The past few years have not been kind to the Packers in the playoffs. The Packers are 1-3 in the playoffs, losing twice to the 49ers and to the Giants. What makes this year different? The Packers are a better team than the last few teams that have lost. When the Packers went 15-1 in 2011, their defense was unreliable. The offense was so good that no one noticed the defense was so bad. This year the Packers seem to be a complete team. Rodgers has a running game, a reliable receiver corps, and a defense that makes stops when needed to.
Let’s look at the four things the Packers need to win.
- Protect Rodgers: Even if Rodgers was a 100% he can’t do it all himself, even though we believe as Packer fans he can. Rodgers cannot be hit a lot or it will lead to him become one dimensional. No quarterback even as good as Rodgers can win a playoff game.
- Rookies: Ha Ha Clinton Dix, Richard Rodgers, Davante Adams need to step up. The Cowboys will try everything to take away Nelson and Cobb. The Cowboys did a nice job on Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. The rookies need to make sure they play like veterans be smart, and take advantage of their roles.
- Peppers and Matthews: Peppers has to become what Woodson was in 2010 Super bowl run. A leader on and off the field. Peppers needs to disrupt anyway he can from batting down balls, sacks, stuffing the run. Then be a positive voice on the sidelines. Matthews needs to show that he should have been named a playoff captain. We need the Matthews of 2010 a complete un-blockable animal. Our defensive line can only hold for awhile so it’s extremely important Matthews and Peppers make their mark on this game.
- Running game: This is an obvious one. Lacy and Starks have to be a unstoppable force to give Rodgers a extra weapon. The play action pass. With cold weather hitting Lacy is not what the Cowboys defense wants to do. If the play action pass is working for Rodgers, a victory is almost certain.
I believe the Cowboys are a mirror image of the Packers. Except for one thing; they are not playing at home. In the end, the magic of Lambeau is too much.
Packers 27-21 Cowboys.