Packers XLV

Jerry Built it, But Aaron Owns It.

Posted October 5th, 2019 @ 08:10pm

After three luxurious weeks playing at home, the Packers hit the road for one of the toughest games on the 2019 schedule, but there's reason for hope that the team is catching the Cowboys at a good time.

On paper, it looks like the Pack is up against it. No Davante Adams. No Jamaal Williams. No Tony Brown. Kevin King's status is up in the air, though he was upgraded on Saturday from doubtful to questionable, providing hope that the groin injury has healed enough that he can get on the field--likely to cover the speedy Michael Gallup, who returns after missing the last two with a knee injury.

But the Cowboys are missing maybe their most important player, besides Dak: left tackle Tyron Smith is out with an ankle injury and that is a huge loss. As composed, confident and competent Dak is, he's been a different player without Smith. In four games, the Cowboys have failed to score more than 12 points and Dak's passer rating is 29th in the league. So there is opportunity for the Pack's defense--but of course it all starts with containing Zeke.

Mike Pettine's unit has been hearing for ten days that they can't stop the run. Over the last three weeks, Dalvin Cook, and the Broncos' and Eagles' two-headed attacks have feasted on the Pack's rush defense, so you know it's been a major point of emphasis in the classroom and the practice field. The unit is healthier: Za'Darius Smith is healed from the knee injury that bothered him in the last game and there's a good chance DT Montravius Adams returns after missing the last two. Kenny Clark had a rare off game against Philly's talented offensive line. He'll be ready to atone against Travis Frederick, who has played nothing like he did a couple of years ago. Right tackle La'el Collins returned to practice Friday and appears poised to keep his starting streak intact, but he's not 100 percent. So there's reason to believe the Pack's front seven can turn the tide in this matchup.

With Smith out, offensive coordinator Kellen Collins knows the pass rush will be coming; he also knows that he has the perfect weapon in Elliott, who was held to just 35 yards rushing in New Orleans last week. The Pack's defense must contain him on first down, to put Dallas into situations where Dak needs to throw. Getting favorable down and distance on second and third down will keep them from attacking with play action, where Prescott is lethal.

If King can't go, Tramon Williams will be called on to stay with Gallup, who was the Cowboys' top receiver in the first two games. You have to think Jaire Alexander will be tasked with hanging with Amari Cooper all afternoon. You also have to think Dallas will look to get the ball in Randall Cobb's hands. If Williams is on the outside, Josh Jackson will likely get the call to handle Cobb in the slot. That's a matchup to watch. Zeke will likely get his 100 yards. The key will be to make him work for it, stay away from big plays and to get off the field on third downs.

So what do we expect the Pack's offense to look like without Adams? Does one guy step up or will it take everyone to step up their game? We know this: Aaron Rodgers loves to play in the house that Jerry built. He won his Super Bowl MVP there. He delivered the miraculous pass to Jared Cook to win a playoff game there and he led the furious comeback win in 2017, a week before Anthony Barr ended his season. Rodger's is 7-1 against the Cowboys and he will need another one of those performances to get the Pack to 4-1.

It will make things a lot easier on Rodgers if the Packers can run the football. The last time they played there, in that 2017 win, Aaron Jones went toe to toe with Elliott and finished with 125 yards in his coming out party. The Pack's running game has yet to get untracked, and this would be the ideal time to do it, on a day when their best play maker is in street clothes.

Marquez Valdez-Scantling will step into Adams' role, but I don't expect him to get double digit targets. I see Rodgers spreading it around, with Jake Kumerow, whose shoulder has healed, playing the slot receiver spot and getting a chance to introduce himself to America. Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham should both be productive against a defense that is getting high marks nationally, but it's one that has faced Eli Manning, Case Keenum, Josh Rosen and Teddy Bridgewater so far. Yawn.

If the Pack is to spring the upset, they need to fix a lot of the things that bubbled up in the Eagles game: they have to be clean on special teams and not give up big returns and not kickoff out of bounds. They need to be more productive in the red zone and not settle for field goals. And they need to protect the football.

I get the feeling Pettine's defense looks a whole lot better and makes Elliott work for every yard. I think they force Dak into a couple of mistakes as the Pack abuses substitute left tackle Cam Fleming. And I think Jones is productive as a runner and a receiver and Rodgers once again waves his magic wand at AT&T Stadium. Call me crazy:

Pack 23 ย Cowboys 22

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Comments (9):

I'm sure plenty will call you crazy. We need to limit the run and control the ball. This game isn't ripe for the stealing, but it is still possible. I think we lose by more than a touchdown or win by more than one. I don't feel it going down to the wire. I just don't think Dak is R.Wilson"light" or have that much faith in their offense besides Zeke. Still they are at home. Call me torn, yet hopeful.

on October 5th, 2019 at 10:19pm

Queens are beating up on the mighty New York football Giants,Spielwoman should give Cousins another 3 year deal at a 150 million!!!๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

on October 6th, 2019 at 02:09pm

I predict that Zeke 'might' take his foot off the gas after surpassing 300 yds. Let's hope so anyway .

on October 6th, 2019 at 03:34am

The Packers needed to have "all hands on deck" for this one. But no Davante Adams, no Jamaal Williams, no Kevin King and maybe a couple of others as well leaves them short-handed for a top shelf team on the road. Still, the Packers won down there before when they were given no chance. Let Aaron Rodgers be Aaron Rodgers and anything is possible.

on October 6th, 2019 at 06:18am

Greg has a question. On those pass plays where your defender intercepts the ball but grabs the jersey first, then pulls his shoulder pads, and then tries to take his helmet off........just how can we get the Rhodes and Waynes to be allowed to do that stuff. And when your clumsy tight end runs and falls down, and draws the pass interference as usual, well our Kyle Rudolph is perfectly capable of falling down and does, but he never gets the call. And that Alexander, who gave up 250 or whatever it does he hold on every single play and rarely get called? The Dallas coach is in trouble as is his whole staff. Jobs are at stake here and futures are at stake. How the hell do we clean this stuff up when it happens on a weekly basis? Is anyone else actually getting bored with it?

on October 6th, 2019 at 07:11pm

Just Cousins and Zimmers jobs are at stake,Dallas got all the bad calls today I guess,Packers never get any (Roughing the passer in the 4th quarter,really)And we all know the NFL is against the Vikings,Keep Whining!!!

on October 6th, 2019 at 07:51pm

Posting your stupid comments under someone elseโ€™s name Greg,real mature coward,how are our twins doing,queens will probably beat a cupcake today,but Iโ€™ve had enough,keep whining moron!!! Cousins sucks,Zimmer is an idiot,Balldelli started a scrub,Minnesota sports suck!!!

on October 6th, 2019 at 11:14am

sure seems different on this site when vikes lose. they will all be back next week, bet on it. they win 23 to 10. the Pack, as LDF says is my feeling too. who in the hell knows??? they could win by 10 or lose by 20. You can see THC does not really believe they will win more then he wants them too by that crazy score. if he hits that score, I will call him King Pack from now on. I see it as 12 does have a good record in the Jerry Factory, but he is missing to main guys, 17 and 30. and Williams is very underrated on this site and the national media, he is great at picking up blitzes and is just a good all around player. we wont stop Zeke, he will get 130 yards. and Gallup is back and Dak likes him. I say we lose 24-17, unless were plus 2 on turnovers, only chance we have, GO Packers

on October 6th, 2019 at 11:40am

The Cowboys were who we thought they were. Only just for a quarter.

on October 7th, 2019 at 04:58am

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