The Dallas Cowboys return from a bye week on Sunday to take on the Green Bay Packers. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Cowboys as 4.5-point favorites heading to Lambeau Field, showing just how much the Packers are struggling this season. We talked with SB Nation site Acme Packing Company to get an idea of what is happening in Green Bay.
Blogging The Boys: Let’s start with Aaron Rodgers. Is he part of the problem this year, or is the rest of the offense letting him down?
Acme Packing Company: I think he is part of the problem, but he still shows flashes of high potential. One big problem with Rodgers playing with a bunch of young receivers is the receivers are apparently running routes as they are drawn up in the playbook, whereas Rodgers wants them to already know how to convert those routes versus coverage looks. It doesn’t help he didn’t show up to “break them in” this summer.
BTB: A lot is being made of Mike McCarthy returning to Green Bay in Dallas. Is that happening on your side of the fence? Do Green Bay fans/media care much about that? Bonus ask: How do you feel about McCarthy as a coach?
APC: I think people are excited for McCarthy in Green Bay at this point. Maybe if there had only been one year between McCarthy leaving and him returning to Lambeau Field things would be different, but enough time has passed now that people respect what McCarthy did with the Packers no matter how it ended. I think it was time for the team to go in a different direction, but he was pretty close to the cutting-edge of scheme until about 2015 for us.
BTB: Give us a rundown of the injury situation and your best guess as to who will play or not, and how that will affect the team.
APC: CB Eric Stokes, WR Romeo Doubs and ILB De’Vondre Campbell will likely be out for this game. OLB Rashan Gary was already placed on IR this week so that’s a massive loss that can’t be understated. Campbell might be the biggest injury, sans Gary, because of what’s behind him. Campbell was replaced by Isaiah McDuffie, who played six snaps of defense in his career prior to the last two games, against the Lions. He was benched within the first drive for Krys Barnes, fresh off of injured reserve, and Barnes then left the game with a concussion. So if Barnes and Campbell can’t go, McDuffie will start opposite of rookie Quay Walker.
BTB: With so much focus on Rodgers and the offense, what’s going on with the Packers defense this year?
APC: Their 3-4 defensive ends get not penetration and their inside linebackers and Darnell Savage have struggled all season in the tackling department. Their pass defense is fine. Early in the season, there were a lot of brain farts in the coverage department but that has seemingly sorted itself out. Their run defense is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the league.
BTB: The Cowboys are 4.5-point favorites in this game. Do you feel that’s a fair spread, and how do you think the game will go on Sunday?
APC: I don’t think it’s high enough! I’d take the Cowboys. I just think they’re a better team.