The Packers put together an absolute dud of a performance against Dallas on both sides of the ball. The offense was once again very sluggish and when they did manage to get something going, they would give the ball right away. Rodgers was his new usual self. Off target all day long, and lost the ball in some huge moments where the offense had scoring opportunities.
On the defensive side of the ball, it wasn’t a terrible game, but the thin secondary was finally exposed and couldn’t rely on the young corners any longer. The impressive rookie, Ezekiel Elliott had a huge game against what was the best run defense in the league. They couldn’t contain the big plays from Dallas and they were never able to regain the momentum lost before halftime.
- Ty Montgomery came to play. Montgomery had 10 catches for 98 receiving yards today with most of his catches coming out of the backfield. With six of them going for big first downs. At a time when the offense needed a spark badly, he was able to get the ball and do some things after the catch. You could see him getting pumped up and that was rubbing off on his teammates. It was nice to see him being used in an effective way and the coaching staff should take note and keep it coming.
- Eddie Lacy, despite a lingering ankle injury all day was able to keep pounding the ball through the holes and was moving the ball. Rodgers was struggling bad when passing the ball, so a good run game was needed today and Lacy provided it. The Packers don’t use their big bowling ball as much as they should but with his gutsy performance against Dallas, he proved to them he can handle the load.
- The defense was able to create some big turnovers against a Dallas offense that is known to take good care of the ball. Julius Peppers had the huge strip of the ball for the first fumble which led to a field goal. Then, in the second half Morgan Burnett made his best effort to save the game with a huge interception (The first of Dak Prescott’s career) which put the Packers’ offense in prime position to score a touchdown and trim the lead. Which they were not able to do.
- Rodgers looked the way of the young guys who don’t get much love on the field. Janis had two catches for 14 yards, and Jared Abbrederis had a pass directed towards him as well. It was a small sample size, but Rodgers may be starting to trust these guys a little more.
- The offense wet the bed today, but atleast we know Mason Crosby can still make his field goals.
- We got an appearance from Brett Favre and put him into the Ring of Honor, plus he officially received his Hall of Fame ring! It’s always nice to see Brett at Lambeau and he will always be the man. (BUT, see the negatives for more.)
- Well where do we start? Okay we’ll address the elephant in the room. Aaron Rodgers was downright terrible again, but this time it wasn’t against the best defense in the league. The receivers were getting separation and were open a lot of the game. Rodgers just flat out missed them. Whether its mechanics, confidence, or some lingering injury, Rodgers accuracy is very off. The fact of the matter is that it’s beginning to hurt this offense in a lot of ways. One of the plays that sticks out is when they thought they had a free play, and Cobb was able to get wide open in the back of the endzone. Rodgers would normally hit Cobb right in the numbers, but he sailed it right over his head and the ball almost did a Lambeau Leap of its own.
- The run defense crumbled against some true competition. Coming in we all knew the defense would be tested by the strong line of Dallas. They did not pass that test. Elliot was able to rush for 157 yards and he averaged 5.6 yards per carry. He was able to get huge chunks of yards throughout the game and the Cowboys were able to abuse them and get what they wanted. Dallas dictated this game from the opening kickoff and it was clear that they were going to get what they wanted.
- The injuries finally caught up the Packers’ secondary. After Quinten Rollins went down Saturday with an injury, and Damarious Randall injuring his groin again in the game, the inexperienced Ladarius Gunter, and Demetri Goodson were tasked with trying to cover Dallas. They did a lot more chasing, than they did covering today. Whether their feet got tangled, or they just got beat, Dallas was winning the battle on the outside all day long.
- Mason Crosby kicked three field goals today. That means that three times Green Bay had the ball in Dallas territory and couldn’t get the job done in said territory. Mason Crosby is a great kicker and the Packers are grateful to have such a good, consistent kicker. But they do not want to be seeing him get that much work on a weekly basis. Finishing drives is something that needs to improve if the Packers want to be a playoff team. It’s already hurting them now, and it’s only been five games.
- The Packers had a chance to stay close to the Vikings, with Minnesota being on their bye this week. Falling two games back this early isn’t a great sign and the Packers will need to be sharp from here on out if they want to stay on course with the new age purple people eaters.
- The Packers officially fell to 0-2 in games which they honor Brett Favre. This game, and last Thanksgiving against Chicago were both dull for Green Bay with Favre in the house. Now i’m not saying there’s a Favre curse, but he might just be making A-Rod nervous when he’s watching over him.
The Packers can’t sulk in their defeat for too long. They drew the short straw and play the Chicago Bears this Thursday night. (Woo! Color Rush!) I am not quite sure if the short week is a good thing, or a bad thing. But what I do know is that Aaron Rodgers needs to step it up this week and show us what he can do. The Vikings are not going anywhere and their schedule isn’t a very difficult one. The possibility of regaining the division crown is slipping away, and Rodgers isn’t helping in the fight for it.