By Kelton Brooks (@BrooksWeekly)
A “slight tear.” Three words Packers’ fan have only heard in their nightmares, but the injury is all but a reality for Aaron Rodgers.
But as their Super Bowl winning quarterback once said after Green Bay started the season 1-2, R-E-L-A-X. As prolific a passer Rodgers is, his slightly torn calf muscle couldn’t have come at a worst time.
Wild Card Prediction Results
|DAL @ GB||DAL(L)||GB(W)|
|CAR @ SEA||SEA(W)||SEA(W)|
|IND @ DEN||DEN(L)||DEN(L)|
|BAL @ NE||NE(W)||NE(W)|
Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers
Two extremes are at stake in Sunday’s divisional matchup: The Packers are 8-0 at home on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Green Bay has averaged a NFL-high 39.8 points per game at home with Rodgers throwing for 25 touchdowns to 0 interceptions.
The Cowboys have a winning streak of their own going 8-0 on the road led by the new “triplets,” Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray. Dallas has averaged 34.4 points per game on the road. Murray led the league in rushing with 1,845 yards, breaking Emmitt Smith’s single season record along the way. Bryant broke Michael Irvin’s single season touchdown record with 16 on the season.
Something has to give.
Not having a first-round bye was the best thing that ever happened to the Cowboys. It would’ve only slowed down the momentum for the hottest team in the NFL. Now matter what adversity Dallas has been faced with this season, they keep finding ways to win.
The 42-7 drumming Dec. 21 over the Indianapolis Colts was a telltale sign of the maturity and growth of the Cowboys. When the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Washington Redskins the Dec. 14, last year’s Cowboys would’ve lost to the Colts.
This team has a new confidence, a new mindset and new drive.
Dallas will shock the Packers on the arctic Lambeau field and defeat an ailing Rodgers.
Eddie P’s Philosophical Take
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks
As much as I loathe the Seattle Seahawks, I cannot deny how good of a team they are. Seattle boasts the best defense in the NFL. Running back Marshawn Lynch is one of the best rushers in the game. Quarterback Russell Wilson is a great decision-maker that can beat you through the air and on the ground.
Carolina is a team that is finally putting their potential together. The running back duo of Jonathan Stewart and Deangelo Williams is dangerous. Quarterback Cam Newton can drop the long bombs and bust loose on a long run. Ron Rivera’s defense is always tough.
The Panthers, however, still were a 7-8-1 team. The Panthers have and will commit costly errors. Newton has turned the ball over 21 times during the season. He turned the ball over twice last week. Against a well-rounded team like Seattle, this habit of turning the ball over can–and will–be deadly.
Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers
The Dallas Cowboys broke the nasty habit of faltering in the month of December. Last week against Detroit, Jerry’s “Boys came back to win. In Lambeau Field, the Cowboys success will come to a screeching halt.
The Packers rank in the top 10 offensively. Aaron Rodgers and his receiving corps of Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson will carve you up. If Rodgers is not scary enough, imagine the bruising 230-pound Eddie Lacy running straight at you.
The Packs’ “weakness” is its defense, and it is 10th against the pass but only 23rd against the run. No matter how you look at GB’s defense, it is a tough unit. With Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers rushing the passer, it will be tough for Dallas to block.
Game. Set. Match. Packers.