Earlier this week I put up my scouting report for the Cowboys/Packers game on this here blog. Brandon, SB Nation's blogger for the Packers over at Acme Packing Company, sent me a reply that balances out the scouting report from a Green Bay view. Stop over at Acme Packing Company to catch up on news about the Packers, and read Brandon's scouting report below.
Packers run offense vs. Dallas run defense. Although the Packers only have somewhat of a running game, Ryan Grant was the leading rusher in the game last year in Dallas and he had 2 TDs. Also, he managed 92 yards on 12 carries in week 1 against Minnesota's excellent run defense. The Packers pass more than they run the ball, but their running game is just as explosive.
Dallas pass rush vs. Packers offensive line. LT Chad Clifton has been shutting down the best pass rushers in the NFL for years, and he's doing it again this season as proven by the zero tackle, zero sack line posted by DE Jared Allen in his first game as a Viking. But Ellis and Ware both had sacks in the game last November, and the interior offensive lineman can be beat. I'm not worried if Ware and Ellis each have a sack or two, but it will be a problem if the pressure forces turnovers.
5 WR sets vs. max protection. The Packers will do both and Mike McCarthy is very good at mixing up his play calling. The slant is still a part of the offense, but I'd say they use it less now then they did a year ago. It's true that the offense struggle when the linebackers drop back 10 yards in coverage and clog the passing lanes, but only Chicago has been good at it against the Packers.
Terrell Owens vs. Packers cornerbacks. Al Harris was torched by Owens last season, and when Owens was an Eagle, and probably will be torched again in this game. Nickel CB Tramon Williams is good, but he's not going to stop Owens either. Charles Woodson missed last year's game due to a toe injury, actually he has a toe injury again this year but he's playing through it. Woodson's still very good, but he's no shutdown corner either. The best way to stop Owens is to get to Romo.
Dallas pass offense vs. Packers safeties. S Atari Bigby is out, but he's lousy in pass coverage anyway. He plays 5 to 10 yards off everybody and waits for Tavaris Jackson to uncork a wild pass he can intercept. Backup S Aaron Rouse is much better in coverage, but he's got a bad ankle and WR Calvin Johnson ran by him for 2 TDs last week. Backup backup S Charlie Peprah is good, but he's rarely played and is nursing his own injuries. Again, the best pass coverage will be a good pass rush.
Dallas pass protection vs. Packers pass rush. DE Aaron Kampman, DT Cullen Jenkins, and DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila can get after the QB, but the Dallas offensive line pitched a shutout (no sacks allowed) against them last season. Last November, the Packers only got to Romo once LB A.J. Hawk came on the biltz. As you noticed in the Detroit game, Hawk is blitzing more. So is LB Nick Barnett. Dallas scored on their first five possessions against the Packers last November, until defensive coordinator Bob Sanders started blitzing Hawk and it slowed them down. I expect the Packers to blitz Hawk and Barnett early and often.
Dallas rushing offense vs. Packers run defense. The Packers have a good, above average run defense. Adrian Peterson ran for over 100 yards against them in week 1, but he does that a lot. Barber and Jones will have a big run or two and play a role in the offense, but I'm not expecting this to be the key matchup of the game.