In the most intriguing matchup of the divisional round the Green Bay Packers will head to Dallas to face the top seeded Cowboys. Green Bay had to defeat the New York Giants in the Wild Card round and found themselves trailing late in the first half when quarterback Aaron Rogers unleashed a Hail Mary pass that somehow found wide receiver Randall Cobb in the back of the end zone. This play turned what would have been a 7-6 game at halftime into a 14-6 game at the half and the Packers never looked back en route to blowing out the Giants 38-13. Dallas has the benefit of rest and the home field. Star running back Ezekiel Elliot was involved in a minor car accident during the week but is completely healthy according to all reports.
Rogers remains amongst the elite quarterbacks in the NFL and is a capable of carrying a team no matter how depleted they may be due to injury. He went 25 of 40 passing for 362 yards and 4 touchdowns last week. They will need some extra ability to overcome injury this week as All Pro wide receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the game due to rib injuries suffered in last weeks game. While converted wide receiver Ty Montgomey has improved weekly and while he has filled in admirably for the teams injured running backs he is not a natural tailback and Rogers often relies on intermediate throws in place of runs. The Packers defense was maligned earlier in the season but has made big strides over the seasons last few weeks.
The Cowboys have their own star quarterback and its not 5 time Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo who went down in the preseason with a knee injury and did not get his job back upon returning to the active roster, but rookie sensation Dak Prescott who has been noting short of spectacular. The 4th round draft pick will be making his postseason debut after a regular season where he guided his team to a 13-3 record and showed unprecedented poise for a rookie. Fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliot was just as impressive in his rookie season. He earned the starting running back job in training camp and never looked back. He led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,631 and that with sitting out the last week of the season as well as having his carries reduced the week prior. The teams biggest strength is its offensive line which is clearly the best in the league.
It not possible to predict how the Cowboy star rookies will handle the pressure of the playoffs and it will be up to the coaches and veterans to make sure they are mentally and physically ready. Rogers has his team right back in the hunt only a few weeks after he declared that his team would “run the table” and make the playoffs. The Packers have made his words prove prophetic and now they are one win away from the NFC Championship game.
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