2019 Week 5 - That's What Cheese Said

The Packers offense put up big numbers against the Cowboys and the defense got back into positive turnover differential. It was a big win in Dallas this past Sunday that wasn't lost on the locker room. 

The Packers find themselves sitting comfortably atop the NFC North at 4-1 with a win over the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday. There was a lot to like as the offense had its first 30-plus point showing of the season, beating the Cowboys 34-24. Additionally, after a minus-two turnover differential against the Eagles, the Packers were able to leave Texas plus-three in that same category. The Packers now have a turnover differential of plus-seven on the season. 

Without a single doubt, the performance of the game belonged to running back Aaron Jones, who going into the game was expected to shoulder a larger load with backfield partner Jamaal Williams sidelined this week in the concussion protocol. Jones had 182 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. 

“We did a better job running the football,” acknowledged Head Coach Matt LaFleur after the game. 

That said, he wasn’t completely satisfied with his team’s red zone performance.

“I’d still like to have the one back when we had first-and-goal at the one-yard line and all we came away with was three points. We’ve gotta do a better job in that situation.”

Jones had 107 rushing yards on 19 carries, good for a 5.6 yard average. He also out-rushed Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott by 45 yards. 

Perhaps what made the night the most special for the Texas native was the fact that he put on his record-breaking performance in front of so many friends and family members.

“I’ll never forget this day,” he said. 

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers knew he wasn’t impressing anyone with his own game statistics, but at this stage of his career, a 22-of-34, 238-yard performance for a 85.2 rating and no touchdowns doesn’t phase him. 

“Days like today, it’s not the greatest statistical game for myself, but I feel like I played my best game of the season,” he said. “The way that I was moving and seeing things.

“I’ve accomplished a lot statistically in this league. I just want to win now.”

While the offense hummed along and put up a season-high 34 points without star receiver Davante Adams, the defense also got back on track with a three-turnover performance against the Cowboys. 

“That was the difference today,” LaFleur said of the turnovers. “When you’re plus-three in the turnover margin, pretty good chance you’re going to come out victorious.”

Preston and Za’Darius Smith, who continue to give locker room interviews together, agreed that the defense had to bounce back after its performance against Philadelphia. 

“We just knew coming into this week after our performance against Philly, that was unacceptable and that wasn’t who this defense was,” said Preston. “That wasn’t the true identity of this defense.”

At one point this past week, Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis questioned the leadership on the Packers defense, specifically in the front seven where both Smiths happen to play. Don’t think Za’Darius and Preston didn’t notice. In fact, Za’Darius went as far as to perform Lewis’ trademark dance after his first sack of the game. 

While Preston and Za’Darius refused to acknowledge Lewis by name in the locker room, they did explain how the defense was able to use those comments as fuel going into the matchup against the Cowboys.

“We actually printed out some papers and put them in the defensive room, so to have that motivation, it all worked out for us,” said Za’Darius. “And we’re 4-1.”

When asked what this Packers team is capable of when the offense and defense are both doing their part, the Smiths answered almost in unison, “Greatness.”

Cornerback Chandon Sullivan was one of the players who came up big for the Packers defense with an interception, his first regular season pick in his career. (Kevin King and Jaire Alexander had the other two picks of the game.)

Even when the Cowboys started putting up points in the second half, Sullivan considered it all part of the process.

“They get paid too,” he said. “They’re gonna make plays. We’re gonna make plays. But at the end of the day, we’ve gotta make a few more than them. Our hat’s off to the offense. They were able to get a big lead and we just held them off at the end.” 

The Packers have had their work cut out for them through the first five games of the season, playing three 2018 playoff teams (Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys) in those first five weeks. Being 4-1 through that stretch isn’t lost on Rodgers. 

“To be 4-1, be first in the division feels pretty good right now,” he said. “I like the vibe on the team. I think we’re having a lot of fun.

The Packers are back at Lambeau Field this week staying home for a Monday night game against the Detroit Lions (2-1-1). After their third NFC North matchup, they play three straight AFC West opponents (vs Oakland Raiders, at Kansas City Chiefs, at Los Angeles Chargers). 

“We’re 4-1 now so we’re going to enjoy this win and prepare for Monday Night Football,” said Za’Darius.

 

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and a podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (24)

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Sureshot's picture

October 08, 2019 at 03:33 pm

I just want to win now

I love this line!

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Lphill's picture

October 08, 2019 at 03:45 pm

Get him Larry Fitzgerald for the slot.

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dblbogey's picture

October 08, 2019 at 05:24 pm

Just please at least try Shepard as the slot receiver.

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fastmoving's picture

October 09, 2019 at 05:44 am

LF cant help him…...

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Razer's picture

October 08, 2019 at 03:59 pm

Hey - a win is a win and it is good to be at 4-1. We did a lot of things well in Dallas and it is something to keep building on. Like, we ran the ball effectively and controlled the LOS on both sides of the ball. BUT, I will temper my excitement and expectations. Dallas is a good football team - nothing more. They are not that good on defense and it shows against the better QB. They put their eggs in the defend against Aaron Rodgers and left the door open for the run - which we finally took full advantage of.

And yes we got after Dak and made him work under pressure, which almost translated into a 4th quarter rally. We did this to an O-line that effectively played without their two starting tackles. So yes, we are good against average but playing with the better teams in this league is yet to be. Lucky, we are a work-in-progress and have room to get better, because, we are going to need it.

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Samson's picture

October 08, 2019 at 09:19 pm

So who are the better teams you talk of?
Da Bears, the Vikes or maybe even the Cowboys...
The Pack won't play the Saints until the playoffs... they won't play the Chiefs or the Pats until the SB... I'm not sure (at this point) that the Rams, Chargers or 49ers are top teams.

The Pack are 4-1... Why not get excited now?

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Minniman's picture

October 09, 2019 at 03:12 am

I do agree with you Samson re the 2019 Packers play and trend line.

That said they play the Chiefs in 2 weeks Samson so I that will be a definite litmus test.

They also play the 49ers (who play the Rams this week, which should be an indicator if they are as good as their current record indicates).

To date the NFC North as a group are 12W-6L-1T - and everyone has a positive win\loss......... no apparent easy-beats there just yet.

On present form they certainly have strong competition and wins against this crop would certainly validate your comment

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croatpackfan's picture

October 09, 2019 at 04:03 am

They play Chiefs right after Detroit and Raiders. It is October match in Kansas City. So, please, check the schedule before place statements...

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Lare's picture

October 08, 2019 at 05:10 pm

Looks like the Josh Jones signing helped the Cowboys out about as much as he helped the Packers when he was here.

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Razer's picture

October 08, 2019 at 07:25 pm

Swing - and - a - miss

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 08, 2019 at 05:45 pm

I feel like the biggest difference between 2018 and 2019 has been the energy. During the end of the MM era you could sense the unease between Rodgers and MM. The whole team seemed to go through the motions and struggle.

In 2019 it really feels like we have a group of guys who play well together and want to be here in GB. They seem like they're having a ton of fun. Lots of group celebrations on TDs and turnovers. Lots of smiling on the field. No mpre tempur tantrums. I really like the culture Gute/MLF/Pettine have established in GB in 2019.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 08, 2019 at 08:24 pm

The coach became a cliche'.

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Johnblood27's picture

October 08, 2019 at 05:46 pm

There is a LOT to improve upon.

LOTS of points left on the field. GTG needs consistency and production.

LOTS of coaching learning, especially about responding appropriately to opponents pressure, in-game management.

LOTS and LOTS of yards given up by the defense.

I love 4-1 and first place in the North. Lets stifle the kitties this week and get off the schneid against them, 4 in a row is ENOUGH!!! This is OUR HOUSE!

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edp1959's picture

October 08, 2019 at 06:48 pm

I just read a great article by Mike Spofford on Packers.com. It was about Aaron Rodgers and Lucas Patrick. I would suggest that everyone read this article especially several on here that take every moment they can on here to bash #12. What I read is great evidence of the leader he is.

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Oppy's picture

October 08, 2019 at 07:34 pm

Mike Spofford is a good enough guy, I enjoy his stuff.

But then again, he's employed by the Packers, and you're never going to get a harsh or critical work on the Packers from him.

Rodgers is great at a lot of things. Leadership has never been his strong suit.
And that's okay.. It's funny how badly some people want to convince everyone otherwise.

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edp1959's picture

October 08, 2019 at 07:42 pm

What is funny is the credibility you think you have. Essentially you are calling Lucas Patrick a liar since he was also part of this article. I definitely take his word over yours since he works with Rodgers every day and you have not spent a minute with him.

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Oppy's picture

October 08, 2019 at 07:45 pm

What's funny is that you don't know the difference between an impartial, credible sports writer and a guy who is literally employed as part of the Packers Public Relations division.

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Oppy's picture

October 08, 2019 at 08:01 pm

It's nice that Lucas Patrick said Rodgers goes out his way for 99% of the "little guys" on the roster. However, there's been dozens of accounts from players over the last decade that say Rodgers isn't really a leader, he just does his thing and "leads by his work ethic", which means, he doesn't really take an active leadership role. It's been said over and over. Rodgers has even said it himself on more than one occasion that he's not a vocal leader, he just leads by example.

It's nice that he encouraged his team mate. Maybe he's starting to learn. But great leader? Do you watch this guy on Sundays?

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 08, 2019 at 08:26 pm

You're definitely trippin' dude. Go back to your purple website.

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Oppy's picture

October 09, 2019 at 10:31 pm

I'll tell you what, please ask Jersey Al if he thinks I'm a vikings troll or not. I've been around for a good clip.

I've lost my love for Rodgers, that's all.

I was a very strong supporter of his game since get go. Over the last five or six years of paying attention, I've become aware of his faults, and I've really become sickened by his demeanor. What really gets me, though, is the fact that fans refuse to hold the man accountable for anything.

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Samson's picture

October 08, 2019 at 08:59 pm

Oppy has always had that "know all" demeanor like he personally is also employed by the Packers.... He has a grudge for some reason unknown to anyone on why he denigrates AR at any opportunity.... AR must have ran over his dog or something many years ago.

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Samson's picture

October 08, 2019 at 09:09 pm

Wow... Too many are looking for 56-0 Packer victories every week... Not going to happen... The NFL is not the NCAA with Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, etc. crushing every opponent 49-0.... --- But, I do love those "Bucky Badgers"... BCS Champ in 2019 season?... Maybe.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

October 09, 2019 at 01:31 am

In my opinion the Lions might be the toughest team we face. They are a very balanced team with playmakers at all the skill positions. They definitely had our number last year but we are a different team this year. It will be a battle.

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Rudedawg67's picture

October 09, 2019 at 12:59 pm

Just stay focused and beat the Lions. A loss brings the Packers right back to the pack and we have a history as of late of playing poorly against this team and they are a decent. Let’s smash them in the mouth and move on.

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