Packers Vs. Cowboys

On Sunday, January 15, 2017, the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Green Bay Packers for the NFC Divisional playoff game.  The Cowboys, who were 13-3 in the regular season, were favored to win the game with two Pro Bowl rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.  Elliot led the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards, and Prescott is ranked third in the NFL with a passing rating of 104.9.

The Packers have been on fire the last half of the regular season, winning their last six games after starting the season off 4-6.  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said in week 10, after a 4 game losing streak, “I feel like we can run the table,” meaning going undefeated for the rest of the season, and that is just what they have been doing. With a passer rating of 104.2 and a NFL record of 40 touchdowns this season, Aaron Rodgers is getting back into his groove after everyone doubted him.  During the Packers seven game winning streak, Aaron Rodgers threw twenty-two touchdowns and had no interceptions.  They ended the regular season as the number four seed in the NFC, with a record of 10-6, and faced the New York Giants in the wild card round of the playoffs.  They lost their best receiver Jordy Nelson due to a rib injury in the wildcard game, but they managed to win and move on to the divisional round of the playoffs in Dallas.

The game started Sunday with the Cowboys first four minute drive resulting in a successful 50 yard field goal.  The Packers then got the ball and within minutes scored a touchdown after a Dallas offsides.  The first quarter ended with the Packers leading 7-3.

The second quarter began with another Packers touchdown by running back Ty Montgomery and Dallas’ hope of winning seemed to fade away.  Green Bay scored another touchdown, also by Montgomery, halfway through the second quarter, and Dallas responded with a 40 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dez Bryant.  The Cowboys had another field goal ending the half with the Packers still leading with 21-13.

The Packers started the third quarter with a touchdown drive resulting in the only scoring of the third quarter.  However, the Cowboys had a very strong drive going until an interception on a 2nd and 1 by Green Bay safety Micah Hyde.  Dallas safety Jeff Heath intercepted the ball back for the Cowboys towards the end of the quarter, breaking Aaron Rodgers career high of 318 passes without an interception.

The Cowboys started the fourth quarter with a touchdown by tight end Jason Witten, making the score 28-20 still in favor of the Packers.  With their next possession, the Cowboys scored another touchdown, and then got a two-point conversion to tie the game with four minutes remaining.  Packers wide receiver Davante Adams twisted his left ankle after picking up 16 yards which led to a Packers field goal.  With a minute and thirty-six seconds left, Mason Crosby, the Packers kicker, made a 56 yard field goal; however, they left just enough time for the Cowboys to have a shot at a tied game once again. With forty seconds left, the Cowboys kicker, Dan Bailey, made a 52 yard field goal, making the score 31-31, and letting Aaron Rodgers, the man known for hail mary’s, have one more chance.  On 3rd and 20 with twelve seconds left, Aaron Rodgers threw a bomb down to the 32 yard line to tight end Jared Cook.  Cook barely got both his feet inbounds; in fact, the first official ruled it as an incomplete catch. The second official ruled it a fair catch which set up a 51 yard field goal for Mason Crosby with three seconds remaining. Crosby made the field goal but Dallas called a timeout before the snap, making him do it again.  He made it the second time winning the game for Green Bay 34-31.

With this win, the Packers take a trip to Georgia to play the number two seed the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Conference Championship on Sunday, January 22.