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Packers Question of the day - Match-ups in Dallas

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Packers Question of the day - Match-ups in Dallas

The Cowboys will likely have Dez Bryant at their disposal - a receiver who missed the first meeting with the Packers in week six. How well he matches up with the Packers' corners, who have been all but anything to write home about this season, remains to be seen.

Ezekiel Elliott will also be up against a front seven he gashed open at Lambeau Field three months ago. Can the Packers contain him this time around? Against that offensive line?

What about a Green Bay receiving corps sans Jordy Nelson?

What match-ups are you looking forward to the most in the divisional game against the Cowboys?


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (53) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

chugwater's picture

I'm looking forward to GB offense vs DAL defense. We should be able to measure AR's time in the pocket with a sun dial. We've averaged 35 points a game over the past 5 games. Don't see their defense as being a large hill to climb.

Conversely, I may just leave the room when DAL is on offense. Smith, Frederick, and Martin are elite linemen. Zeke is a strong back who like Ahman Green always gets a yard or two after contact. They repeatedly get 4-5 yds on first down making down and distance manageable. If we load the box Dez, Whitten, or Beasley will have opportunities through the air. I can see Dak attacking the soft underbelly of the middle all day long with play action.

This game will come down to turnovers and who makes the least mistakes. I wouldn't necessarily count on the DAL rookies making errors in this game. They've played with poise all year. Have shown us nothing to believe it will change on Sunday.

Amanofthenorth's picture

Hey cheesehead TV, your homepage interface has been messed up since Sunday (using iPhone. )

jeremyjjbrown's picture

If you scroll down far you get to the regular stories.

Handsback's picture

Chugwater, like you I'm in the DFW area and this game will be the hardest to win for the Pack. I can see Rodgers picking apart the Cowboys, but they play pretty disciplined defense. I just have a hard time seeing how the Packers can contain the Cowboys running game.

LayingTheLawe's picture

On offense the Packers are rolling and can attack this team and score.

Dallas's offensive gameplan is easy to guess also. They will try to pound the ball get the safeties down in the box and throw a few passes. They want to have 8 minute drives that score and put pressure on Rodgers to feel he has to score or end up watching another 8 minute drive.

But Green Bays defensive strategy I do not know. Can they try to pressure the passer against that offensive line? Can they try to stack for the run and make their already suspect secondary even that much more exposed?

Finwiz's picture

Answers to questions in your last paragraph.....NO and YES.
It will be all about ball control from Dallas perspective. If GB can't stop Elliot, they are in deep shit.

Amanofthenorth's picture

Just score! And score some more. Shootout is a W

Tundraboy's picture

No leaving the room allowed, although I know what you mean. All the more reason we need to score and not turn over the ball. And who knows, the D looks hungry and could rise to the occasion. Been a lot of tipped balls lately and we are oh so due to force a turnover and get an interception.

stockholder's picture

A-rod still needs Nelson to get going. I hope he plays. I believe in MM. I don't believe in Thomas, for run support. I believe peppers should be on whatever side Bryant is on. And I believe the packers can stop Elliott with Mathews and Ryan in the middle. Whitten is the guy to keep inside and not let him out. He will be their guy in the clutch. So hit him often and push him back.

Norm's picture

"I believe peppers should be on whatever side Bryant is on."

Can you clarify what you mean stockholder?. I'm sure you don't mean Peppers should be covering Bryant; maybe you meant Gunter? Or Jabril Peppers :-)

Chili peppers?

stockholder's picture

No- to coverage. I would put peppers in front of his routes. He JUMPS! And with his wing span, it would shrink the target area down.

ironman3169's picture

It's going to be about our offense consistently scoring touchdowns on the Dallas defense. That and a defensive stop or two. I realize that is stating the obvious, but failure to score score score will likely leave us trailing trailing trailing.

Nick Perry's picture

The Defense was run over at home earlier this season. The Packers came into the game ranked #1 in Run Defense and Elliott ran all over and them. Dak has a lot of success as well and that was without Dez. Beasley's quickness was a huge problem for us AND we turned the ball over 4 times.

The first game Dallas was the team to start fast scoring 17 points in the 1st quarter. The Packers were 1-4 in the red zone and 0-1 in goal to goal situations.

The Packers are different now. They just scored over 30 points on a team that didn't allow 30 points all season, most without Nelson on the field. The Dallas D isn't nearly as good as the Giants and I don't give a damn how "Great" Dak and Zak HAVE been, this is the playoffs.

The Giants punched Dallas in the mouth, the Packers can do the same. AT&T is "Our House" and before this season Dallas was 27-28 in Jerry's world, 7-1 there this season. Cook wasn't on the field and that changes this entire offense for the Packers. I'd also look for Michaels to have a decent game. That kid runs violent and is playing another team that cut him. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if the score was similar to last weeks game against the Giants.

zoellner25's picture

At least our Run D has looked much better lately, but Dallas has the best Run O left in the dance. We lost 3 fumbles in first game too

Amanofthenorth's picture

Nick, that is a perfect summation. Packers run away with it as cowboy's talented rookies learn a lesson about NFL playoff time and tight rectums.

Lphill's picture

With or without Jordy the Pack should be able to score, the offense did good against the Vikings and Giants defences which are better than Dallas , it all will come down to slowing down the running game of the Cowboys. Might work to use Clay inside in this game.

Finwiz's picture

Yes in theory they can score on Dallas...assuming they have the ball, meaning time of possession. We won't be able to stop their running game, and that will open up the pass as safeties come up to support. Their running game will control TOP and limit GB opportunities. Only hope for the Pack is a shootout because Dallas will score over 24. Relatively certain.

zoellner25's picture

Gotta be Gunter on Dez, for intrigue.

Christopher Gennaro's picture

was thinking the same thing, the problem for me is pass rush. if and thats a big one against that front 5. if we can at least pressure dax, even with his mobility, gunter may be able to get in the face of dez. if we give him time, he will find dez for a few deep shots. thats the one game gunter struggles with.

chugwater's picture

Call me crazy, but I think getting some pressure is not out of the question. Perry or Peppers on Free off the right side could be intriguing.

The Dallas O line are maulers in the running game. Pass pro is still good, but not impenetrable.

DrealynWilliams's picture

@Zoe & @Chris

I just hope if/when Gunter plays up on Dez that he actually gets his hands on him. He has to stop playing close hoping to keep up with WRs without jamming them. Dez won't be dropping any of those catches Odell dropped.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

DPF, Daniels on Leary is the match up I've been looking at as most favorable to GB. GB could run some stunts as well to get an OLB on Leary as well.

RCPackerFan's picture

Its hard to really talk about the first meeting as the teams especially the Packers are a completely different team then they were back then. Much like when they played the Giants Sunday their earlier match up was completely different.

The Packers offense right now just shredded the #2 ranked defense in the league. Its not that they just had a good day and the Giants had a bad day. During this now 7 game winning streak the Packers have faced the #2,3,6,11,12,13th ranked defenses in scoring. The Packers in those games have averaged 32 points per game. Against the #2 (Giants) ranked defense they scored 38. Against the #3 (Seahawks) they scored 38. Against the #6 (Vikings) they scored 38.
The offense has exploded and against very good defenses. But not only has the offense been good, but the defense has played much better as well. They have allowed an average of 17.8 points per game. And the truth is, some of those games weren't that close and the other teams offenses scored some meaningless points at the end of the games.

Something to keep in mind is that when the Cowboys take the field against Green Bay they will not have played meaningful snaps for 3 weeks. Dak had 8 pass attempts in their finale. How do they respond from having that much time off will be something to watch.

Tundraboy's picture

Great presentation of facts RC. I will use it nearly word for word when some skeptics and a certain Cowboy fan I know start getting more obnoxious than usual. Cant wait to hear them when we shock everyone.

MarkinMadison's picture

The vast majority of the offensive production last week came after Jordy went out of the game. Everybody and their brother is talking up the Jordy story line right now. Not that I'm happy about him being out, but I think maybe it is being overblown. Jordy is not the only reason this offense got better over the last two months. Cobb is clearly healthier now. Adams is more consistent. Allison is making an impact. Cook is healthier now than he was a month ago. Oh yeah, and MM acknowledges that he needs to get AR into a rhythum passing the ball. It all matters. It is not all about Jordy.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Capers kept things simple in front of 2 high safeties against the Giants and I was a big fan of it. Nothing super fancy except some trap coverages for when Manning attacked the flat.

I look to Capers again to keep the game plan straight forward and put it on the players to play. Probably a single safety, Burnett on Witten, Gunter on Bryant and disguise a few Cover 2's here and there but just limit the number of 4 plus yard runs and big passes.

If they can keep Elliot and Prescott from running wild and keep Prescott in the pocket that pits Rodgers arm against Prescott's. Dallas will score some points but the Packers can score more and if Rodgers spreads the ball they will win that race most of the time.

Bearmeat's picture

I think we'll be able to chew up yards and score at will on offense - even without Jordy. Frankly, there's not a secondary in the league that I fear - and CERTAINLY not Dallas' secondary. They can stop the run, but their pass rush is hideous. ARod won't get touched all game. The plain fact is that their personnel on the front 7 is 6 JAGs and Lee. Their defensive performance has been completely driven by their offense all year. Not once have they played a team as explosive as us right now.

On defense, it comes down to Gunter locking down Dez, Randall sticking with Beasly and Burnett locking down Witten. Not favorable. And THEN you throw in their running game? I don't think we'll be able to stop them.

I think the clearest path to victory is getting out to a lead and keeping Zeke's carry numbers below 20. Perhaps grab a turnover or two (they haven't turned it over much though).

Without Jordy, I'd give us a 50/50 shot. First team to 35 wins. Hopefully that's us.

dobber's picture

"...but their pass rush is hideous. ARod won't get touched all game. The plain fact is that their personnel on the front 7 is 6 JAGs and Lee."

I said similar things about Detroit (who ranked 30th in sacks during the regularl season) in the finale and they pressured ARod pretty effectively. The Giants rank about the same as Dallas in sacks on the season and they got to ARod plenty in the first half even without JPP.

Dallas's defense played with a lot of confidence at the end of the season and they were really flying to the football. I expect more of that on Sunday, but that should leave them susceptible to misdirection, bootlegs, screens, etc. I'd hope the Packers put those in their game plan.

pacman's picture

Just saw this on Spofford chat:
I would really like to see us run the ball more. With Aaron opening up the defenses, why can't we get anything going on the ground?

The Packers have scored 30-plus points in five straight games. Who cares how they do it at this point? This team has been all about doing whatever it takes. The lack of identity has become their identity, if that makes sense.

It's just that it seemed to take MM 4 bad weeks to figure this out. Whatever the matchups are, take what Cowboys give us and don't try to go long if we need to move the chains.

Bigger matchup problems on D. I hear DC has been praying a lot this week:). Did anyone notice that the press coverage worked pretty well against the Giants rather than playing 5+ yards off. Maybe DC has been saving this for the playoffs to surprise opponents.

jh9's picture

I knew the Packers would beat the Giants. Although the Giants had one of the best defenses in the NFL, our offense--specifically Aaron Rodgers--is playing at a level now that can score against anyone. And the Giant offense had way too many weaknesses.

But from the Dallas game and beyond, we will be facing more complete teams and the challenge for the Packers will be far greater.

Can we beat Dallas? Yes we can. But it's going to take every bit of talent and effort by every player and every coaching skill and trick by all the coaches to win this game and each game thereafter.

Our offense will put up points against Dallas. It's our defense that needs to step up. If the Packers can stop the run AND put enough pressure on Prescott to get at least one interception, we'll win. Although I could easily see this game becoming a shoot-out with the winner being determined in the last minute.

Personally, I can't stand the Cowboys. I hated them the minute they coined the phrase "America's Team." Beating them on Sunday would be oh so sweet!

zoellner25's picture

If you know we'll beat the Cowboys, gimme the cover so I can bet it

RocsCave's picture

Whatever match up is envisioned or becomes real on game day, the Packers defense must prohibit any TD during the Cowboys first three and hopefully 4 possessions, while the offense must not mirror that hope, but get enough points to lessen the run game to a more need to pass in the second half. Three and outs early for the Packers will more assuredly dictate a higher odds for loss.
I do not fear Prescott in the latter part of the game but Elliott is the nightmare that can come and wreak havoc on a tired defense.
If the Packers can use the run to any level as oft suggested by fans, the time of possession by GB will certainly rope the Cowboys into a confined pen and win the rodeo.
Packers 27-24 via a prevent defense score for Dallas late and a failed on sides kick with 2 minutes plus to play. Packer fans bite nails in hopes of being able to actually run/kill the clock.

pacman's picture

There is also a lot to the mental aspect of this game. Even though it was a great win, I hope nobody sees winning last week as the SB. I hope all the near misses these last few years have piqued their hunger.

Bert's picture

Packers are peaking and have the hot hand right now. Just a matter of good timing in GBs favor. I fully expect a Packer win this week. Even without Jordy the offense has the hottest QB in the league and that will be the big difference Sunday and hopefully beyond.

Lphill's picture

Packers are more experienced team in the playoffs , it has to mean something.

Bearmeat's picture


Yeah, Cow. Man up. Eat your prediction. DO IT.

Amanofthenorth's picture

Ignore ignore ignore

Bert's picture

Nice try but GB wins this game. Forget whether or not "GB sucks as playing zone" or whatever blah, blah, blah. Rodgers is simply playing at a level where the offense will score often and the defense will play well enough to win.

marpag1's picture

The problem with trying to look like a genius, Cow, is that we already know you.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

COW, Do yourself a favor. Save your comments for after the game. You come out with the same Garbage every week, & every week you turn out to be wrong. If you wait till the games are over, here & there you might be right. Wouldn't you like to be right once in a while? I do get a kick out of your posts. It helps me make up my mind on who to bet. I should send you some cash. With the exception of the Detroit game, ( & the Refs beat Detroit in that one), I'm 6 out of 7 betting against you. Keep it up!! I can always use a few more bucks.

pooch's picture

Allison in trouble,seems he has a mary jane problem.Nice timing

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It happened in September. He'll probably face suspension to begin 2017.

Amanofthenorth's picture

The world has a Mary Jane problem. Legalize the Earth, man.

Bert's picture

Seems like a hard worker and a good kid. He has a future in the NFL unless he's bound and determined to go the Mike Pennel route.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Seems like a hard worker. If you read his twitter, does not seem like a good kid - at all.

marpag1's picture

Players who get busted for pot don't have a Mary Jane problem so much as they have a stupidity problem.

pooch's picture

Allison in trouble,seems he has a mary jane problem.Nice timing

Robinant2's picture

I think the game will go like this Dallas will try and run down the throat of the defense but I think they'll slow him down and that keep away ball won't work. And I actually think this is a great matchup for GB's defense Tyrone Smith isn't 100% (MCL sprain against Lions), Doug Free got beat up in a 1 on 1 matchup will Peppers. An Randall on Beasley is alot more even than Gunter. Which Gunter on Dex I like cuz he is big physical and has the height to compete along with the speed cuz Dex isn't a speed demon down field. An Witten he's just gonna get his but keep him short an multiple hats on the ball. But "Dallas at full strength" isnt full strength. Anyone that's came back will be out of shape and left in the dust by this speedy offense. I'm not being a homer but the Packers defense is not as vulnerable as the media is pegging them to be. Dak is good but the edges of that O-Line is weak and a soft rush in passing downs like with Russell in the NFC Championship game 2015 is how I see this going but unlike then the defense can't let up. Also GB had numerous redzone chances but brain fart mistakes made the game's outcome favor Dallas.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

This game opened at Dallas-4. It's gone to GB+4 1/2. These small lines whether + or - Do Not Favor GB, as I've pointed out to you a number of times, unless we're perceived to be up against a Superior Team. I'm not sure at this point that Dallas, even though they are the #1 seed are considered to be the Superior team by the Betting Public. I personally think we're playing the easiest of the 3 other teams. I hope everyone else thinks the SB goes through Dallas. This one is too tough to call at this point.

Handsback's picture

For me, Dallas is the toughest game for Green Bay considering who's left. They beat Seattle, and almost beat Atlanta. Lost big to Dallas, but beyound do they stop the run? Dallas is the most physical and healthiest team they could face.
If they get by Dallas....they can run the table.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Hansback, You may very well be right. The point I was trying to make, is how Dallas is perceived by Non GB or Dallas fans. Which team would they consider to be the tougher of the 2.

On a side point: I think?? this is the 50th anniversary of Super Bowl #1 back in 1967. Green Bay & Kansas City. Correct me if I'm Wrong. Wouldn't that be ironic if we both met again?

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Whoever is giving me the dislikes on my posts, "Stick it up your ass!!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

In the first Dallas game, we had Lacy for 31 snaps, and Nelson. Monty played RB really for the first time and had 6 receptions for 52 yds (and 4 recs for 46 as a WR), but managed just 6 yards on 3 carries. Monty fumbled twice, losing 1. AR had a bad game, was inaccurate, and he fumbled twice, losing one. Adams had 2 catches for 34 yards before sustaining a concussion late in the first half. We had to play Janis 32 snaps. We won't see Janis at WR; we will have Cook and Allison instead. It was 10-6 with 39 seconds left in the first half when Dallas had several long receptions and got a TD just before halftime to make it 17-6.

On defense, Rollins didn't play at all, and Randall played injured for 18 snaps and left the game. We had to play Goodson, and got the "Goodson effect" I've alluded to before. Gunter switched sides of the field and was awful. He gave up 119 yards with Prescott having a 156.3 rating when throwing at him. He also was bad in run defense. Goodson was just bad. Gunter has come a long way since then. OTOH, Dez Bryant didn't play.

We played a lot of 3-4 base (28 snaps of 65 total). Frederick destroyed Guion, and Ryan as well. Ryan has been playing well of late, though. Daniels was pretty good, with 1.5 pressures, but he did miss Zeke on a long run. Clark held up well. Datone and Peppers had good days working against Doug Free. Perry and CM3 had bad days, with neither having a pressure and CM3 with just one tackle. Joe Thomas got only 10 snaps, something that should change. We fumbled 5 times, lost 3, and AR threw a pick as well. Turnover was -2.

If Guion isn't stout against Frederick, Clark will have to replace him and we will have to play Lowry and Datone at the 5 tech.

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