Packers XLV

Behold the Recipe For An Upset.

Posted January 13th, 2017 @ 02:01pm

As the number one seed in the NFC, the Cowboys are favored to cool off the red hot Packers and advance to the NFC title game next weekend. The 'Boys have a lot of things working in their favor: they're healthy, rested and have been the best team in football all season, this side of Boston.

Meanwhile, the Pack enters the game without their top wide receiver and with four defensive starters listed on the injury report.

But there is a recipe for a Packers upset. If they can get all of the ingredients together and follow instructions they could come out of this game with a ticket to the NFC Championship.

1. Start fast. If the Packers come out like they did last Sunday, they're finished. 29 yards after their first 2o plays? That won't cut it against the Cowboys. Let's face it: Dallas is going to score points. If the Pack can jump out to a lead, it will put pressure on their rookie quarterback--more on Dak in a bit.

2. Hang on to the football. In the first matchup in October, the Packers turned the ball over four times, three via fumbles. That's a Lambeau rarity and has fluke written all over it. The Pack finished the season at +8, while the Cowboys were at +5. In fact, Green Bay only punted once in the first meeting--they were too busy handing the ball over to the Cowboys. During this seven game winning streak, the Pack has been outstanding at hanging on to the football. That trend must continue.

3. Slow Zeke. OK, this is one of those hard ingredients to find, where you have to go to that specialty store and search high and low. Elliot has had a historic rookie season, and the Packers did a poor job containing him the first time around. He is the focal point of the offense, making things exponentially easier for Prescott and the Pack must do all it can to avoid giving up big plays in the running game. Over 60 minutes, Zeke will get his yards but the defense must do its job by wrapping him up and not missing tackles. You have to think Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan are different players than they were in October and the rest of the unit understands they can't let him loose in the open field.

4. Receivers need to win their matchups. Losing Nelson will hurt in this game, because the secret to the turnaround for Dallas' defense has been its secondary, which is the league's top rated unit according to Pro Football Focus (incidentally, the Giants are ranked #2, which should provide some hope). In the October meeting, the Cowboys won this matchup--the receivers were having a hard time getting open and Rodgers couldn't make anything happen. There's no one stud on this defense--no one made the Pro Bowl. Safety Barry Church has been the most consistent. There is also no weak spot, so it's going to need to be a group effort. Obviously, the Pack's passing game is red hot: Adams, Cobb, Allison and Cook will all be counted on to keep things rolling against a defense that bends, but does not break--which brings us to:

5. Red Zone must mean end zone. The Cowboys give up a lot of yards, but stiffen in the red zone. Rodgers needs to continue his electrifying play and get the team in the end zone whenever the team is knocking on the door. If they fumble on the one yard line like they did in October, this one won't be close.

6. Packers D needs to force Prescott into mistakes. One of the headline storylines leading into this game is Rodgers vs. a rookie quarterback. Now Dak has looked nothing like a rookie since he took the field this season, but the playoffs are a different story. He'll have butterflies and if he starts off shaky, there could be murmurs for Romo emanating from the stands. We know the 'Boys' offensive line is the best in football, but somehow, some way, Dom Capers needs to get pressure in his face and force him into quick decisions.

7. Don't let Dak's legs beat you. Making things even more difficult for the defense is the fact that Elliot isn't the only dangerous ball carrier. Dak will take off if he sees open field, so someone will need to be assigned to keep that from happening. Dallas has offensive weapons all over the field. They need to make Dak try to find open receivers and not let him extend drives by running it himself.

8. Win on special teams. A key element in last week's win over the Giants was the play of special teams. Jason Schum's punting, that unit's coverage, led by Jeff Janis and the Pack's returners all need to come up big in this one.

9. Balance on offense. If the Packers are to pull this one out, it will be by riding the arm of Rodgers. But they need a semblance of a running game and we'll hope that Ty Montgomery is fully healthy. We know he's amped to return to his hometown and put on a show. Christine Michael injected some much needed life into the run game last week when he took the field in the third quarter. They need to be a solid 1-2 punch, to keep the Cowboys' defense honest.

10. Rodgers. All of the above elements are needed for this recipe to come out right, but Aaron Rodgers trumps all. There are some eerie elements to this season that remind us of 2010: dealing with major injuries throughout the season, earning a playoff spot on the final day of the season, beating and NFC East team in the wildcard round and then going on to face the top seed on the road. We all remember what happened next. Rodgers put on maybe the best performance of his remarkable career, shedding the Falcons. He is always capable of a game like that and his performance over the past eight weeks leads us to believe he can do it again.

Dallas has the stats. Green Bay has the star. And if the stars align just right, and the ingredients above are all in place, the Packers could turn the Cowboys' magical season into a one and done in the playoffs. It took me a while, but I'm a believer.

Packers 31  Cowboys 30

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Comments (9):

Well I can see by your Prediction that we all feel this is going to be a tough test. We've had some bad news out of Green Bay with DUIs and Nelson being out. Hopefully these distraction, don't get in the way. I don't expect they will. I expect the best team to win on Sunday, and hope that team is the Green Bay Packers. I don't have nearly as much hatred for this Cowboys team (hard to explain) as past one. We gotta hold Zek to 130 and no scores, score touchdowns and get a turn over. Go Pack!

on January 13th, 2017 at 11:05am

C is for Cowboys; C is for crap They're pretty much the same; it don't matter dis or dat We'll kick der butts in Green Bay, den throw them out of town It's the one sure way we know to keep the crime rate down We don't like Dallas, or playing in big D But now they come by our house, and it's different here you see We'll expose them all as losers, though they think they're the best And the Packers will make sure that they flunk their final test Ya, they're the best at holding, late hits and whining too They're the best at crack-back blocks, and there's nottin' you can do They're the best at sucking up to refs, intimidating some But that won't work no more, 'cause now our time has come They lead the league in trash talk, and end zone dancing too They lead the league in drug abuse, and in bad attitude They lead the league in jewelry worn, they lead the league in crime In fact they lead the NFL in total rehab time Their owner and their coach, they're men made out of crap Nobody likes either one; I can assure you that They laugh and call us Cheeseheads; on that we all agree But you'll never get suspended when you eat a block of cheese C is for Cowboys; C is for crime Just another day in Dallas; it happens all the time We'll kick your butts at Lambeau, den ship you off to jail Not a football fan anywhere will ever pay your bail C is for Cowboys; C is for crap They're pretty much the same; it don't matter dis or dat We'll kick der butts in Green Bay, den throw them out of town It's the one sure way we know to keep the crime rate down C is for Cowboys; C is for crime Just another day in Dallas; it happens all the time We'll kick your butts at Lambeau, den ship you off to jail Not a football fan anywhere will ever pay your bail

on January 13th, 2017 at 11:18am

Davy....All a great step by step recipe for sucess against the CBoys. I am going to add what I think will be the key ingredient to a win. It is quite simplify both the O and D lines. If Rodgers is pressured early like against the GMen there will not be time to recover like the Giants gave us. On offense the Killer B's ...Linsley..Taylor et all must hold up to let Rodgers do his magic and running lanes to be open for our M guys to run. This also will lead to ball control and more offensive plays. On "D" the front seven has to control the line of scrimmage. I don"t expect a shutdown o Zeke and Zak but containment and not the big play. Must keep Dez from the big play. So Gunther will need safety help. A very tall order...so MM be at your best in play calling and use of replays and timeouts. GO PACK GO !!

on January 13th, 2017 at 11:30am

da pack are goin down HARD@

on January 14th, 2017 at 06:28pm

This is a game where hope and realism wrestle with each other. History heavily favors the home team in the Divisional round. This round has been a wall against the Packers in recent seasons. Green Bay has been eliminated the last 3 of the last four times they have made it this far since the Super Bowl year of 2010. They are 0-2 in their last two on the road since the resounding upset of top seed Atlanta 6 years ago. Reviewing the detailed box of the October game on profootballreference.com and the video of the game https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29pCbpUbKbo demonstrates pretty much the recipe the Pack will need as outlined by THC. The Packers left at least 11 pts. "on the field" last Oct. at Lambeau by the turnovers and missed touchdown opportunities that were presented then. I think this one will prove worthy of getting the NFL's headline game of the playoff weekend: going down to the wire or into overtime. Aaron Rodgers could sling a miracle td throw in the last seconds to win or once again the Pack could suffer a "last play" elimination, as they have the last 3 years. Realism says the latter but we can hope for the former.

on January 14th, 2017 at 06:52am

I/m just glad to be here again, look at the vikes and other teams that would love to say that. that is what I said 2 months ago when I said were all spoiled. remember our headcheese buried them 2 months ago, I told him he may eat his words.I watched the game in oct. last nite, and I see why they leave my man Gunter on the right side now, he gave up 140 yds and 2 td's and his feet were just not working on that side, he looks completely different on the other side. My MVP, as good as he is, was playing with no Confidence, in that game, he missed 6 throws to guys wide open.. 4 times he doubled clutched or held the ball 3 times b4 throwing it, he was not sure of his wr's or himself. he lost a fumble at 1 yd line going in. threw 2 int's. he had all day to throw again. our o line is very underrated but the media is starting to finally notice now. things will be different today. we will not lose this game on offense. I said last week Capers is amazing , he has to pull something up today to win.maybe 2 down lineman 5 lb's and 4 cb's. we need to be plus 1 in turnovers and get 50% at least on 3rd downs. there will be a lot of long drives on both sides, so won't get as many possessions as normal. Burnett will be key to this game on defense. he has to help with the run, but does Bryant kill us then? The guy no one has mentioned, even THC, is Beasley, he scares the hell out of me, he had 2 td's in that game, and Dak loves him. witten will get his 40 to 50 yds, they always do, Tye had 64 yds. last game. But, hopefully Rollins can play, he will be rusty, and has had is bad games this year,but he is only guy that has the quickness to keep up with him. may have to play zone 1/2 the game to mix it up. Zeke will get his 100 or more yds, just no 40 or 50 yd td runs.I hope they prove me wrong again, but I see it 34-26 Boys,GO Packers.

on January 14th, 2017 at 11:29am

GB13MN0 .... Please, have your Meds adjusted. That said - I hope Green Bay wins today : ) #avikesfan

on January 15th, 2017 at 02:00pm

GB13MN0 You have anger issues and have embarrassed your fan base. good to see one decent post on here by Fudge Packers.

on January 15th, 2017 at 07:23pm

GB13MN0 You have anger issues and have embarrassed your fan base. good to see one decent post on here by Fudge Packers.

on January 15th, 2017 at 07:24pm

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