Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys: 2014 Divisional Round (Packers 26, Cowboys 21)
As always, this post it what it says it is, unfiltered initial reactions as the game progresses. I always find it entertaining to compare initial impressions from the heat of the moment with more measured thoughts with time to think about it. Everything is up for discussion.
The Packers and Cowboys are meeting in the playoffs for the first time in 19 years, and they are meeting in the postseason in Green Bay for the first time since the Ice Bowl 47 years ago.
After a bitterly cold week in Green Bay, temperatures are expected to be in the low 20s during today’s game with light winds and minimal chance of snow.
Something has to give: the Packers are 8-0 at home, while the Cowboys are 8-0 on the road. The last time teams of similar records met was in 1972, when the 7-0-at-home Steelers hosted the 7-0-on-the-road (and undefeated) Dolphins.
The winner of this game will head to Seattle next week for the NFC Championship game. The Seahawks defeated the Panthers 31-17 on Saturday night.
Captains for the rest of this season (as voted on by the players) will be Aaron Rodgers (offense), Jordy Nelson (offense), Julius Peppers (defense), Morgan Burnett (defense), Randall Cobb (offense/ special teams) and Jarrett Bush (special teams).
Inactives for today’s game:
The following players have been declared as inactive for Sunday’s NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field:
Green Bay Packers
26 RB DuJuan Harris
39 CB Demetri Goodson
54 LB Carl Bradford
72 C Garth Gerhart
80 TE Justin Perillo
83 WR Jeff Janis
99 DT Bruce Gaston
10 QB Dustin Vaughan
57 LB Keith Smith
58 LB James Anderson
68 T Doug Free
71 T Donald Hawkins
79 DE Kenneth Boatright
97 DT Terrell McClain
Starting lineup changes: #78 Jermey Parnell will start at RT for #68 Doug Free
Packers vs. Lions – First Impressions – First Half:
Murray takes the ball on Cowboy’s first snap and gets 5… And then gets stopped at LOS on second carry.
A great statement by the defense on the first drive forcing a 3-and-out. Peppers making Thompson look good with the strip.
Packers offense playing primarily in pistol to start the game. Expect it to continue.
On this first drive, Lacy shows the commentary should have been more about him than Murray or Rodger’s calf.
Rodgers moves up in the pocket just enough to get Quarless the TD. Great end to the drive, especially with offense’s red zone questions.
And Brad Jones already keeps a drive alive for the Cowboys with a hold.
Cowboys employing the screens on this drive. Looks like it could be a significant part of their game plan.
Murray’s getting yards, but Packers defense is still making him earn them. After 8 carries, Murray has 20 yards for 2.5 YPC average.
The officiating narrative continues as Cowboys score first touchdown immediately following a questionable PI call. #PickUpTheFlag
Starks in on second drive. Good change up when offensive line is opening big holes.
Rodgers obviously making it a point to stay in the pocket. Looked for more time when DH penalty flag was on the ground.
Packers lose a great drive on the Linsley early snap. Rodgers still needs to protect that ball though.
Score at end of 1st quarter: GB 7 DAL 7
Williams misses the tackle on Williams to give the Dallas a go-ahead TD.
And the predictable run on 2nd-and-10 after an incomplete pass.
These last couple series show how much more impactful turnovers are in playoff games. Defense could really use a stop here.
How is there no one anywhere near Witten on that third down? Come on defense.
Romo hit again in the legs. Trying to see how this game goes with both QBs on one leg?
Muffed snap gives the defense a gift, and Cowboys miss a 50-yd FG to keep it 14-7.
Cobb makes a GREAT sideline catch to keep last minute drive alive.
Packers go into halftime after a good 40-yd FG by Crosby to cut Cowboys lead 14-10. Will get a chance to double up.
At halftime: Lacy 9-48 (5.3), Murray 17-53 (3.1)
Score at end of 1st half: GB 10 DAL 14
Packers vs. Lions – First Impressions – Second Half:
For all of the positive changes Packers have seen in the injury department, Rodgers’ calf can make it all seem for naught.
Here’s hoping Lacy gets a “Witten spot.”
Tramon Williams and Brad Jones in the Ugly category today.
And the penalties start rolling… Matthews offsides.
And the turnovers are now equal. That’s a timely momentum shift. Peppers signing could be validated on that play alone.
Two Cowboys against Lang? What is going on down there!!!???
Penalties are killing the Packers more than anything today.
Cowboys waiting all day for the first down play action to Bryant.
Great pressure, but somehow the floater lands gently in Witten’s hands. Romo injured on the play.
Packers and Cowboys killing each other to give Seahawks an easier game.
And Cobb fumbles on the KO return. Leads to a scrum and lots of flags. This game is now beyond chippy.
Jones and Williams will now be give yellow flags after the game to wear all week.
That completion to Adams will hopefully give both him and the QB some more confidence for the rest of the game.
Good no call by the refs. Surprisingly.
Getting away from the running game means tougher 3rd downs. And even worse when Quarless false starts.
THAT was a playoff performance by Rodgers and Adams on 3rd and very long. TD!
Third quarter ends with a -8 yard sack and Dallas only ahead by one. Keep up the momentum!
Score at end of 3rd quarter: GB 20 DAL 21
Refs completely miss a blatant holding call but Packers still get a consecutive second sack to open 4th qtr.
THIS is why you don’t go for 2 early. Keep momentum going instead of risking it.
Lacy has just about as many yards as Murray with 8 less carries at this point.
Rodgers showing he’s still mobile enough to make plays. Escapes the rush and Q gets the conversion.
Adams gets another big catch and Packers are showcasing all of their weapons now.
Rodgers to Rodgers first time this game… for a TD! All hands on deck.
Packers miss the 2-pt. conversion, but suddenly look in control of the game for the first time since the opening drives.
Tramon needs to find his 2010 self again.
Ok, that was an awesome catch. No way to defend it. Nice try, Sammy… Basically a Hail Mary, do-or-die throw by Romo.
Not a catch!!! Karma for Bryant’s previous field antics?
4 minute drill here for the Packers. Lacy’s time to shine.
Adams has been absolute money in the second half. Great third down conversion to keep the dagger drive going.
Ok, so catch reversal negates ticky tack PI call to give Dallas their first TD. Can we let it rest now?
Oh. My. Word. Cobb FTW.
And the Packers get to seal the game in Victory Formation at Lambeau. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Final Score: GB 26 DAL 21
Rodgers 24-35, 316 yards, 9.0 AVG, 3 TD, 0 INT, 1 FUM, 125.4 rating… on one leg. M-V-P
Eddie Lacy 19 carries, 101 yards, 5.3 AVG. The unsung hero of this team when it comes to the national media.
Randall Cobb and Davante Adams get game balls today for their playoff-caliber performances. Stepped up when needed most, especially Adams in the second half.
Rodgers completed passes to 7 different players today, and 3 of them each had touchdowns. Hard to stop that offense when all of their weapons are playing at their potential.
On to Seattle… I’m concerned with how much more limited Rodgers was today than I expected. The Seahawks are going to be a tough battle for sure, but we’ve got a whole week to talk about that. For now, enjoy the win! (And sending the Cowboys packing!)——————Follow @ChadToporski