Packers XLV

Irresistible Force: Meet Immovable Object

Posted October 14th, 2016 @ 08:10pm

Through the NFL's first five weeks, there have been some surprising starts--predominantly in the NFC. The Vikings, Falcons and Cowboys have all emerged as early conference powers. And the Pack will have faced all three before Halloween.

The second of the three, the Cowboys, come to Lambeau this Sunday, fresh off four straight wins, led by precocious rookies Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott.

The soap opera in Dallas will reach a crescendo during their bye week after this game. And the direction the plot takes will hinge, in large part, on Prescott's performance against the Pack. A win and the Romo bobos will be hard pressed to lobby for the return of their man. It would be difficult to justify pulling the rookie after a 5-1 start, but Jerry Jones loves him some Romo. A loss, and a mediocre showing, will make it easier for Jones to justify putting Romo back on the field after the bye.

Prescott's start has been remarkable under the tutelage of Scott Linehan. His next interception will be the first of his career--that's unbelievable through five games. You always hear folks marvel at his poise and he'll be tested by the noise at Lambeau. His other two road tests came in Washington and San Francisco. This is his first big game on a national stage. It will be interesting to see how he handles it.

The Pack will likely once again without both Sam Shields and Damarius Randall. The trio of Rollins, Gunter and Hyde held up well against the Giants and will be facing a team much more interested in running the ball this week. Most reports I've read out of Dallas say Dez Bryant will likely miss this game and then use the bye week to get ready for the Eagles.

Which brings us to Elliott, the former Buckeye and fourth overall pick. He's lived up to the hype and more and will have a chance to make a statement against the top ranked Packer run defense. That's where the irresistible force/immovable object part comes in. Some have downplayed the stats, mentioning the ordinary running backs the Packers have faced in Jacksonville, Detroit and New York--though they did completely stuff Adrian Peterson as well.

But there's no doubt that this week presents the ultimate challenge against Elliott and the league's top offensive line. While not playing one play in their base 3-4 defense last week against the three-wide Giants, the Pack will probably use it more than half the time on Sunday. It's a great week to get Mike Pennel back, to fortify the line play. We'll have a real good idea of what this defense really is after this matchup against the league's #2 offense.

There are plenty of question marks on the other side of the ball. Who will carry the ball for the Pack? Both Eddie Lacy and James Starks are listed as questionable. It sounds like Lacy will be good to go, despite the ankle injury. He does have a track record of playing well when going into a game with a lingering injury. It sounds like they'll need him, since Starks had a knee injury flare up on Tuesday and has been away from the team all week, dealing with a death in his family. You can run on the Cowboys--if Lacy is close to 100%, I'll feel a lot more confident about the Pack's chances.

There also continues to be questions about the Packers' passing attack, which has been under the microscope all week. We all saw the epic amount of time Aaron Rodgers had in the passing game last week, but he still had a hard time finding open receivers (against a marginal secondary) and was inaccurate when he found them. He should be afforded time again--Dallas is an average pass rushing team. their best rusher, DeMarcus Lawrence returned last week in a limited role; he should get his normal reps this week and could be a factor.

The Cowboys are much improved on the back end, led by former bust Morris Claiborne, who's become a very good corner. He'll likely match up with Jordy Nelson, who is coming off a lousy game with multiple drops. Randall Cobb was a full participant in practice on Friday and is not listed on the injury report--following that big hit to his neck on his final catch which sewed up the win. Looking forward to seeing how he builds on that breakout performance.

Special teams needs to improve for the Pack this week as well. Jacob Schum is a couple of bad games away from looking for work. With a mini-bye week coming up after the Bears game Thursday night, the Pack could bring in a couple of guys to take his job away. It would be nice to see him perform better because the Pack will have four of their next five on the road--two in prime time, and a shaky punter is the last thing we need.

The kickoff coverage unit was subpar last week, as was the punt return unit. I'll be watching both closely to see if they improve. A by-product of having the league's third youngest team is that many inexperienced players are asked to play special teams. We're noticing some growing pains. If Demetri Goodson is activated, that should go a long way in settling down those units.

So despite a lot of question marks, I've gotta come up with a prediction. I'm going to the game on Sunday and my recent track record is not good. I saw the Pack lose both times I was at Lambeau last year (Bears and Vikings). The Pack has won five straight over the Boys and in the last three home games in the regular season, they've outscored them 90-21. Rodgers is 4-1 against them, with nine touchdowns and no picks.

I think his record goes to 5-1, but it's the defense that wins it--with a late pick that seals the deal.

Packers 23  Cowboys 17

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Comments (10):

Lambeau loud? LMAO. Where do come up with this crap? You'll lose unless you're gifted another game from the refs like the other 3 wins this year.

on October 15th, 2016 at 02:55pm

When I read the title I thought this post was going to be about Lacy's hunger for donuts vs his fat asses inability to get off the couch

on October 15th, 2016 at 07:06pm

Must say this is a scary game for me. Dallas is coming in flying high and were stumbling in with a QB who at this point no one would argue looks like a shell of his former greatness. This game will also show if our run defense is a trend or mirage as this will be a team that will run it no matter what and also has something the packers defense has struggled with a mobile QB that can and will run. Unless we jump out to an early lead I have a bad feeling this game goes the way of the Cowboys. This is bad for us as the Vikings are not slowing down and actually seem to be getting better on offense with an already scary defense. We loose and I'm not sure how we contend for the division as then we face the Falcons who unless we have Sheilds back is not looking very good at this point. Sadly my prediction is Cowboys 28 - Pack 17

on October 15th, 2016 at 10:31am

It's fortunate this game is at home for the Packers, where they own an 11-4 all-time record against Dallas. The depleted runningback stable is Green Bay's biggest problem heading into this one. Hopefully Eddie Lacy's ankle can hold up for a complete game. We'll likely see rookie Don Jackson activated from the practice squad. He was a thousand yard runner in college at Nevada and timed at 4.47 in the 40 yd. dash at his pro workout day. He wasn't invited to the Combine but his time would have made him 5th fastest among those who did perform at Indianapolis. At 5-10, 208 he's got decent size to go with his speed. Maybe the Packers have another DuJuan Harris or Samkon Gado here who can help win some games and make an impression, at least for awhile.

on October 16th, 2016 at 06:02am

Whiny ass Packer fans booing their team all day. It's the first home loss of the year! What a pathetic and soft skinned group of fans.

on October 16th, 2016 at 06:09pm

The egg Rodgers is laying on Lambeau field is so big it's visible from Minneapolis with the naked eye. #Givethemanacheesestick

on October 16th, 2016 at 06:23pm

I am sure I have the same sentiment as many Packer fans and Voice. What the heck was that? I am shocked at how calm and confident Prescott was against the Packers Defense. Although you did turn him over for the first time. And Rodgers continuing to put the ball on the carpet. My worst fear was that Dallas actually have a really good back in EE. I don't think the rest of the league learned much about Defending Dallas from that performance. Admittedly so I am a bit puzzled!

on October 16th, 2016 at 07:41pm

Very Weak Force: Meets Easy to Move Object ......... this is Sinykin's new Blog title for the upcoming Pack vs. Bears game on Thursday night !

on October 16th, 2016 at 08:45pm

Let's face it...this GB run is over..no longer the beat team in the division and a bubble playoff team. Rodgers on back side of career and Nelson is a shell of the old Jordyn. Secondary is pathetic and too many holes all around. Lacy is useless..time to rebuild

on October 16th, 2016 at 09:54pm

I am sure I have the same sentiment as many Packer fans and Voice. What the heck was that? I am shocked at how calm and confident Prescott was against the Packers Defense. Although you did turn him over for the first time. And Rodgers continuing to put the ball on the carpet. My worst fear was that Dallas actually have a really good back in EE. I don't think the rest of the league learned much about Defending Dallas from that performance. Admittedly so I am a bit puzzled!

on October 17th, 2016 at 10:41am

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