Predictions: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
Shawn: Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy was very annoyed at yesterday’s presser, and he had reason to be.
With Aaron Rodgers under center against the worst pass defense in football, the Packers are probably a 6-to-8-point favorite to get to Week 16 very much alive for a division title.
With Matt Flynn under center, however, the Packers are about a 4-point underdog with a loss all but ending their season and making future prospects of Rodgers playing irrelevant.
The Cowboys’ defense is porous and Tony Romo has an inept history versus Dom Capers’ defense. That all gives the Packers a chance if Matt Flynn and the defense have decent games.
So there is hope, but I don’t see a win this week. If the Cowboys can’t win at home with the playoffs on the line against a Packers team without Aaron Rodgers, then Jerry Jones should fire everyone, including himself.
Cowboys 27, Packers 17
Monty: So it pretty much comes down to this for the Green Bay Packers. Beat a fading Dallas Cowboys team with Matt Flynn under center or pack it in.
There’s some reason to think that’s possible. The Cowboys were absolutely torched by the Chicago Bears and their backup quarterback, Josh McCown, last week. The Packers finally have a little momentum after picking up their first win in over a month against Atlanta.
Ultimately, this game should come down to a few matchups. Flynn should definitely be able to have some success against the 32nd-ranked pass defense in the NFL. However, the real keys for the Packers offense are Eddie Lacy and David Bakhtiari.
If the Packers can run the ball and control the clock with Lacy, their chances improve dramatically. If the rookie tackle can keep pass rusher extraordinaire DeMarcus Ware off Flynn, their chances improve even more.
We know the Cowboys can put up points with Tony Romo running the show. That puts the focus for the Packers defense on the secondary. They’ll need to come up with stops on third down.
We’ve got two teams fighting for their playoff lives on Sunday. Like Green Bay, Dallas is looking up at Philadelphia in their crappy division.
Despite the good vibes from last week’s Packers victory, there isn’t a lot of reason to think this team will win on the road. After all, they’ve won just one game — by one point — since Aaron Rodgers has been out.
Despite Dallas’ obvious shortcomings, they’re getting the nod because they’re playing at home.
Cowboys 31, Packers 24
Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.