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2017 NFL Divisional Playoff Preview: Green Bay At Dallas

2017 NFL Divisional Playoff

The 2017 NFL Divisional Playoffs features a terrific matchup between the Packers and Cowboys. Read the preview for the game below. (Benny Sieu-USA Today)

The Dallas Cowboys smoked the Packers 30-16 back on October 16th. This time the two teams meet again in the 2017 NFL Divisional Playoffs. This meeting will take place in Jerry world instead of the frozen tundra. The 2017 NFL playoffs are officially down to the elite eight. It’s the Packers vs. the Cowboys! The winner will play the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Title Game. Now it’s time to give 3 reasons why each team has a chance to win. What are the keys to the game for each team in order to advance this postseason? For more on the rest of the playoff teams, click here!

10-6 Green Bay Packers At 13-3 Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, January 15th, 4:40 p.m. ET: FOX

Spread > Green Bay +5.5 – Under/Over 52

WHY The Green Bay Packers Will Win:

Is Anyone playing better than Aaron Rodgers right now? He tops the list of reasons why the Packers can win. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  1. Aaron Rodgers Is Filthy:

Is anyone playing better than Aaron Rodgers right now? It is hard to argue against the fact that he is probably the greatest pure arm talent we have ever seen. The passes this guy makes on his back foot and off balance is incredible. He also is the god of the hail mary pass. How does he keep doing it?


It is hard to believe that The Packers were 4-5 at one point. Aaron Rodgers believed his team would run the table and win the division. They have done just that winning 7 straight playing their best football at the end of the year. Rodgers has 19 touchdowns and 0 interceptions the last 7 games. His complement of receivers has also come on late in the year. Tight end Jared Cook has given Rodgers a dependable option in the middle of the field. Ty Montgomery has given the Packers a semblance of a running game averaging over 6 yards a rush. Even unknown commodities like Geronimo Allison have caught fire down the stretch. This just seems like one of those years that Rodgers looks unstoppable. It might be because the media bashed him for the first 10 weeks of the season for no reason. Mr. Discount Double Check has also been fantastic in postseason play. He has 31 touchdowns, 8 picks and a passer rating of 100.3 during his playoff career. Keep in mind that Green Bay’s offensive line has fantastic this season as well grading as the top pass blocking unit in football.

2. This Has A 2010 Packers Feel To It:

Brett Favre could never beat the Cowboys in Dallas. Will Aaron Rodgers have better luck? (ESPN)

The last time the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2010 they also were 10-6. It may be as simple as the Packers playing their best football at the right time. The Packers running game has really come to life. Green Bay has found their answer in Ty Montgomery who has been fantastic as a converted receiver. This is similar to the impact James Starks had for the 2010 team that came out of nowhere. The Packers offense line has been the real game-changer late in the season. Left Tackle David Bakhtiari leads the NFL with the fewest quarterback pressures allowed (20). The only real difference is this defense has been a shell of themselves. They did limit the Giants to 13 points showing a ton of life last week. The Packers were my pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl prior to the start of the season.

3. Mike McCarthy Has The Coaching Edge:

When it comes to Mike McCarthy I know what I’m getting. Green Bay has made the playoffs every year since 2008 and McCarthy has a Super Bowl resume to go with his name. McCarthy is 9-7 in the postseason compared to Jason Garrett’s 1-1 record. Postseason experience matters and the Packers already have a win under their belt. Outside of 2014, Dallas hasn’t played a meaningful playoff game in a long time. This is realistically the first time you feel like Dallas has a chance since the Bill Parcells days. Are we really going to take a rookie quarterback over the proven product?

Read About The Packers Playoff X-Factor HERE!

WHY The Dallas Cowboys Will Win:

The rookie duo of Dak and Zeke has powered the Cowboys to a 13-3 record. What are the other factors that lead to a Dallas win? (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
  1. It’s The Dak-Attack:

The Dallas Cowboys are the best team in the NFC for a reason. Prescott doesn’t have the flashy stats that everyone wants but he is the definition of efficient. Dallas continues to find ways to move the chains converting on 47.25 percent of their 3rd downs at home. Prescott frankly outperformed Aaron Rodgers in the week 6 win over the Packers. He completed 66.7 percent of his throws with a passer rating of 117.4. There is no reason he can’t do it again against a really banged up secondary. Dak’s QBR of 81.6 puts him 3rd in the NFL. Did I mention the Packers have the worst pass defense in the NFL? The Packers pass defense ranks 32nd in passing yards allowed which have also translated in 32 touchdowns and 12.4 yards per pass attempt against. Don’t forget Dez Bryant didn’t play in the week 6 meeting either.

2. Dallas Will Control The Clock:

Emmitt Smith is the NFL all-time leading rusher in NFL History. If Zeke turns out to be anything close, the Cowboys have something special. (ESPN)

The biggest advantage of having the best offensive line in football is that you can control the pace of the game. The entire Cowboys offensive line deserves pro bowl consideration. Trust me every general manager with half of a brain would trade Odell Beckham for left tackle Tyron Smith in a heart beat. La’el Collins is even expected to return which only personifies the rich getting richer. The beneficiary of the great Cowboys offensive line is Ezekiel Elliot. The former 4th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft had the most rushing yards in the NFL this season with 1,631 yards. Zeke is a workhorse back. His 322 carries were also tops in the NFL. Dallas ranks 3rd in NFL in time of possession thanks in part to the success of the ground game. Reducing the number of possessions for Aaron Rogers is imperative.

3. The Cowboys Defense Is Vastly Underrated:

In Week 6 Dallas used a lot of 3 or 4 man rushes while playing man coverage on the outside. Two linebackers drop in zone while there is a safety deep playing Nickel high robber coverage. (NFL)

Everyone thinks of the Cowboys defense as average but that simply isn’t the case. The fact remains that the Cowboys defense plays a million times better when Sean Lee is healthy. Guess what? He is, and will be making his first career playoff start. Dallas ranks 5th in points allowed has allowed the fewest rushing yards (83.5 per game), 3.9 yds per carry. Nobody coaches defensive lineman better than Rod Marinelli. He has taken undrafted players like David Irving and Benson Mayowa and turned them into productive players. The Cowboys are smart enough to only rush 4 and play Tampa 2 zone coverage against Aaron Rodgers. The last thing you want to do if blitz and force him outside of the pocket so he can create his adlib magical plays. Dallas’ defense got pressure on Rodgers just five times over 45 dropbacks in week 6 but managed to hold him to a 35.4 QBR against this defense. Pro Football Focus graded the Dallas secondary as the most productive one in the league. A unit that will get Mo Claiborne back as well. Let’s face it, the Jordy Nelson injury matters. The Packers will be a shell of themselves without him. Rodgers didn’t look like himself during the 2015 season without him.

Read About The Cowboys Playoff X-Factor HERE!

The Prediction:

Packers Vs. Cowboys positional rankings (Pro Football Focus)

I will take the Cowboys in this one. I just think they have the perfect formula to take down a hot quarterback like Rodgers. Controlling the clock and running the football effectively is going to get the job done. If I felt like Green Bay had any chance of slowing the rushing attack down, I may change my opinion. I don’t think people will realize how devastating the loss of Jordy Nelson will be for the Pack. I don’t love Green Bay’s roster either. Dallas has the better offensive line, defensive front 7, kicker, punter, and kick returner. Dallas wins in comfortable fashion.

Is it time to jump on the Cowboys bandwagon?

*If you agree or disagree make sure to let me know @treydaubert

Dallas Cowboys Defeat Green Bay Packers 36-23



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