The Packers improved their record to 4-1 as they went into Dallas to get the win on the road.
A lot like the season thus far, the game against Dallas was up and down. They looked very impressive at times during the game, and other times they looked like it was week one. What I was really looking for in this game was consistency. The Packers needed four good quarters of football to come out with this win.
The focus from many fans was on the defense. After getting torched by the run against Philadelphia, I knew the Packers would have to have a strong showing by their front. For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. Mike Pettine used a variety of fronts to stack the box and swallow up the run. Going in, I knew they were facing another stout offensive line and they had to be quick to flow to the run and get hats on the ball.
The Packers defense didn’t have their best showing, although they showed up when it counted. The defense surrendered 563 total yards to the Cowboys. 441 of those yards came through the air. I think the stats may be a little misleading, as I noticed that the Packers played more off coverage in this game than they have the previous weeks. I liked the approach by Mike Pettine. They wanted to keep the play in front of them and not surrender the deep pass. The defensive backs held their own with a strong performance by Kevin King.
On the ground, the Packers gave up 122 yards to the Dallas offense on 21 rushes. I count this as a win. I stated earlier in the week that I thought Dallas had one of the best interior offensive lines in the NFL. From what I saw on tape, their guards did a great job of down blocking and pull blocking, which I knew would give the Packers fits. I’ll admit that I was surprised that Green Bay performed as well as they did in this area.
The big news of the day was on the offensive side of the ball. Aaron Jones had a big game as he rushed for 107 yards and 4 touchdowns. He had his way on the edge. It seemed like the gap runs as well as the outside zone was there all day. The offensive line zone blocked better against the Cowboys than they have all season. If Jones didn’t see anything on the interior, he would bounce the run to the edge and get upfield. It was a relief to see the run game do as well as it did.
When it came to the passing game, Rodgers looked like a magician. He stepped up in the pocket and maneuvered around with ease. Really, it was just vintage Aaron. He ended the day going 22-34 with 238 yards passing. As good as I felt about his game, I wasn’t too impressed with the offensive line. Corey Linsley left the game early with a concussion, so I knew there would be a few miscues up front. Jenkins was the bright spot on the offensive line. Several times on a running play I noticed that he got to the second level, squared up and blocked the play up with ease. I’m not too worried about the offensive line but did notice a few things that were troublesome. The tape will tell more.
The biggest thing at this point is consistency. The Packers had three really good quarters of football against Dallas but gave up too many easy looks in the fourth quarter. It’s been that way so far this year. When the Packers can string 4 consistently good quarters of football together they could be a dangerously good team.
I can’t express enough how good it feels to be 4-1. When the season began, I honestly didn’t think the Packers would be sitting with 4 wins. With a new head coach, new faces on the roster and young players across the board, it would be easy to be a little worried. Nevertheless, this team has come together and found ways to win games. I’ll say this; the future is bright in Green Bay. The front office has really done a good job throughout the offseason of putting together a nice roster from top to bottom.
The Packers look to go 5-1 as the Lions come to Lambeau Field for a Monday night showdown next week.
Follow me on Twitter: @PTTF_Ben