We are a quarter of the way through the NFL and the Green Bay Packers are 3-1. They are off to a great start and if they can go 3-1 each of the quarters the rest of the way, they are going to have a strong season.
The Packers will face a quality opponent on Sunday, in the 3-1 Dallas Cowboys. These two teams have had some memorable games over the years. Plus, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t lost in Dallas. He will possibly have to win without Davante Adams and Jamaal Williams.
The biggest challenge for the Packers will be stopping Cowboys running back Zeke Elliott. The run defense is the biggest concern for Mike Pettine’s unit. They are currently ranked 26th in the league in stopping the run with 569 yards allowed on the ground. That is an average of 142 yards per game. They have allowed 5 yards per carry.
In week 2 against the Vikings, they gave up a 75-yard touchdown run to Dalvin Cook. The following week against the Broncos, the defense allowed 2 touchdowns on the ground. The last week against the Eagles, they allowed 176 rushing yards, which was more than they gained through the air against Packers defensive unit. The Eagles essentially beat the Packers by running the ball.
If the inability to control the line of scrimmage carries over for a third consecutive week, the Packers are going to be in for a long day. Through last week Sunday, Elliott currently ranks seventh in the league in rushing yards with 324. Against the Saints last week, Elliott was ineffective as he only gained 35 yards on 18 carries. In his three games against the Packers, Elliott has gained over 100 yards each game.
The key to the Packers success against the Cowboys is going to be holding Elliott in check. If the Packers what to have a deep playoff run they are going to have improve their run defense. Now, it is still early in the season and teams improve as the season goes on. Even with their poor run defense, they have been flying around on that side of the football. Their run stopper Montravius Adams has targeted this week as his return. This could be just what the defense needs to get to that elite level.
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag