The Packers came out with another strong defensive performance against a struggling frustrated Giants offense. While the run defense was again nothing short of great, the pass defense benefited from multiple ugly throws by Eli Manning. There were 2 in particular Manning missed which likely would’ve resulted in 10-14 point swings. However, give credit to the defense for getting consistent pressure on Manning and forcing some bad throws while keeping him uncomfortable all night.
Now…if you’ve listened to any of the local sports radio, or even some national radio outlets the Packers’ offense has struggled all season – outside of the 1st half v Detroit. Green Bay also has failed to score a touchdown in the 2nd half of any game this season, which should be more than alarming. This has been going on since the NFC title game at Seattle in January 2015. The greatest drive I can remember in the past few season occurred to open the game this past week against New York – 16 play, 75 yard, 8 minute 42 second drive that ended in a touchdown. The Packers were NOT in a no-huddle, went under center often (I didn’t count this time, sorry) and used play action…hell, it resembled a true west coast offense. Eddie Lacy displayed his great vision, yet again, rushing 11 times for 81 yards (7.4 yds/carry). Now just imagine if he weighed 30lbs less like he did at the NFL combine…something incredible, ehh? Jordy Nelson had a couple of nice catches but were outnumbered by the horrific, and almost catastrophic, drops.
Let’s take a look at the next opponent, the Dallas Cowboys. They come in boasting the #1 rush offense which is the best test Green Bay’s #1 rush defense could ask for. Expect Dallas to pound the ball with #21 (Ezekiel Elliott), the former Ohio St. star has rushed for >130 yards in each of his last 3 games. Dallas has a nice backup in Alfred Morris (formerly with the Redskins) who has 30 carries for 128 yards and 2 TDs. The Cowboys are considered to have the best offensive line in the NFL as well, which is a major reason why rookie quarterback Dak Prescott (#4) is having such an incredible start to his career.
The match-ups: Dallas has the #2 overall offense (1 rush/21 pass) going against Green Bay’s 9th rated defense (1 rush/24 pass). If the Packers can keep Dallas under 100 yards rushing that should be the key indicator to how this game will shake out. Green Bay’s secondary has given up some big plays but the pass rush should create enough havoc – barring they stop the run to not become susceptible to play action – to limit Dallas’ passing attack. While being different teams, last year’s rain-soaked matchup (if memory serves me right) the Packers struggled to contain the rush giving up 171 yards on 20 carries. The Packers benefited from Dallas trotting out Matt Cassel at quarterback…Dak has already proven he’s effective enough to take Romo’s job.
It’s a tough matchup, and with how #12’s awful play the last 22 games, I wouldn’t be shocked should Green Bay lose this game (or any game for that matter), but I don’t think Dallas has enough on defense to shut down Lacy or get enough pressure on Rodgers to keep Green Bay under 24 points.
*After the victory, the record now stands at 12-10. *