Review: Packers 31; Cowboys 28 (OT)~ for some reason that game felt bigger than just a regular season game. Maybe because Green Bay really isn’t good and that may be their best performance for the entire season…OR — is it a defining moment that will get fans excited to think this team will actually win the Super Bowl? The answer is, obviously, both.
What’s not surprising is how Green Bay was able to get back into the game and outscore Dallas 14-0 in the 4th quarter, due to having stuck with the run all game. Much of it came from under center, which is the best way to run a balanced attack. Halfbacks Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon combined for 37 rushes totaling 203 yards and a touchdown. When you rush for 200+ yards, your chances of winning is going to be close to 100%, unless you turn the ball over immediately after your defense takes it away for you (see the Bills game).
Speaking of the defense, they began the game with consecutive 3 & outs, setting the tone for the game. While they gave up big plays and 28 points, they did force a turnover on downs in overtime. Plus the huge move of Darnell Savage to slot corner giving Rudy Ford playing time at safety paid off in a manner no one could’ve predicted.
Lastly, for what it’s worth, David Bakhtiari has now amassed enough snaps played to register on the Sacks & Pressures allowed stat line, and he’s given up *knocks on wood* none; all season. Playing into that, did anyone notice if all-world linebacker, Micah Parsons, played at Lambeau? Such an amazing thing what a commitment to running the ball will do, keep it up.
Current Standing~ the Packers currently sit as the 9th seed in the NFC, falling two spots out of the playoff hunt. They’re a game back of Washington (and lost the head to head matchup) and 1.5 games behind San Francisco (5-4) for the 7th seed. While tonight’s game isn’t a “must win,” Green Bay may have, at most, 2 losses left on the season if they’d like to get into the tournament. If that’s the case, those losses would likely have to come against AFC opponents (Titans tonight, Dolphins on Xmas) for tiebreaking scenarios. However, in reality, the Packers may be able to afford 1 or no losses for the remainder of the season, based on how teams ahead of them have been playing this campaign.
|Ten D||(rank)||vs.||GB O||(rank)|
|Ten O||GB D|
Per usual, Green Bay needs to improve their turnovers…in each category. They’re bottom 3rd in taking the ball away, and damn near last at holding onto it, leading to the awful differential, which is unlike Aaron Rodgers-led teams…in the regular season.
The 2 areas to focus your attention will be:
- Green Bay’s rushing attack going up against Tennessee’s great run D. Keep in mind, the Bills had the best run defense in the NFL before Green Bay rushed for 208 yards on only 31 attempts (6.7 yards/attempt). Stick to that pass:run ratio and the Pack should be able to pull this game out.
- How the Packers guard against one of, if not, the most feared rushers in the NFL. The Packers are great against the pass while Tennessee ranks 31st in yards passing/game. It’s no secret what they’ll want to do…keep an eye on soft coverage (corners playing off the receiver- which I don’t like) and how much Green Bay decides to load the box.
To be an optimist, the last time these two teams played, the Packers held Henry in check — 23 carries for 98 yards. Green Bay won going away, by a final of 40-14. That was the coming out party for Door County resident A.J. Dillon, or at least for the fans that weren’t a huge fan of his in college. Should the Packers keep the same recipe, it should be a similar result. Both 1-seeds from last year are quite different this year.
Packers 24 (-3)