Review ~ there’s not much else other than that, outcoached and out-executed. It’s been documented that Mike Pettine’s defensive scheme (from the Rex Ryan philosophy) is to limit big plays, which typically come from the passing game. In order to do that, a defense needs to have a good secondary and a legitimate pass rush. The Packers possess both, however the trade-off is giving up yards on the ground.
The idea behind it, is Pettine is betting the opponent won’t commit to the run for the entire game, thus needing to stack four to five 10-play + drives to score over 20 points. Credit Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz for sticking to the plan AND executing it about as well as possible…and even then, the Packers had the ball with a chance to tie AFTER Rodgers was strip-sacked essentially giving all momentum to Philadelphia. How’s that for an optimistic point of view?
Through the ¼ mark of the season, the Packers rank, defensively, 10th in yards and 7th in points given up. That is a solid trend, and 57% of their yards given up are through the air, meaning the opponents have been playing into Pettine’s plan of trying to beat Green Bay with the pass. This is where sacks and interceptions occur, makes sense. The one opponent that kept to the ground and actually had more rush yards than pass yards was Philadelphia…
Preview ~ now enter the Dallas Cowboys, possibly the best team in the NFC, well at least that’s what most think. To use the NCAA football term- strength of schedule– I believe the Cowboys rank dead last. The only opponent they’ve faced of any quality held their “high-powered” offense to 10 points on 257 yards while committing 3 turnovers. The Packers may be able to emulate what the Saints’ defense did to Dallas, however that will commit to stopping the ground game, which is Dallas’ strength. New Orleans was also able to execute this due to having 36 minutes of possession, thus keeping the ball away from Zeke. The Cowboys rushed 20 times for 45 yards- they cannot win with a 2.3 yard average. Should the Packers hold Dallas under 4 yards/carry, it should result in victory.
|Yards (rank)||Points (rank)||Yards (rank)||Points (rank)|
|Packers||337.8 (20)||21.2 (17)||330.2 (10)||17.2 (7)|
|Cowboys||425.2 (3)||26.8 (8)||318.5 (7)||14.0 (3)|
As you can see Dallas is one of the elite teams in the NFL, based on rankings alone. However, they’ve faced the Giants (terrible until they started Daniel Jones), Redskins, and Dolphins prior to finally seeing legitimate competition in New Orleans—and even then, they faced backup QB Teddy Bridgewater and LOST. So there’s hope that Dallas isn’t as formidable an opponent as initially thought.
With that, their OL is still incredible and they do love to run the ball because in a big game Dak has yet to win them a game (sure, they beat Seattle in the playoffs last year, but let’s not get started on Russell Wilson and how overrated he is). I can see victory, but don’t think it will happen. GO PACK GO!!!