Early Bird Breakdown Week 15: Packers @ Cowboys
Early Bird Breakdown Week 15: Packers @ Cowboys
Before we dive in to this week’s breakdown, we’ll take a look at last week’s game:
The Good: Packers won (finally)!
Normally I like to reserve this spot for a player but the team needed this one bad. The reeling Packers were 0-4-1 and coming off of a blowout defeat by Detroit. The fact is, it was a team win. The defense played well enough to win and the offense played well enough to win. No one player really put the team on their back to break the losing streak.
The Bad: The offensive line
I think Flynn would have had a better game if the offensive line played better. Flynn was productive and accurate yet at times looked bothered by the pressure in his face, not to mention that he was sacked five times. The Packers offensive line has been playing very poor lately in terms of pass blocking, and it makes sense the doctors would be so cautious with Rodgers.
The Ugly: The 71 yard INT touchdown
It seemed like the Packers were destined to lose when a tipped ball bounced off of the foot of a Falcons’ player and into Sean Weatherspoon’s hands who then promptly returned it 71 yards for the score. Green Bay was in the process of driving down the field to at least get a field goal attempt in before the half. Part of the frustration with that play is that everyone on Green Bay stopped even though the whistle was not blown and then scrambled to try and stop Weatherspoon but it was too late. Instead of it being 14-10 with Green Bay driving, suddenly it was 21-10 and about to be halftime.
How I did:
“ Atlanta beats Green Bay 24-16 ” – While I claimed, “Atlanta presents just about everything Green Bay needs to get a win,” I did not think Green Bay was necessarily able to beat anyone after what they showed in Detroit. But give them credit, they showed toughness to come back down by 11 at half time to win by one point. The final score was 22-21 Green Bay over Atlanta.
Last week, Dallas traveled to Chicago for Monday Night Football. Tony Romo threw three touchdowns, and the team ran for 198 yards all over Chicago. Then the Cowboys’ defense made NFL history. They became the second team since 1963 to not force the opposing team to punt or turn the ball over twice (the first was against the Denver Broncos) in one season. It was incredibly poor and Chicago blew out Dallas 45-28.
Packers’ Offense vs. Cowboys’ Defense:
Let’s start with the good for Green Bay: Dallas is dead last in passing yards per game, fifth to last in rushing yards per game, and give up a total of 426.8 yards per game. If a team wants to do something, Dallas is letting them do it. While the bad news is that Aaron Rodgers is out, Dallas is a defense that Matt Flynn should play well against. Green Bay should feature Eddie Lacy Sunday in Dallas but Flynn will have to play pretty well, which he should, to keep the defense honest. Dallas’s defense if it plays last week will make Flynn look very good, though I expect them to not play quite as bad after the public chastising they endured. Still, Green Bay should be able to get around 30 points, which should be good enough if the defense can do well against Dallas.
Packers’ Defense vs. Cowboys’ Offense:
So far this season, Dallas’s offense has not been spectacular, ranking 22 nd in total yards (15 th in passing, 24 th in rushing). However, Green Bay is not that daunting of a defense, ranking 21 st overall (21 st against the pass, 25 th against the run). Demarco Murray has run the ball well so far this season but none of the other backs on Dallas have made much of an impact. Tony Romo has had his ups and downs but is 8 th in the league in quarterback rating, 12 th in yards, and tied for 4 th on touchdowns. Dallas does have one big advantage in Dez Bryant; Green Bay has struggled this season keeping talented wide receivers in check. Bryant did do much against Chicago but that does not mean he will be kept in check by Green Bay. The offensive line has played pretty well this year, while Romo has been sacked 30 times that is still only the 14 th most on a quarterback.
The Weather Factor:
Dallas plays in a dome stadium so weather is a non-factor.
While Rodgers is out, Flynn is playing against a defense some think may be the worst all time. That should help the Packers out significantly one the offensive side. However, Dallas’ defense was recently challenged by the owner and mocked in the media, so they could have a bit of a chip on their shoulder, though their talent level currently on the field is not that high. Defensively for Green Bay the question will be how well can they keep Dez Bryant in check? Also while the team was blown out in Soldier Field last Monday, Dallas is 5-1 at home this season. Rodgers would make this a slam dunk, but if Flynn does not play like he did the last time he was in a dome on the road, I think Green Bay wins with the final 31-28 Green Bay over Dallas .
Every relevant fantasy player (Lacy, Nelson, Boykin, Flynn, Romo, Bryant, Murray, Quarless): Look, right now both teams are having issues on defense and if Flynn plays well this week every Packer is in line for a big game.
Both defenses: Not that anyone still has either team but I think both teams will produce very few, most likely negative, scoring this week.