Game Thoughts Packers/Cowboys

  • The Packers, ultimately, deserved to win this game (though I don’t feel good about how the game ended – see below). The team came out in the second half and did enough to win this game outright. They played tough, made some solid second half adjustments and pulled it off. I’m proud of this team for the effort.
  • The sequence of plays with 5 minutes left in the second quarter was vintage Dallas. The broken play on 3rd and one (when Romo fumbled, recovered and then was sacked), followed by an offensive penalty and a missed FG really was disruptive to their momentum. If they drive down and score a TD, the game might have been practically over (at 21-7). If they go up even 17-7, that may have felt like too much to overcome given how things had been going. But going into halftime 14-10 was really awesome considering the alternatives and it flipped the momentum of the game.
  • I’ll say it again. I just don’t like games where the officials influence the game much. The best games are those that let the players determine the outcome. The Packers had some iffy calls against them but more concerning were the calls not made against the Cowboys. That Lang penalty was a big one. I think he did hit the guy after the whistle but the replay showed him hitting the guy at exactly the same time that Adams was being thrown to the ground like a rag doll. If one is a penalty both have to be penalties because they both happened after the whistle. The Cowboys final drive was very much indicative of the game though. Daniels was massively held (for the second time in 2 series) on 2nd down, Matthews had his head taken off on 3rd down and Dez Bryant, again in my opinion, made that catch.
  • A bit more on the Bryant no catch. I’m watching the postgame now and Mike Perriera is trying to clarify why the call was made. He keeps saying a football move was not made but I saw a pretty clear lunge with his upper body/left arm at least. Maybe I don’t understand the rule well enough but to me that’s a catch based on what I know about the rule.
  • For what it’s worth, Jason Garrett in his postgame interview was all class. He stated a very strong case for why the Bryant call was a bad one but went on to say that there was more to the game than that call (perhaps realizing Dallas had a 52 yard penalty advantage). Classy response. Also have to say – he and the offense called a pretty good game today. I was surprised by this.
  • Rodgers was fantastic today. Wow. He was clearly hurting but finished 24/35 for 316 yards and 3 TDs. That TD pass to Richard Rodgers was borderline ridiculous. I honestly don’t think there is another QB in the NFL that could have thrown that pass, with a bad leg no less. He was moving left and threw a bullet in between 2 players with zero margin for error. Rodgers only major bad play today was in his interview with Erin Andrews after the game when he said that the officiating today was good – he’s wrong there.
  • Cobb is such a gamer. He makes absolutely huge plays at huge times ALL THE TIME. He is just such a good player. I am terrified about losing him in free agency. He is so valuable to this team.
  • Davante Adams was amazing today. He really showed some moves but his catch on the last drive showed major strength. He wrestled the ball away from the defender and then got some nice YAC. That was really an impressive, big-time, veteran-type play from a rookie.
  • Adams’ juke on his TD was stunning. You just don’t see players juke like that and frankly I wasn’t sure he had that in him. That guy was left in the dust so bad it was embarrassing. He also showed some burst on that run pulling away from the defenders.
  • It does appear that Lacy was out with asthma issues. I also wonder if he was not out there much in the second half because of concerns, possibly, about his pass blocking (though that wouldn’t make much sense as they just didn’t have anyone back there blocking for Rodgers). Still, I thought there were times he should have at least been out there to serve as a decoy. Rodgers effort today was made even more amazing on those last few drives by the fact that Dallas knew he was going to throw almost every time (because Lacy and Starks were not out there and Cobb doesn’t get many handoffs when back there).
  • Jordy Nelson was absent today. It was sort of like after that one pass he missed on what would have been a long gainer, Rodgers just decided not to go to him. Hopefully that confidence will return for next week.
  • The Packers defense ended up picking up their game in the second half. While I can’t be entirely confident in our defense heading into Seattle (and TT might be well-advised to have Dick LeBeau pop in for some ideas…), they did come back and hold the Cowboys.
  • Julius Peppers was awesome today. I have been so impressed by what he has brought to this team. And I think his leadership is something we don’t hear as much about as we should. I wonder if he said something at half time. In a game where Matthews vanished, Peppers was absolutely huge.
  • Clay Matthews was not good today. His pass rushes were all off – his timing was poor and though he was held a couple times, he just wasn’t good. He also didn’t do much to slow down DeMarco Murray. While I’d definitely rather have him in there over Hawk, he needs to show up next week.
  • Tramon Williams was not very good today. While he may have helped essentially shut down Dez Bryant (though I think that was mostly Shields), he missed tackles and was blocked too easily today. He needs to pick up his game for next week.
  • Today was one of those strange games where Morgan Burnett doesn’t even seem to be out there. I find his play so odd. I don’t know if it’s a function of the defensive gameplan or Burnett just being inconsistent. But it is so odd that he can be such an influential player one game and then non-existent the next. Maybe he’s saving it up for next week.
  • Interesting that on Dallas’ second half TD drive, Hawk seemed to be in there a bunch. Murray and company just ran over him. Keep him off the field – along with Brad Jones.
  • Nick Perry was very good today. He ended up with 1.5 sacks but also had some pressures. He’s a good player who should be on the field more.
  • In the end, great game that had Packer nation super nervous. We pulled it off but there is no question, it will take a better effort to beat Seattle, the 12th man and the officials next week.
  • Let it be known – I HATE THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS! I don’t even like using the word “hate” but there is no other word for it. I hate them more than any team in the NFL. They are cocky and poor sportsmanship is just a part of their game. They should be flagged for taunting on most plays. Their coach is a shady tool (though someone I knew would be a good NFL coach this time around), Lynch is an fool, Sherman is a moron, Bennett thinks he’s better than he is and the team is simply overrated. It’s gotten so bad for me that I don’t even like Russell Wilson anymore (though that is mostly because he’s so frustrating to play against). Just so we’re not surprised we need to head into next week expecting a number of poor calls and view any calls that go our way as a special bonus.
  • Rodgers was definitely limited today and it clearly affected our offense but I don’t think the Seattle D is as good as they were last year. Teams can move the ball against them. One of the most important things to do early is throw deep (something we didn’t even try today…). That’s how Dallas beat them earlier this year. Rodgers has to be thinking next week a pick or two is OK. I know that’s counter to his normal thinking but a pick on a 55 yard pass on 3rd and long can be just like a punt. But the positive effects of completing it against a team that loves forcing a condensed field could be huge.
  • It’s funny, as much as I worry about Lynch running over us and Wilson just out-smarting us like he does all the time, with Peppers in there you just never know. The guy forced 2 fumbles today and was otherwise a menace. If Matthews shows up, we could actually cause some problems for their offense.
  • But more than anything, next week will take calling a near perfect game (Capers, MM and Rodgers), super mental strength (tuning out the crowd, officials and taunting Seahawks defenders) and a hunger like the team showed today in the second half!

6 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Cowboys”

  1. Dave In Tucson Says:

    Okay, regarding the Bryant catch again. The going-to-the-ground rules are very strict. The catching player must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of going to the ground. When he bobbled it as he hit the ground, that made it incomplete. There’s no “football move” involved.

    It’s also worth pointing out that was a poor play call by the Cowboys for that 4th down play. They needed 11 yards to convert, and decided to risk everything on a pretty low percentage deep pass.

    As a third point, even assuming the Cowboys were awarded the completion and got a touchdown, the Cowboys would’ve only been up by 1 or 3 (depending on whether they got the 2 point conversion). That would’ve left the Packers with ~4 minutes of game time to drive down the field for, at the very worst, a game tying field goal. And we saw the Packers offense drive into FG range in the process of running out the clock.

    Even if the Cowboys had got that TD, the very best they could’ve hoped for was overtime, and had a strong probability of losing in regulation 27-29, or 30-34.

    • Brett Who Says:

      Definitely agree with Dave on the final points – even if Dallas did score a TD on the pass to Bryant, the Packers probably would have come back to score on a FG or TD as the Dallas D couldn’t stop the GB passing game with 4 WR’s. Overall, the team could have played better in stopping the run and needs more creativity on the offensive side, but a win is a win, and we’ll take it happily in the playoffs. There’s work to be done before next week, but at least we’re still playing…

    • Dave In Tucson Says:

      > They needed 11 yards to convert,

      Went back and looked, they got 9 yards on 3rd down, so it was 4th+2, which makes this even more puzzling. Hand off to D. Murray is an almost sure first down, which gives you a fresh set of downs. Just a dumb, dumb play call right there.

      • awhayes Says:

        I think he did make a football move though as he lunged with the left arm/side of his body to try to score – which is also what Jason Garrett said. That to me was a separate move – not apparent live but apparent on the replay.

        I do agree though that it was very likely that the Packers would have gone down and scored anyway to win or at least tie. I guess I just wish that’s how it happened. Also agree Dave that the play call was puzzling. Heard Romo talk about it and his explanation wasn’t good. Just an odd decision there.

  2. Frank G Says:

    Thank goodness we were spared the sight of the insufferable Jerry Jones and the plus sized politician from NJ exchanging PDA in a skybox. Kudos to whoever made that decision at Fox.

    Nothing was going smoothly for GB until whatever painkiller AR took at halftime kicked in. A Super Bowl ring to that pharmaceutical company’s CEO if we make it all the way.

    Outside of an outlier here or there, NFL defenses cannot dominate a game anymore–the rules make it exceedingly difficult. Big plays are needed to kill drives and change momentum and, wow, did Julius Peppers deliver one for the ages today. For as frustrating as it is to watch the Packers defense play at times, they deserve a great deal of credit for holding a very powerful Cowboys offense to 21 points.

    One last point that cannot be repeated enough: Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the NFL.

  3. Dave K Says:

    I spent the past NFL weekend in Vegas. A buddy and I were in a casino sports book during the Packer game and it was mostly filled with obnoxious drunk Cowboy fans. We took some crap after the game about the Dez no catch but a quick “now you know how Detroit fans feel” was all that was needed.

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