Packers 16, Dallas 27

The story of this game was the offense's struggles.

The defense wasn't perfect, but they played better than I expected. Dallas overpowered them at times at the line of scrimmage, RB Marion Barber had a big day, RB Felix Jones was left wide open on his big 50 yard TD run, someone named WR Miles Austin looked unstoppable, and TE Jason Witten owned them as a blocker and a clutch receiver on 3rd down (he does that to a lot of teams). But WR Terrell Owens did nothing and they forced QB Tony Romo into some really really bad decisions with passes into coverage, fumbles, and two intentional grounding penalties. Their stats would have looked a lot better if the Packers offense could have stayed on the field. They played hard and physical.

The offense's stats look good. QB Aaron Rodgers had almost 300 yards passing and a rushing TD. 334 yards of total offense, but they were under 200 yards when the score was 27-9. Two late drives created 117 yards, nearly a third of the yards in garbage time. Rodgers played well, he fumbled a snap but recovered it, and threw no INTs. The offensive line did a good job creating some running lanes, and protecting Rodgers. Bottom line; the receivers just didn't get open and/or Rodgers didn't see them. I have no idea whether Mike McCarthy's game plan was just too predictible or whether Dallas' CBs are much better than the Packers WRs. 

Take away an 11 play drive to start the 3rd quarter, the offense had the following drives from the end of the 1st quarter until 6 minutes to go in the game:

 

Plays Yards
3 5
3 7
3 -10
5 22
3 0

 

The 12 yards of offense in the 2nd quarter was bad. Sometimes a team can vanish on offense for that long and pull out a win with one or two scoring drives, but not against an offense like Dallas. It's hard to get upset about one loss against argubly the toughest team on the schedule. Like I read in the open thread comments, it didn't help Dallas in the playoffs that they had beaten the NY Giants twice in the regular season. It didn't help the Packers in the playoffs that they smoked the Giants in the regular season either. Just secure winning the division and get into the playoffs. The lesson that Mike McCarthy and the Packers have to learn is how did Dallas shut them down during that awful six drive sequence.

 

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