One of the stories of the Green Bay Packers’ first matchup with the Dallas Cowboys this season was Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott vs. the Packers’ then No. 1-ranked rushing defense.
Elliott won that matchup, running for 157 yards and exposing the Packers’ rushing defense as not nearly as good as their lofty ranking, which was built primarily on facing backups.
Elliott will again play a huge role in the rematch this Sunday and slowing him will be key for the Packers’ chances.
Of course, they’re saying they’ll do better this time around.
Clay Matthews suggested too many guys were playing undisciplined during the first game.
“I’m not saying we have to do anything special, but we need to do our job. If you look at the runs he hit on us the first time, it was guys just doing too much or kind of playing outside the scheme,” Matthews said.
“That’s what we’re focusing on this week, is being accountable and doing our job and being where we need to be.”
Defensive lineman Letroy Guion seemed less than concerned about Elliott.
“Makes me sleep better at night,” he said, “when we go back and watch that game and see the things that we need to do better, and know that we can correct it. It’s not something that’s not correctable.”
Zeke was held to less than 80 yards rushing only once in 2016, way back in week 1, when the Giants held him to 51. He was held to less than 90 yards just four times in 2016. He went for more than 100 yards in seven games.
So what’s a win for the Packers on Sunday?
Limit big runs, No. 1.
What will ultimately be telling is if Zeke is able to pile up carries. If he does, that means the Cowboys are controlling the clock and keeping the Packers’ offense off the field.
That scenario likely results in a loss for Green Bay.
There was a certain game back in 2009 where even though we lost, we actually managed to shut down Adrian Peterson. It’s a long shot, but it’s possible. But maybe we don’t even need to, we just need to score more points.
In the regular season game, I thought I was watching the Packers try to defend Squidward @ 2012-13. Peppers, Matthews, Burnett crash the line, Elliott scoots around the pile for 20 yards as Micah Hyde chases him down..
Let’s hope this time around the defense can play the run like it’s not their first game out of camp.
Seems like i’m the only Blake Martinez fan on TP
In any case, we need the guy. I’m coming around on Jake Ryan who had his best game of the season last week & he is also decent in coverage too.
Everyone knows about Jordy Nelson, but the injuries the regular NFL fans are not talking about (or are not aware of) are Joe Thomas & Blake Martinez.
Martinez when healthy will be a tackling machine. GPG
I think Martinez is still feeling the effects of the knee injury he suffered earlier this season. I expect he’ll be better next season, much like Ryan is this season.
They’ll stop him. When they stop him. Show us, don’t tell us.
I’m not so sure what’s so different with the Packers defense from week 6 to now. But it will be won or lost at the line of scrimmage, this time in Dallas.
Say what you want, this kids having a hell of a rookie season. I have a feeling, that if the cowboys needed to convert a 4th and 10 inches, they’d get the 1st down.
The best way to stop Elliot is for the Packers to get up by two scores and maintain that margin. The defense may be able to slow Elliot down, but the Packer offense is the only group that can stop him by making the Cowboys throw the ball more than they would like. It is not just Elliot. That offensive line is very good. In the run game they are excellent.
The Packers need to step out of the gate bitch slapping the Cowboys with touchdowns. Put them in shock.
Just like they did against the Lions in week 3. But then they actually have to show up in the 2nd half.
Yes, and the best way to do that is Janis or Allison to the post. Boom!