Struggling Packers place playoff-like focus on Redskins

By STEPHEN WHYNO

AP Sports Writer

LANDOVER, Md. — Losers of two in a row, the Green Bay Packers had no trouble sharpening their focus on the Washington Redskins when they met in the playoffs in January.

It’s their intent to do that again to pull out of this tailspin before it’s too late.

The Packers (4-5) return to the scene of their NFC wild-card win tonight hoping that facing the Redskins (5-3-1) can turn their fortunes around after a three-game skid.

“This game is important because it’s the game this week, so that’s what we’re focused on: beating the Redskins,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said.

“We clearly understand where we are in our season and understand how we’ve played the last couple games, so it’s about improving each and every week.”

Another loss would make the Packers’ path to an eighth consecutive playoff appearance more difficult. But the margin of error is also small for the Redskins, who could fall to last place in the NFC East with a loss and a win by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Injuries haven’t helped, but the mere presence of two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers makes them formidable.

“The fact that the Packers have lost a couple of games here really is irrelevant when you have him as the quarterback and some of the other great players that they have on defense,” Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins said.

In the span of a few days, Christine Michael went from being the leading rusher for Seattle, to Seahawks outcast, to potential backfield savior for the Packers.