targets for 59 yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Graham was a big disappointment this season in a year filled with disappointing tight ends. The 33-year-old put up the lowest numbers since his rookie season and never really put together a good stretch of play until very recently. Graham has one year left on his contract worth about 7.5 million dollars. Given how much of a bust he was, perhaps Green Bay cuts ties with him and goes younger at the position in 2020.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison caught two of three targets for eight yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. There were big expectations for Allison heading into 2019 in both the real and fantasy football worlds. Unfortunately for him, he lived up to neither, failing to eclipse 50 receiving yards in all but one game all year. Green Bay, who is in desperate need of another receiver behind Davante Adams, will have a decision to make about the 25-year-old, who is an unrestricted free agent. It's hard to see Allison being back in Green Bay in 2020.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard caught three of four targets for 36 yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Lazard may not have made much noise in the two playoff games but flashed some potential in the regular season, including his first career 100-yard game. Rodgers started to develop a little chemistry with the 6-foot-4 wideout late in the season, as he looked his way 17 times in the last two contests. It would be surprising if Lazard were the number-two receiver for the Packers next year, though it still makes sense for them to bring him back in some capacity. Lazard has some sleeper potential if he's catching passes from Rodgers in 2020.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' 87 passing touchdowns in his first 35 games, including playoffs, are the most in NFL history. His 11 passing touchdowns and 142 pass attempts without an interception to begin his playoff career are both the most on record, and he is one of just two players to have at least 250 passing yards, three or more passing touchdowns and at least 50 rushing yards in multiple career playoff games.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries in a 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 19, becoming the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams caught nine of 10 targets for 138 yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Adams operated as Rodgers' safety blanket yet again, capturing 79 more receiving yards than the Packers' next leading receiver. When healthy, this is what the 26-year-old did all year, as he compiled double-digit targets in all but four games, including the playoffs. Despite missing five games, Adams still almost put up a 1000-year season. It would behoove Green Bay to put together a stronger receiver group behind the star receiver. Even if they don't, a healthy Adams should be back in the discussion as an elite fantasy wideout in 2020.
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams picked up just six rushing yards on three carries and caught two passes for one receiving yard in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Williams had a disappointing end to his season, as he failed to register at least 40 rushing yards in his last three games after eclipsing the mark in his previous three. The 24-year-old did show flashes at times of being the perfect complement to Aaron Jones. Still, it will be interesting to see if Green Bay hands the reins to Jones next year or continues to spell him with Williams. For now, consider Williams more of a handcuff option than a complement heading into 2020.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed six of his eight passes for 77 yards in a 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 19. RB Raheem Mostert rushed 29 times for 220 yards and four touchdowns and caught two passes for six yards, and RB Tevin Coleman rushed six times for 21 yards. WR Deebo Samuel caught two passes for 46 yards and rushed twice for 43 yards, TE George Kittle caught his only target for 19 yards, and WR Emmanuel Sanders was held without a catch on one target. DE Joey Bosa and DL Arik Armstead both recorded a sack.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones carried the ball 12 times for 56 yards and a rushing touchdown along with five catches for 27 yards and a receiving score in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Jones was running well and would have been able to do more damage on the ground if not for the 27-0 deficit at the half. The 24-year-old finished the year tied for the NFL lead in touchdowns with 19, then added four more scores in the playoffs. He (likely) won't score this many times next year, though Jones proved he's more than just a touchdown machine, racking up career-highs in both rushing and receiving yards. He'll be among the best options in 2020 for fantasy backs in all formats.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 31 of 39 passes for 326 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. At first glance, Rodgers' stat line doesn't look so bad, though the first half was a complete struggle for him and the offense. Down 27-0 at the half, the veteran signal-caller effectively used up garbage time to post these numbers. It's a disappointing end to the season for Rodgers, though he still put up his eighth career 4000-yard season as well as his 10th season with at least 25 touchdown passes. The 36-year-old has plenty of juice left in his arm but will probably need another threat on the outside next year besides Davante Adams if Green Bay wants to make noise.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers completed 31 of his 39 passes for 326 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and lost one of his three fumbles in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 19. RB Aaron Jones rushed 12 times for 56 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 27 yards and a score. WR Davante Adams caught nine of his 10 targets for 138 yards, TE Jimmy Graham hauled in four of his five targets for 59 yards, WR Allen Lazard added three catches for 36 yards, and TE Jace Sternberger caught two passes for 13 yards and a touchdown. LB Blake Martinez led the team with nine tackles, including six solo stops.
Green Bay Packers CB Jaire Alexander (thumb) has been ruled out for the remainder of the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 19.
Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) has been downgraded to out after leaving in the first half of the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers due to what is being called a shoulder injury.
Green Bay Packers S Adrian Amos (pectoral) suffered a pectoral injury in the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 19 and he will not return.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson was not targeted often, but made it count when he was called upon. Robinson hauled in both of his targets for 31 yards during their victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. His first reception was a 24-yard catch that helped the Chiefs move upfield for their second quarter comeback. However, Robinson is normally an afterthought with Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce on the roster. He could have some cheap DFS value for Super Bowl 54.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman was unable to make much of an impact during the AFC Championship game on Sunday. Hardman finished with one reception for eight yards. His reception was technically a jet sweep play that was a handoff on the second drive of the game. However, he drew a big defensive pass interference call that helped the Chiefs get into scoring position. Hardman is a fantastic special teams player, but won't bring much value to DFS contests for Super Bowl 54.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was able to find the end zone twice during Sunday's AFC Championship game. Hill caught five of his seven targets for 67 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over the Tennessee Titans. His first score was a 10-yard jet sweep handoff that counted as a reception, but regardless it was a nice way for Hill to show off his ridiculous speed. The performance of Hill in Super Bowl 54 could help make or break plenty of DFS players.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was surprisingly held in check by the Tennessee Titans during Sunday's AFC Championship contest. He caught three of his four targets for 30 yards in the win over the Titans. Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins were the players making the splash plays in this game. DFS players shouldn't be worried as Kelce should see plenty of opportunities during Super Bowl 54.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams was able to find the end zone three times last week in the Divisional Round battle with the Houston Texans. Williams continued his strong play against the Tennessee Titans in Sunday's AFC Championship game. Williams rushed 17 times for 45 yards and a touchdown. He also caught five passes for 44 yards through the air. Veteran back LeSean McCoy (illness) didn't play and rookie Darwin Thompson saw just one carry in this game. It's clear that the Chiefs trust Williams to be their lead back going forward. Look for him to make a significant impact in Super Bowl 54.