Sunday, January 11, 2015
Ten Reasons the Packers Should Clean the Cowpokes' Clocks Today
Sitting with my 'Packer-whacker' at Lambeau Field in December, 2009.
A question on every Packer fan's mind is whether the Pack can dispatch the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field today. Make no mistake, this is a historic game, the first playoff meeting at Lambeau between the two teams since the infamous 'Ice Bowl' 47 years ago. That game I saw in New Orleans, with the Pack winning 21-17 on a game ending quarterback sneak by Bart Starr. The game is still the coldest ever to be played with wind chills approaching minus 48.
What about the current game? Can the Pack win? Let us recall the past three playoff seasons the Pack were dismissed including a "one and done" after a 15-1 regular season record several years ago. But in those previous times there were critical injuries or a key piece (in the case of the 2011 SB defense) left out. (Cullen Jenkins not resigned so the 'D' was not up to the SB standard)
Anyway, here are ten reasons I believe the Pack will take care of business today:
1) The Pack are unbeatable at Lambeau this year and the crowd will be louder than ever when Dallas is on offense, even rivaling the 12th man in Seattle. Romo - amidst the noise- will make a slew of errors and look for lots of false starts.
2) Dallas RB DeMarco Murray still suffers from a broken bone in his left hand which will be magnified in pain in Lambeau where temperatures won't rise above 14F. One hard hit and he will likely be forced to leave, or at least fumble.
3) Aaron Rodgers, Packers QB rules at Lambeau as much or more than Brady at Gillette Stadium or Peyton Manning at Denver's Sports Authority Field. Look for Rodgers to make quick passes to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb for long yards after the catch.
4) Clay Matthews, unlike in prior years, is now healthy and as he even said 2 days ago "there are no excuses". Also, he will have former Bear LB Julius Peppers on the other side helping out to keep Romo off balance.
5) Romo will be 'twitchy' and gun shy after his already vulnerable back took several shots in the Lions' game last week. After several knockdowns, compliments of Sam Barrington, Clay Matthews and Peppers, look for Romo to make a number of wild throws - including two for picks.
6) Look for Packers' coach Mike McCarthy to put more run plays in for Eddie Lacy - at least enough to match his 100+ yard effort vs. Detroit. This strategy will be good to help Aaron out (still nursing a calf injury - not helped by getting stepped on by Ndamukong Suh). and also keep Dallas RB Dez Bryant off the field so he can't make as much trouble.
7) The Pack will make at least two big plays on special teams - likely a runback for TD (compliments of Micah Hyde) and maybe a blocked punt. The Pack's special teams have been taking heat all year for less than stellar play and are determined now to make a statement. I believe they will!
8) There are a lot of guys who weren't on the Packers' 2010 Super Bowl champion season team and are hungry for that special title, and the ring. They have 5 to 7 guys left from that team to encourage them to go all out - leave it all on the field. No one and done!
9) Chris Christie's "good luck" orange sweater (worn when he sits with Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones in his box) has an expiry date on it - and that will be today!
10) S.I. picked the Packers to win, and also beat the Patriots in the SB.
Wifey is still reeling from the dastardly tricks played by the Patsies yesterday in not reporting Shane Vereen as an ineligible receiver. Ravens coach Harbaugh had to go out onto the field to seek some kind of explanation and his team was penalized for it. Steve Mariucci, on NFL Game Day this morning, did say it was "within the rules" but also said an official ought to have pointed out the ineligible to allow the defense to set coverage before the play.
This is also something the competition committee will have to address and soon. Meanwhile, any team that might have to play NE better look at that game tape closely.