Shawn: There is much concern regarding the Green Bay Packers tilt with the Dallas Cowboys, for two reasons: 1) the Cowboys were so thoroughly humiliated last week, their collective manhood debased, that most feel they have to respond with a better game this week, and 2) this is the week before the bye for the Packers, which always brings the danger that some players will start their vacations a day early (see the Tampa Bay game last season).
These are reasonable concerns, and I believe the Dallas defense may be able to keep the game close into the second half. However, I believe the Packers’ defense is playing too well for the Dallas offense, now led by Jon Kitna, to be much of a threat. The Packers’ defense will shut down the Dallas run game and put the game on Kitna’s shoulders. He has some weapons to throw to, but I don’t see Kitna making enough plays for Dallas to keep up.
The Packers offense may very well play conservatively again, letting the defense set them up for points. Donald Driver being out and Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins covering Greg Jennings both make it doubly important for either Jordy Nelson or James Jones to have a good game. And it sure would be nice to see Aaron Rodgers have a big game for once. I think this game represents a great opportunity for the Packers to feature Brandon Jackson by running him closer to 20 times and throwing him the ball out of the backfield.
I expect a spirited effort by Dallas, especially early, but I don’t see a let down coming from the Packers’ defense. They should control the game, and the Packers’ offense should be able to do enough for the Packers to comfortably win this game.
Packers 27, Cowboys 13
Sarah: The Dallas Cowboys were one of the teams to beat in the NFC, entering the 2010 season.
The team had one of the most potent offenses in the league last year and was able to back up those points with a lockdown defense. But things haven’t gone Jerry Jones’ way this season and “America’s Team” comes to Lambeau in Week 9 with just one win.
I’ll wait until the laughter subsides.
Really, though, this should be a win for Green Bay. They’re at home against what is now one of the worst teams in the NFL, in the Tony Romo-less Cowboys, and are getting healthier by the week. And more confident.
The Packers beat one of the best teams (and defenses) in the NFL last week with a 9-0 win over the New York Jets at the Meadowlands.
Although Aaron Rodgers & Co. were held to season lows in points and yards, the defense stepped up big, picking off two Mark Sanchez passes and mounting a ferocious pass rush that should leave Jon Kitna reeling.
Look for Greg Jennings and Clay Matthews to come up big.
Packers 28, Cowboys 14
Monty: Every indication is this game will be a Green Bay Packers blowout.
The Dallas Cowboys are 1-6. Jacksonville quarterack David Garrard said it seemed like the Cowboys stopped playing when the Jaguars handled the Cowboys in Dallas in week 8.
The questions is, does Dallas have any heart? They certainly have the talent, even without injured quarterback Tony Romo — Miles Austin, Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Felix Jones, Dez Bryant… I could on.
None of that seems to matter for the Cowboys, this season.
Still, I can’t help but play devil’s advocate. Can anyone remember the last time the Packers went in and completely demolished a team they were supposed to?
Sure, it happened against the Buffalo Bills earlier this season, but the Cowboys have a ton more talent.
Teams like Chicago and Washington, who the Packers should have beaten into the ground, escaped with wins against Green Bay. I don’t care what anyone says, neither of those teams are good.
Meanwhile, everyone in Packers Nation is riding high, after last week’s win over the New York Jets. The Packers may believe in themselves, but I think this is a letdown game.
The Packers offense hasn’t shown it can throttle anyone other than the Bills. It will catch up to them this week.
Cowboys 20, Packers 17