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*This is the transcript of our Handicapping group wager chat for this particular game. Taking it as it is, so forgive any typos, etc. It's just casual opinions shared. Also, we may veer way off topic but that's half the fun of it.
FFM Computer: 39-24, B5 13-7
Savage: 38-25; Blazing 5: 10-10; Best Bet: 2-2
Skolman: 33-30; Blazing 5: 12-8; Best Bet: 2-2
Katz: 31-32; Blazing 5: 8-12; Best Bet: 1-3
Rabbitt: 33-30; Blazing 5: 12-8; Best Bet: 2-2
RC: 33-30 Blazing 5: 11-9; Best Bet: 1-3
Katz: Are the Cowboys really going to lose two in a row at home?
Rabbitt: I don't know how the Packers stop the Cowboys on offense. Adams is iffy to get cleared. Tackles, Montgomery Cobb, and nelson all banged up. Cobb and Nelson will play. The rest probably wont. Dallas may be in my blazing 5
Katz: Dallas will be in my blazing 5, but I'm not exactly an unbiased source. The last time Dallas needed to respond against Arizona, they did. I expect the same against a very banged up Packers team. Ultimately, I do not think Ty Montgomery suits up this week. Jamaal Williams will split with Aaron Jones, which is great for the Cowboys because Aaron Jones is better than Jamaal Williams at football. I kind of hope Davante Adams sits just for his own personal health, but even if he suits up, it's not like Rodgers wasn't already going to torch this secondary. Dak will have to keep up with Aaron and I think he can. He's done it twice before. This is a season defining game for Dallas.
Savage: I'm sorry, I don't understand what you guys see in Dallas right now. I don't care how many talented young players they have on defense, the results aren't showing up on the field. They were very fortunate to play the Giants without OBJ in week 1, and since then have given up 30 PPG to a mediocre Denver offense, an atrocious Cardinals team, and the Rams. The Rams are definitely much improved but consider that their other 2 offensive outbursts were against the 49ers and Colts, whereas they struggled against a solid/good Redskins defense.
The thing Dallas did so well last year was to grind out long possessions with their run game and keep their defense off the field. They knew the defense was their weak spot. This year they haven't been able to do that - they had a 24-16 halftime lead on Sunday and only managed to get two first downs until late in the 4th after they'd given up 4 straight scores. That's not the behavior of an elite team. Their passing game reminds me a lot of the Packers in the season where Jordy Nelson tore his ACL: their receivers aren't getting open and Dak has to make a lot of plays with his feet after things break down.
Obviously Green Bay has their share of defensive issues as well, so I agree that this will be a shootout type game. I see it as Rodgers vs Dak. Dak has the better O-line, but Rodgers has receivers that can get open. In an otherwise even matchup, I'm taking Rodgers.
RC: I would not want to bet for real money because either QB is capable of miracles. I think a lot rides on the GB O-Line health. This is such a huge game in the big picture of the playoffs and seeding, etc. I think everyone who can walk briskly will be active for this one.
The computer models I’m looking at see a troublesome Packers team – Barely outplayed bad Seattle. Got beat by not that good Atlanta. Lucked out against Cincy. Lucked out against the Bears, to a degree. There’s no sign of domination. On Dallas’s side they’ve been in heavyweight fights and been really good. Much better than reported v. DEN. Bullied Arizona on a road MNF game. Beat the top 5-7 NFL team Rams in every way except the final score. Dallas lost to great teams and handled the easier ones. Green Bay is struggling with everyone…but part of that is the ravaged O-Line.
Katz: Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part because I need the Cowboys to win this game, but I really do believe they were the better team when they played last season; they were the better team in the playoffs; and they're the better team now. We can never account for Aaron Rodgers miracles. He's great. We know this. But in predicting the outcome of this game, I can't assume that Rodgers is going to make a once in a season type play every time. I do have concerns over how the Cowboys plan to stop Jordy Nelson, but I also think the Packers will struggle to stop Dak and Zeke.
RC: Boy, Dallas might be without two OLs and Green Bay getting theirs back? This is starting to scare me for Dallas. This could be the loss that sends one of these two teams reeling for a bit.