Today is going to be a great day for the NFL and football. After beating the New York Giants last Sunday night the Green Bay Packers’ set them up for a visit today to Texas, to the home of the Dallas Cowboys who will fight tooth and nail to win the NFC Divisional round of the 2017 NFL playoffs. It will be Dallas and Green Bay’s eighth all-time meeting in the playoffs, so it should be a heated affair.
The winner will get move onto and fight for the NFC Championship Game, that will take place a week later.
Earlier in the season, the Cowboys beat Green Bay 30-16 in October when Dallas was ripping through their 11-game winning streak. QB Dak Prescott went 18-of-27 for 247 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott carried 28 times for 157 yards. It was an amazing run.
On the opposite side, Green Bay’s QB Aaron Rodgers was nothing special and not playing as his usual self, he went 31-of-42 for 294 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The loss to Dallas came right before the Packers started sliding downwards, going on a four-game losing streak which put their playoff hopes in serious doubt. That was before Rodgers made a promise to win the rest of the games in the season, and rediscovered his MVP-caliber form.
This will be their 42nd meeting overall. Stats say that Dallas leads narrowly by 21-20, which includes a 4-3 record in the playoffs. Green Bay won the last playoff meeting though in 2014 in a close 26-21 game, but Dallas won the last playoff match up in Dallas, 38-27 in 1996.
There are several stats that can inform the smart bettor on where to put your money on this game. The Cowboys have the best record in the NFC at 13-3 and have home-field advantage until the Super Bowl, so they are comfortable. But the Packers are peaking right now and are at the top of their game and in their flow with seven straight wins.
They are just coming off a 38-13 win over New York in a great wild-card game in Green Bay, and the fourth-placed Packers are sure that they are getting better and geling every week.
The Cowboys didn’t play last week since they got a first-round bye. But Rodgers’ team has some well rested several starters since they didn’t play them at the end of the season, and lost 27-13 to the Philadelphia Eagles on new year’s day.
“They were off this last week, and they’re hosting the game (Sunday), so there’s extra pressure on them as the No. 1 seed to win,” Rodgers said to media. “And, we’re coming in with a lot of confidence and riding the streak. We’re feeling good about the way we’ve been playing.”
The Packers are really motivated and want to avenge that loss in October stil stinging from three months ago. Prescott and Elliott, ran roughshod over the Packers, who played from behind after giving up a touchdown in the first half. So, the Packers are getting ready for more of Elliott in the rematch. He led the NFL with 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground, averaging a robust 5.1 yards per carry. Dallas was second in the league with an average of 149.8 rushing yards.
Dallas also had their No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson out with cracked ribs, and Dez Bryant didn’t play either in their first due to knee injury. So, if they play it’s almost a different team.
“This is a complete offense,” said Packers coach John McCarthy said. “They attack you all over the field — formation, personnel, scheme. And, the ability, really starting with that run game, moving the quarterback around, it creates one-on-one opportunities (on the outside), and Dez is a big challenge.”
We think that Rodgers still will have the answer. The Pack are hot right now and the Cowboys haven’t done anything really special for weeks now. Dallas was also swept this season by the Giants, and it’s the same Giabts who last week couldn’t keep up with the Packers. So, really that’s all you need to know to make your bet.