Green Bay Packers (11-6; 10-6-1 ATS; 11-6 O/U) vs. Dallas Cowboys (13-3; 10-6 ATS; 6-10 O/U)
NFC Divisional Playoff: Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 4:40pm EST
Line: Dallas -4.5
The Green Bay Packers will head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff Sunday afternoon from AT&T Stadium. The Packers crushed the Giants 38-13 in the Wildcard game last week, and the Cowboys enjoyed a first round bye after finishing with a 13-3 record.
The Cowboys beat the Packers 30-16 at Lambeau Field in week six. Dak Prescott threw three touchdowns and one interception, and Aaron Rodgers threw for 294 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Rodgers Dazzles as Packers Dominate Giants
The Green Bay Packers handled the Giants with ease in their 38-13 Wildcard win last week, and have now won seven straight games. Aaron Rodgers continued his dominating play, throwing for 362 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. The 33-year old quarterback has been outstanding, accumulating 4428 yards with a 40:7 TD to INT ratio, and has thrown 22 touchdowns with zero interceptions over his last eight games. Unfortunately for the Packers, Jordy Nelson, who led the Packers in receiving this season, is doubtful for this contest with two fractured ribs. Davante Adams came up huge last week, racking up 125 yards off eight catches, and he will likely be targeted heavily in this contest due to the absence of Nelson. Randall Cobb made his return to the lineup last week and was tremendous, making five grabs for 116 yards and three touchdowns. Cobb adds another element of danger to the Packers offense and is another reliable option for Rodgers. Adams and Cobb will definitely need to step up in Nelson’s absence. Green Bay likely won’t run the ball a whole lot against the Cowboys strong rush defense, especially with Starks and Lacy out of the lineup. The Packers are averaging 27 points per game, good for fourth in the NFL.
The Packers defense was very impressive in the win over the Giants last week, holding Manning to just one touchdown. Green Bay only conceded 70 rushing yards last week, and the biggest key for them in this game will be their ability to stop Ezekiel Elliott on the ground. If they can stop Elliott, which is no easy task, they have a good chance to win this game. The Packers are allowing an average of 24.2 points per game, placing them 21st in the NFL.
Cowboys Look to Beat Packers for Second Time of Year
The Dallas Cowboys are back in the playoffs after a one-year absence but this time it is the rookie tandem of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott that played a big role in getting Dallas a first round bye. Dak Prescott was very impressive all season, showing great poise and finished the year with 3667 passing yards with 23 TD’s and only 4 INT’s. No one has been able to stop rookie phenom Ezekiel Elliot who led the NFL with an astounding 1631 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns on the season. Elliott burned the Packers for 157 rushing yards in the Cowboys win in Green Bay in week six. One player that did not get enough recognition this season was Cole Beasley who lead the Cowboys with a career-high 833 receiving yards which also led all Cowboys receivers. Dez Bryant would have led the team in receiving if it were not for injuries that kept him out of three games. The 28-year old wide receiver still had a solid season, collecting 796 receiving yards on the season. Dallas is averaging 26.3 points per game, good for fifth in the NFL.
The Cowboys feature a strong defense that specializes in stopping the run. The Cowboys will give up yards in the air but it has not translated into the opposition scoring a whole lot of points. Watch for Sean Lee who is always all over the field making big plays. The 30-year old linebacker made a total of 145 total tackles on the season, ranking him fourth in the NFL. Dallas is allowing an average of only 19.1 points per game, good for fifth in the NFL.
The Green Bay Packers are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Playoff games.
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road playoff games.
The Dallas Cowboys are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games against a team with a winning road record.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against the NFC.
I am taking the points with Green Bay in this contest. I can’t go against Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs. No defense has been able to stop Rodgers, he has thrown 22 touchdowns with zero interceptions over his last eight games. Dallas has a solid defense, however they are allowing an average of 260 passing yards per game, ranking them 26th in the NFL, so I expect Rodgers to continue to put up big numbers. Also, Green Bay owns the eighth-ranked rush defense in the NFL, so I am confident they can at least slow down Elliot. Take the points with the Packers in this one.
Pick: Green Bay +4.5
The Cowboys have a solid defense but they give up a lot of yards in their air and the Packers are obviously a passing team led by the red hot Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay has scored 30 or more points in five straight games and the over is 5-0 in their last 5 road games. The Cowboys were able to score 30 points against Green Bay earlier this season, and although they won’t score 30 points they will still do some damage, and the over is 5-1 in their last 6 home games against Green Bay.