The Cowboys have the unenviable task of travelling to Lambeau Field to take on a fresh and potent Green Bay Team. The Dallas Cowboys bring as good an offense as one could hope for to Lambeau Field for what might end up being “Ice Bowl 2”, with a great offensive line and stellar running game. Here are three things of interest to Packers fans as we look for a chance to get another shot at Seattle (or Carolina at home).
1. The state of Aaron Rodgers’ calf
It is obvious by now that the fortunes of this team stand or fall on Aaron Rodgers. The gutsy performance against the Lions is now in the rear view mirror. Now the question is…just how healthy will he be? If Aaron can get back to 100% it bodes well for a Packers team who may well need its mobile quarterback to pick up a first down here and there. Rodgers is underrated for his mobility (though not by Packers fans) and the concern for all the other offensive weapons opens the field at least a half dozen times a game for Rodgers to use his legs. If he can’t find an open receiver, we will need him to be able to use his legs. It’s win or go home time so what is needed is what must be done, but the status of that calf and the cold weather at Lambeau may be a negative.
2. Can Eddie Lacy duplicate his performance?
Against the Lions, Eddie Lacy carried the ball 26 times for 100 yards and a 3.8 yard per carry average. If the Packers had been better in the red zone, the Packers would have dispatched the Lions in the third quarter. The Dallas defense is not as good as the Lions D. If Eddie gets going early the Packers could control the ball and time of possession and at the same time, open up opportunities for Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as the Dallas defense is forced to make adjustments.
3. What “new wrinkles” will the Packers unveil?
Coach McCarthy has hinted more than once that the bye week would allow the Packers to work on some “wrinkles” that they have been wanting to implement. I for one have been a proponent of McCarthy’s creativity. When he gets creative, the Packers do special things. But here’s the genius of it..,.coach McCarthy brings the creativity out when the opponent least expects it. How many games are there between now and the time Julius Peppers trotted out on the field on offense? The Cowboys will likely not have the time to review all those games. At the same time, the Packers offense has plenty of weapons that can be used in multiple ways. In particular, Randall Cobb is a weapon that still has potential to throw defenses off. McCarthy’s belief in getting the best players on the field is a nightmare for opposing defenses. At the same time, if the Packers can get an early lead, McCarthy may keep the surprises in his back pocket to roll out at a later time.
The Packers, though they need to respect a potent Dallas team that is playing some great football, need not fear the Cowboys. They will need to play good football and if they can get the ground game going early…all the better. Packers fans will be watching the Carolina Seattle game as well to see what path this playoff will take should the Packers win.
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