Friday, October 14, 2016

Cowboys Are Next Up!

"How Can This Not be a Catch?"  Photo by Rob Carr, Getty Images
The Packers, after their week off of rest and relaxation, won their game against the Giants last Sunday night, 23-16.  This was not really unexpected, as the Packers have had a great record of winning the games following byes under Mike McCarthy.

In the first half, things looked good on both sides of the ball, with the defense largely shutting down the Giants, holding them to a pair of field goals, despite their offensive weapons including Odell Beckham, Jr., who maybe has finally gotten the message about keeping his act together on the field.  The offense looked pretty sharp, but not overpowering.  There was lots of Eddie Lacy, lots of Davante Adams, a really dominating performance by the offensive line, and many of the rhythm passes, quick release, screen pass plays, and unusual formations that seem to work to the Packers' advantage.  There were too many dropped and missed passes, and of course Rodgers' two interceptions, but overall, the offense was above average in the first half.  The interceptions were the only thing keeping the Giants in the game.

The second half was less inspiring, except for the bruising, never-say-die, keep-the-pile-moving 13 yard run by Aaron Ripkowski.  Other than that, there was lots of sputtering on offense.  It didn't help that Lacy missed the latter part of the game, but even before that, Rodgers seemed to struggle against the Giants, who seemed to be playing more zone coverage in the second half, and even the dreaded Cover-2, although that is sometimes hard to tell from the broadcast tape.  When the opposition adjusts its game plan in the second half, the Packers have to do a better job of adjusting to the adjustment.  The Packers were never in serious jeopardy of losing this game, so "all's well that ends well," but the Packers really don't need to keep making it as hard on themselves (or their fans) as they do.  If the Giants had recovered Starks' fumble with 2:41 to go, or if Cobb did not make the 3rd down catch on the next play (the one where he got folded up like a lawn chair), this game could easily have been tied.  And we all know the Packers' recent record in overtime.

Meanwhile, with the Cowboys coming to town for another rematch of the "how can that not be a catch" game, the Packers will have their hands full.  The Cowboys, at 4-1, are no joke, and that is without Tony Romo (or could that be a plus?) and with Dez Bryant missing a lot of time.  At this time, it looks increasingly unlikely that Bryant will play on Sunday, but that still leaves them with rookie phenom running back Ezekiel Elliott, no. 2 receiver Terrance Williams, and no. 3 receiver Cole Beasley.  Both of them are a significant dropoff from Bryant, but they are serviceable.  Rookie QB Dak Prescott has impressed, he seems to be playing better each week, and (amazing for a rookie) he has not thrown an interception in his first five starts.

It is another Favre tribute game, and the last one did not go too well.  At least the weather should be better this time.  If the defense plays like it has so far this year (top 10 in overall defense and number 1 in rushing defense), all they need is more consistency on offense and they should win this game.

No comments:

Post a Comment