After the Green Bay Packers lost their fourth straight game in a 42-24 blowout to the Washington Redskins, an unphased Aaron Rodgers suggested the 4-6 Packers could “run the table.” Following those comments, Green Bay would go on to finish the regular season on a six-game winning streak and won the NFC North title in the process. So far, Rodgers is also running the table in the playoffs, which is discouraging news for their upcoming opponent, the Dallas Cowboys.
Entering the postseason, the Giants had come off of a dominant win over their division rival, the Redskins, which eliminated Washington from postseason contention. New York has some history of winning wild games in Lambeau Field, as the Giants had to go through Green Bay in their 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl seasons. Many experts incorrectly assumed history would repeat itself and New York would top Green Bay again, but this was a different Packers team they faced.
Initially, Green Bay got of to a slow start against New York, falling behind 6-0. However, the Packers outscored the Giants 38-7 from that point on, throttling New York by a final score of 38-13. The scary part is Green Bay did this without their star wide receiver, Jordy Nelson, who fell victim to injury in the first half.
With 2:32 remaining in the second quarter, Rodgers showed great mobility on a scoring strike to Davante Adams. Then, with six seconds left before intermission, he hit Randall Cobb on a 42-yard Hail Mary. Rodgers was on fire against a solid New York Giants defense and completed 25 of 40 passses for 362 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Here’s a fact that will make any diehard fan of America’s Team cringe – New York’s defense is not only superior to Dallas’, but they also shut down the Cowboys’ offense twice this season. Green Bay was also able to slow down New York’s run game, which is something that should concern Dallas. Against Green Bay’s front seven, the Giants only collected 70 total rushing yards from a combined four players.
We’ve seen in the past the best team doesn’t always win the whole thing – it’s the hottest. Dallas is the best team in the NFC, but Green Bay is red hot at the right time. Just like in their 2010 Super Bowl season, the Packers finished 10-6 and barely squeaked into the playoffs. But Green Bay showed if they have momentum, they’re nearly impossible to stop.
In his past eight games, Rodgers has posted a 22:0 touchdown to interception ratio. If the Cowboys are going to end the Packers’ streak of dominance, they will need the play their best football of the season. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have no room for error on Sunday and Dallas’ defense has to figure out how to slow down Rodgers.
Green Bay hasn’t been to the Super Bowl in six years, but they look far overdue for another appearance. The similarities from the 2016 and the 2010 Packers are hard to miss. The Cowboys have had a phenomenal season, but they have a tough test coming up, and will find out first-hand why Rodgers is currently in the MVP race.