Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week 15: Packers vs. Cowboys

The Green Bay Packers travel to Texas today to take on the Dallas Cowboys. This will be the football equivalent of a Wrestlemania tag-team cage match. How so? Well, both teams literally have their playoff chances hanging on the outcome of this game...the Packers more so than the Cowboys, despite the Pack being only one-half game behind both the Lions and Da Bearz in the NFC North, while the 'boys are a full game behind the Eagles in the NFC East. So this should be a game with some intensity to it.

The Packers will go into this game with backup QB Matt Flynn getting the start once again. The Pack is coming off an important come-from-behind win in last week's game against the Falcons at Lambeau Field. The Cowboys are coming off a dismal loss to Chicago at Soldier Field. If Aaron Rodgers had been back at quarterback, this is a game the Packers likely win. With Flynn and a bad Packers defense...?

On the other hand, it's important to note that as bad as the Pack's defense has been especially in the last month or so (a notable exception was the second half of last Sunday's game), the Cowboys' defense is worse. In fact, statistically, they are dead last in total defense. Plus, a couple other Dallas defensive starters are out for this game, one at linebacker and another at cornerback. The Packers have the possibility of moving the ball against this defense. The Pack will be counting heavily on a slightly hobbled Eddie Lacy to put up some yards on the ground, so Matt Flynn can execute a few passes here and there. Without a running game, it may be a long game despite a porous Cowboys defense.

The pundits have installed Dallas as anywhere from 5 to 6-1/2-point favorites in this game. If all things are even (and they are not, of course), the edge goes to the 'boys because of QB Tony Romo, who is having one of his best seasons. Unless Matt Flynn has a game of Lion-esque proportions (from a couple years go, not Thanksgiving Day), the Pack will be challenged to snatch a win.

The Prediction
We're not going to go into a lot of hemming and hawing about this one. Teams with better quarterbacks win, even with weak defenses; the QB can cover up a lot of we've seen since Rodgers has been sidelined.

So as much as I hate to do so, I'm calling it 31-24 Cowboys over Packers. I hope I'm wrong, as it turns out I was last week.

With that said...Go Pack Go!!!