Review~ The Packers put together their most complete game in Dallas a week ago. While it seems the defense may have allowed the Cowboys back in the game, late, it certainly was still in control for the entirety. Jason Garrett, and Kellen Moore (Dallas’ OC), played right into Mike Pettine’s plan: we’ll allow the run, but will focus on getting a sack and/or interception when you pass. For some inexplicable reason, the Cowboys put the game in Dak’s hands and showed America what walking into a (well-known) mouse trap looks like. This was more of a Look at how Dumb Dallas Is than Wow, the Packers Really Bounced Back Nicely game. Now, what the Packers do get credit for is sticking to the run and executing an offensive gameplan of their own that shredded the Dallas defense. That credit goes to LaFleur and Rodgers for establishing, sticking to, and executing it.
The troubling side of the game was the huge plays Dallas was able to get when the Packers were in a “Don’t give up huge plays” defense. It’s unclear and tough to tell that was due to the injuries, but I’ll go with that since taking off Za’Darius Smith and Darnell Savage, Jr. will cause a drop off in production, AND Dallas was in 100% pass mode.
Preview~ Enter the Detroit Lions, sitting alone in 2nd place of the division at 2-1-1. This is about as big a game as it could be. The Lions rank 18th in defensive points (23.8/game) and aren’t that dynamic on offense: averaging 24.2 points/game; scoring 30 in a home loss to Kansas City. They have been consistent scoring 27, 13, 27, and 30 in their first 4, but after having a decent sample size to see their opponents, that may be misleading. The best opponent they’ve played (and beaten) seems to be Philadelphia, and even the Eagles have been a Jekyll and Hyde-type team so far.
Look for Detroit to feed running back Kerryon Johnson and work to get some big plays to WR Kenny Golladay. QB Matthew Stafford has thrown 2 INTs and lost 2 of his 3 fumbles, so there’s an opportunity to get 1-2 from him tonight. Again, it’s not that hard to watch for, but winning the turnover battle will likely be the determining factor in this game. 2nd is time of possession- which was lost in last week’s dominant performance—Green Bay held the ball for over 36 minutes. When that happens, it usually means you’re playing Keep Away, and your defense is resting. All good things. I see more of the same tonight.