Packers positives has had a pretty good run. We started in the depths of despair – when some people were calling for even Matt LaFleur’s job – and followed the team all the way into the playoffs where the Packers are more than a touchdown underdog against the Cowboys. We’re nobody’s underdog.
- Aaron Jones probably just had the best three game run in his career and he always kills in Dallas. Add in the Cowboys’ meh run defense and we might have a recipe for a career day for Aaron Jones this weekend. That would go a long way toward taking pressure off of Jordan Love in is first career playoff game.
- Speaking of Love, he has now been widely acknowledged as a legitimate franchise QB and looks ready to take the next step into stardom with a plus playoff performance. Obviously, we haven’t seen enough to say that Love is better than or, really, even as good as Dak Prescott4f
- The Cowboys’ defense isn’t quite as good as it was last year and relies heavily on its pass rush and creating turnovers. The Packers are very well suited to combat both of those strengths. Love has only thrown one pick in the last like 8 games and the Packers offensive line and scheme is built to thwart the pass rush. Not only are each of the offensive linemen above-average athletes and pass protectors, LaFleur isn’t afraid to gameplan heavily around the opponents pass rush – against the Lions they went as far as using AJ Dillon and Josh Myers to double Adrian Hutchinson on a play action fake.
- McCarthy has undeniably improved the Cowboys offense this season, but he has done it at the expense of the variability it used to have. The offense is now incredibly reliant on passing to CeeDee Lamb and Jake Ferguson. Sure, Brandin Cooks and Tony Pollard exist, but stopping those two players will go most of the way to a win for the Pack.
- Rashan Gary is due for a big game. OK, we’re stretching here and this is more of a feeling than anything else. Gary has had plenty of pressures since his extension but he only has a couple games this season with multiple sacks. It’s time for him to step up and impact multiple third downs.
- Finally, and I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty of times, we’re playing with house money here. If we lose on a last second sack fumble that should’ve been called penalized for an obvious facemask infraction, we did it with the youngest team ever. If we lose because the defense lays an egg, it could mean we finally get the chance to hire a good defensive coordinator for the first time in 15 years. If we win, we get a chance to embarrass the 49ers. a
Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.