Rarely in recent memory has a team played two consecutive games against the same opponent. It has happened to the Green Bay Packers twice in the past 13 seasons, but both were the result of a Wild Card playoff matchup following a Week 17 season finale.
In 2009, the last season before the NFL switched to having exclusively intra-division games in the final week of the season, the Packers visited the Arizona Cardinals to finish out the regular season. Green Bay won that game 33-7 with Arizona resting many key players, and the two teams met in the Wild Card round the next week, where the Cardinals won an absurd 51-45 game. Three years later, the 2012 Minnesota Vikings hosted the Packers in week 17. By virtue of the Vikings’ upset win, the Packers were denied a playoff bye and instead had to host Minnesota in the Wild Card round, though the Packers won that game comfortably 24-10.
This year is different for the Washington Commanders, however. Instead of going back-to-back with a divisional opponent to close the season and start the playoffs, the Commanders have their two regular-season games against the New York Giants sandwiching around their bye week.
Two weeks ago, the two rivals tied 20-20, a result that was frustrating for teams chasing them in the playoff race and hoping that one of the two teams would start losing regularly over the season’s final stretch. After a week of rest for Washington and a Giants loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the two teams meet again to decide which franchise will take a one-game lead and hold a head-to-head tiebreaker for a playoff spot, effectively giving the winner a two-game lead with three weeks to go.
Which of these teams will come out victorious on Sunday night? Vegas sees Washington as the better bet, with DraftKings Sportsbook favoring the Commanders by 4.5 points. APC agrees, largely expecting a Washington win which would mean that the Packers need to pull for more losses by the Giants in the final three weeks of the season.
Check out our picks for that game, the Packers’ Monday night matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, and all the others across the NFL’s Week 15 schedule below!