It might feel a bit blasé to continue including Rodgers in this category every week but it’s imperative. There’s absolutely no way that the Packers win this game or any of the last eight without him. Rodgers is in a serious groove and is willing this offense to victory with some of the best passes that we’ve ever seen.
What a free agent signing, eh? Cook does things that a guy of his size shouldn’t be able to do. His presence on the field was huge, especially given the loss of Rodgers’ favorite security blanket, Jordy Nelson. Cook was targeted a team high 11 times and led the Packers in receptions and receiving yards. None of that is to mention the seemingly miraculous sideline catch that set up the Crosby game-winner.
Kickers get made fun of until their service is required to win playoff games. The risk of keeping Crosby during his slide several seasons ago is paying dividends for Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy now. The temptation is to place the entirety of this win on Rodgers. While the Packers would be at home watching the playoffs without Rodgers, make no mistake about it: Mason Crosby kicked the Packers into the NFC Championship.
With a hobbled and shaky secondary, Hyde has continued to step up and make plays. Hyde is playing the best football of his career, and it could not have come at a better time. He finished the game with 4 tackles, 2 passes defensed, 1 sack, and 1 INT on an unbelievable read and break on the Dallas offense.
Ty Montgomery, Nick Perry, Kenny Clark, and Kentrell Brice.
Matthews has been a bit of a let down this year. After moving back to outside linebacker, a lot of people expected him to return to the turnover forcing, sack machine of yesteryear. Unfortunately, Clay finished with only 5 sacks on the year and 1 forced fumble. For a 30 year old guy that should still be at the peak of his career, Matthews has certainly become a hot and cold player. Toward the end of the game, it certainly felt like Matthews would step up and make a play but he didn’t. In fact, the only statistical confirmation that Matthews played at all was a single tackle.
Matthews is certainly still capable of being a difference maker. Two weeks ago in the Wildcard matchup with the Giants, Matthews sacked Eli Manning and forced a fumble. But if the Packers are going to continue their push for another Lombardi Trophy, they’re going to need some more consistency out of one of their highest paid players.
I understanding wanting to let the corners and receivers duke it out a bit in the playoffs, but this officiating crew was allowing all kinds of defensive holding and pass interference yesterday. Some of the misses (particularly a couple of times when Davante Adams had his pads sticking out of his jersey) were atrocious.
Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.