Predictions and What To Watch For: Packers at Cowboys – 2019 Week 5

It’s been a long week to stew about a disappointing loss. There are plenty of coaches, players, and refs to blame, but at the end of the day, all that matters is how the team reacts to it, starting with this week’s game against the Cowboys.

Here’s a look at the biggest factors:

Aaron Rodgers
With Davante Adams most likely out, Jamaal Williams missing from a running attack that is among the worst in the league, and a banged up offensive line, almost all of the burden for offensive production will fall on Aaron Rodgers. In Dallas. We’ve seen this before. I expect Rodgers to play more of his style in this game. We saw him run and move out of the pocket a lot more against Philadelphia and he has experience designing plays on the fly in Dallas. Whatever happens, he should be entertaining.

Run Defense
Ever since a strong showing against the Bears . With La’El Collins and Tyron Smith both missing practice this week (and Smith basically declared out), the Packers may have an easier time generating a pass rush. That would mean they could load up against the run. The Saints were able to dominate this offensive line and maybe the Packers could, too – it would certainly go a long way in correcting the course of this defense.

Kellen Moore
Remember when he was a journeyman backup quarterback? Well now he’s the hot young Offensive Coordinator of the Cowboys (Jason Garrett, Wade Wilson, Kellen Moore, man, no one loves brining their old backup QBs on as coaches as much as Dallas does). The Cowboys started hot on offense this year, but the Saints obviously watched the film and came up with a game plan to slow things down (though getting three turnovers helped a lot, too). Mike Pettine will be in an early season chess match with Moore all day. This will be a very telling game for the defense.

Eyes on Jaire
One of the reasons the Saints fared so well on defense was because Marshon Lattimore smothered Amari Cooper, holding him to 5 catches on 8 targets and only 48 yards. If Dak gets going with Cooper, things will get ugly – Jaire needs to be at his best this week for Mike Pettine to deploy an aggressive gameplan (especially with Kevin King and Tony Brown potentially missing the game).

Penalties
The Saints-Cowboys game was a bit sloppy and every scoring drive was impacted by penalties. I would say the Packers need to focus on limiting their penalties, but refereeing seems so random this year, that it may just be up to whatever the refs feel like calling on either side of the ball.

 

Predictions

  • Ezekiel Elliott goes over 100 yards rushing
  • Dak Prescott gets less than 250 yards passing
  • Kenny Clark goes apesh!t and wrecks the interior
  • Darnell Savage comes up with a big play
  • Aaron Rodgers gets more passing yards than Dak Prescott
  • Jake Kumerow gets less than 50 yards receiving 
  • Mason Crosby misses a kick
  • Danny Vitale has a higher ypc carry than Aaron Jones

Packers 17, Cowboys 27

This week’s game marks the beginning of the second quarter of the season. Check out progress report from the first quarter for more analysis.

2 thoughts on “Predictions and What To Watch For: Packers at Cowboys – 2019 Week 5”

  1. So there’s all this talk about Pettine’s defense being strategically geared to stop the pass and deliberately devoting less personnel to stop the run; the goal being to slow rather than outright stop the run and shut off the passing game. OK, fine. This week we’ll find out if this has been truly a full blown choice, or if we couldn’t stop the run whether we like it or not.

    The Cowboys ABSOLUTELY CANNOT PASS, unless Zeke is successful. Stop Zeke, Stop the Cowboys. Period. End of Story. It’s a really simple formula this week. So, I have no doubt that Pettine will alter the formula this week. There will have to be a gameplan designed to stop the run rather than the pass. Extra db’s out, LBs in, Safeties moving into the box.

    I recognize, zeke is one of the best in the NFL, and you can’t entirely stop him. However, I want to see Pettine do the right thing and make defending the run a priority this week, and secondly, I want to see that approach net some positive results against the run game. If that happens, I can be satisfied that we are capable of stopping the run, we just aren’t making it our #1 priority. I want to know that when we need to do it, we can do it. If we’re going to the playoffs, this has to be the case.

    If we don’t make the run a top priority(even if it’s just this week), my faith in Pettine will take a serious hit. If we do make it a priority and get absolutely crushed by the run, I think we can throw another log on the fire in Bruce’s 1st Quarter Report Card, that even when we try to stop the run, we totally suck at stopping the run.

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