The Green Bay Packers got away with a terrible start on offense yesterday against the New York Giants. To say that they were bad is an understatement; Aaron Rodgers was missing easy throws, taking sacks, and took perhaps the worst snap of his career when he threw the football away and got flagged for intentional grounding.
And then he snapped out of the funk midway through the second quarter.
After the Packers finished with their 38-13 demolition of the Giants, Rodgers discussed next week's game in Dallas and how he and the team must start out better to have a shot at beating the NFC's top seed. Hail Marys are few and far between (at least normally), so we can't expect that same kind of magic next Sunday. What we can expect, however, is Rodgers to have time in the pocket and to be able to find a way to generate points against the Cowboys defense.
If the Packers can do that early and often, then they just might be able to keep Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas offensive line from running roughshod through the defense.
Packers still potent without Nelson | Packersnews.com
We all saw what happened last season when Jordy Nelson was out for the entire year, but Aaron Rodgers got locked in after he left Sunday's game and the offense looks ready to produce without the veteran. In particular, Randall Cobb demonstrated a great ability to play both inside and outside, a crucial factor for the offense's efficiency.
LaDarius Gunter again answers the call against Odell Beckham Jr. | Packers.com
Gunter got the benefit of a couple of drops by the Giants wideout, who ended up with just four receptions for 28 yards. He was never a factor after the first quarter, and Gunter was a big reason why.
A frame-by-frame look at the Packers' Hail Mary - ESPN
You'll probably see several of these images on APC over the next few days as we continue to discuss the Hail Mary. In particular, Getty's photographer was in a perfect spot to snap Cobb's catch along the back line of the end zone.
Aaron Rodgers has thrown 3 Hail Mary touchdowns. Let’s assign a subjective ranking to them all. - SBNation.com
This ranking goes as follows: Giants first, Cardinals second, Lions third. Do you agree?
Grades for Packers' 38-13 win over the Giants | PFF
Let's make sure Jake Ryan gets some credit for a big game. He had two pass breakups, two run stops, and allowed less than five yards per reception in his coverage. Damarious Randall also had a good game, aside from a miscommunication on the Giants' touchdown pass.
History! Wild Card Weekend most lopsided since 1981 - NFL.com
The average margin of victory this weekend was 19 points, the highest since 1981. Don't expect a similar trend next weekend.
Aaron Rodgers' key to beating the Cowboys: 'We've got to start faster' - ESPN
A hot start by the offense will be critical - if the Packers can force the Cowboys away from the running game, that will play into the defense's hands and allow them to play two-deep coverages and put pressure on Dak Prescott.
PFF stats to know | NFL Divisional Round | PFF
Don't expect Aaron Rodgers to be pressured much next Sunday - the Packers' offensive line is the best in the NFL in pass-blocking efficiency, while the Cowboys as a whole are just 25th in pass rush.