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- Green Bay Packers vs Dallas Cowboys: Corner Coverage Could be Difference

Chris Pokorny November 29, 2007
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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It is Week 13 of the National Football League as another Thursday game calls for an early start to the week. Most of the games that will air on the NFL Network this season aren't too prolific and shouldn't cause a major stir-up. Other games won't have to though, because when the Green Bay Packers battle the Dallas Cowboys, thousands, perhaps millions of NFL fans will be outraged that they won't be able to see the NFC's best go head-to-head.

Just like last week, I am predicting the Thursday game today, and I'll be back Friday with my predictions for the other fifteen games in Week 13.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL



Packers vs. Cowboys


HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE (DOUBLE TAKE)

Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys. I already stressed the issue of this game not being shown in most areas due to the painful NFL Network conflict, so let me jump right into the actual impact this game will have. This truly is the NFC's equivalent of the New England Patriots vs. the Indianapolis Colts. The Cowboys have the home field edge in this game, and the winner of the game will likely have the home field edge in the postseason (thus the parenthetical portion of the game's subtitle, "double take"). It may mean more in the postseason, but if you're a good enough of a team to have a near perfect record at this point in the season, it really doesn't matter whether or not you're the home team or the road team. The Packers are 5-0 on the road this season, so for anyone to give the Cowboys a distinct advantage because of the fact that they are at home wouldn't be fair. After all -- the Patriots defeated the Colts on the road.

The tale of the tapes between the two quarterbacks in this game is an exciting one. Brett Favre and Tony Romo have often been compared due to their tendencies to have the confidence to fire a strike deep down the field, even if they have to do it after the center snapped the football over their heads. Let's take a look at how each quarterback has done this season:

Brett Favre: 3356 yards, 22 touchdowns, 8 interceptions (101.5 QB Rating).
Tony Romo: 3043 yards, 29 touchdowns, 13 interceptions (105.3 QB Rating).

Favre is 38 years old, playing in his 16th year as a starting quarterback. Romo is 27, playing in just his 2nd year as a starting quarterback. After taking much criticism for his muffed hold in the playoffs last year, Romo hasn't shown a single lingering effect of panic this season. After many thought Favre would retire last season, he came back for another year and is having one of his finest seasons ever.

The Cowboys have the more prolific receiver in Terrell Owens. Owens had 13 touchdowns this season, on pace to shatter his career high of 16 from when he was with the San Francisco 49ers in 2001. The Packers have relied on veteran receiver Donald Driver for awhile, and he's still making all of the catches, but there's a new threat in Green Bay this year that has elevated Favre. His name is Greg Jennings. The second year receiver has already picked up on all of Favre's knack for throwing quick slants and the deep ball, and it shows on the stat sheet. Jennings has nine touchdowns this season, including five in the past four weeks.

Trying to compare the running game may have been worth it earlier in the season, but not now. The Packers went from indecision to comfortability over the past month when Ryan Grant stepped in and played like a starting NFL running back in part due to his keen cutback abilities. Marion Barber meanwhile knows how to get the most out of a play even when it appears to be time to give up hope. With both offenses playing at such a high level, how do the defenses line up?

Take a look at how each team's defense has played against common opponents this season:

vs. Philadelphia: Green Bay Wins 16-13, Dallas Wins 38-17
vs. New York Giants: Green Bay Wins 35-13, Dallas Wins 45-35, Dallas Wins 31-20
vs. Washington: Green Bay Wins 17-14, Dallas Wins 28-23
vs. Minnesota: Green Bay Wins 34-0, Dallas Wins 24-14
vs. Chicago: Green Bay Loses 27-20, Dallas Wins 34-10

Besides the Bears game, overall, the Packers have held their opponents to about 13 points consistently, while the Cowboys have held their opponents closer to 20 points. It's too tough for anyone to deny the Cowboys getting on the scoreboard though, meaning the Packers will have to play shootout football with them just as they did with the Lions on Thanksgiving. Both teams excel at shootout football, but I think the Packers' cornerbacks' abilities to play close to the line of scrimmage on passing plays will result in a key turnover or stop at some point, giving Green Bay enough of an edge to squeak out with an upset victory. Packers 31, Cowboys 28

STATISTICS

Predictions Record to Date: 114-62 (I'm seven games out of first in PFC Pick'em)
Last Week: 13-3 (That's more like it.)
Survivor Streak: Won 3 (Min over Atl, Den over Oak, Car over Atl, [NYJ over Buf], Ari over StL, Cle over Mia, Cin over NYJ, NYG over Mia, [SD over Min], Sea over SF, Ind over KC, and Pit over Mia.)
Survivor Record: 10-2

Remember to come back on Friday and Saturday to find out the rest of my picks for Week 13. Remember -- none of Sunday's games will be on the NFL Network.


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