Wild-Card Weekend in the NFL is a wrap and while it wasn’t as exciting as billed, it did lead to some shocking moments. One of the biggest happened in Dallas where the Packers came through like a tornado and tossed the Cowboys around like rag dolls. Everyone has been focused on the Cowboys getting outright embarrassed, but today we’re giving the Packers their flowers.
Right now, this game feels like it was Jordan Love’s coming out party. Alongside head coach Matt LaFleur, Green Bay’s offense completely flustered and bamboozled Dallas’ “vaunted” defense from their first snap. The Cowboy’s defense was literally backpedaling the entire game. It happened so fast it was like an avalanche. Before you could blink, the Packers were up 7-0 then 14-0 shortly thereafter.
If anyone in Wisconsin still had questions about Love, they should all be dissolved at this point. He never once looked rattled or was made to feel uncomfortable in the pocket by Dallas. He picked the Cowboys’ defense apart early then stepped out of the way and allowed Aaron Jones to carve up Dan Quinn’s front seven like turkey on Thanksgiving.
Sitting at the bar during this massacre, when the Packers came out on their first drive and went down the field without much resistance, I told my buddy Dallas was in trouble. In the second quarter following a Dak Prescott interception, Green Bay extended the lead to 14-0 on Jones’ second rushing touchdown. I slowly turned to my right and said, “This game might be over.”
Dallas wound up trailing 27-0 in the first half and managed to score a touchdown by the time halftime rolled around. The Cowboys losing in the wild-card round isn’t the most shocking occurrence ever. Hell, it just happened a couple of years ago at home against the San Francisco 49ers. At least there was some drama built up in that game. This one seemed to be over before folks even got settled in at AT&T Stadium.
It’s all about the love
Don’t let the final score or stats fool you. All 32 points and anything else Dallas did on offense were “empty calories,” to quote one Shannon Sharpe. The final score of 48-32 was nowhere near indicative of the flow of this game. That may have been the most efficient 48 points ever scored. Love passed the ball just 21 times and Jones ran it 21. Both guys had three TDs. Because the Cowboys got behind by so much so early, Prescott totaled 60 pass attempts.
Green Bay ran up the score then sat back and kept everything in front of them defensively. Even when the Cowboys chipped away at the lead in the second half, it never felt like the momentum left the Packers. They could’ve easily dropped a 50 burger, which would’ve made it that much worse.
No one is giving the Pack much of a chance heading into this divisional-round matchup with the Niners, but the same was said last week leading up to the Cowboys game. Of course, we’re talking about two entirely different teams in Dallas and San Francisco, but Green Bay is rolling on house money.
What they’ve accomplished in Love’s first year as the starter is probably LaFleur’s greatest coaching success. Winning games is much easier when you have a guaranteed future Hall of Famer who’s still winning MVPs. In October LaFleur still wasn’t sure of exactly what he had in Love, forget about the rest of us. After Wild-Card Weekend, the future is shining bright in the cheese state.