The playoffs are here and the Dallas Cowboys begin their journey with a home game against the Green Bay Packers. The Cowboys are currently 7.5-point favorites in the game according to DraftKings Sportsbook. To get a little knowledge of what is going on with the Packers, we turn to our sister site, Acme Packing Company.
Blogging The Boys: Jordan Love has guided the Packers to the playoffs. What are his strengths and weaknesses? What is his style of quarterbacking?
Acme Packing Company: If I had to sum up Love’s style of play, I’d call it part his own, part Aaron Rodgers, and a little Brett Favre thrown in.
He’s got his own mechanics but his throwing motion has some Rodgers to it. You can see the influence the former MVP had on his protégé. There were a lot of highlights this year where I went “wow, Rodgers-esque” and that’s a compliment. A lot of the off schedule stuff is familiar.
The Favre piece is that Love isn’t afraid to throw into a crowd. While not as reckless as Favre, he’s definitely not as careful as Rodgers either in how often he’d throw it away. This led Love into some trouble earlier in the season but he’s learned from it.
That’s his biggest weakness and he still has an occasional issue with the deep ball, but those are fixable. His strengths are his arm talent and his ability to go off schedule. The same strengths the last two Green Bay quarterbacks have had.
BTB: The Packers may be considered ‘ahead of schedule’ in the playoffs, given it was Love’s first real year. What has Matt LaFleur and staff done right to make this happen?
APC: They kept the team believing while the offensive playbook was retooled. You can’t just take a Rodgers playbook and place it on ANY quarterback, let alone a new one. So LaFleur adapted his offense on the fly and it paid off down the road. As an offensive mind, I really think LaFleur doesn’t get enough respect. He’s a remarkable play designer and now making the playoffs without Rodgers, maybe he’ll get some long overdue respect.
Defensively, they responded as their coordinator came under siege but they’re still way too leaky. Still, credit to Joe Barry for not completely breaking under immense pressure. I still think a change is made here, though.
BTB: What is the injury situation for Green Bay heading into the game?
APC: They’re getting healthier. It’ll be interesting to see if Christian Watson can go on Sunday because he looked like he was going to go last week but didn’t. LaFleur chalked that up to gamesmanship against Chicago but Watson has been practicing.
Jaire Alexander is the other one worth watching as he showed up Thursday with a new ankle injury.
BTB: Give us the overall strengths and weaknesses of the team on the field.
APC: Strengths: They don’t give up. Even when teams got a lead on them early in the season, they found a way back. Aaron Jones also runs the ball well and has proven to be a tough opponent against the Cowboys in the past. Don’t sleep on Jordan Love either. His calm demeanor is a big reason why they’re in the playoffs. Defensively, the pass rush is strong (when Barry sends it).
Weaknesses: They can be undisciplined.
When they get penalized, they get penalized a lot and especially on special teams. Defensively, they’re flawed in pass coverage. When guys are open, they’re OPEN. Inexcusable scheme from Barry and why barring two wins in the playoffs, I don’t see him coming back in 2024.
BTB: The current line according to DraftKings Sportsbook favors Dallas by 7.5 points. Is that a fair line and how do you think the game will go on Sunday?
APC: Honestly, I think so. I could see this game turning into a big shootout, but Dallas’ defense is much stronger.
This isn’t the same Packers team Mike McCarthy coached so the familiarity angle just isn’t there. Green Bay has handled things in Dallas well before and I don’t think the environment is going to rattle Love.
That said, I still think Green Bay’s season ends here and that’s ok. This a house money game for even the most hardcore Packers fan.
Thanks for the knowledge, Acme Packing Company.