Mike McCarthy vs Aaron Rodgers for the first time ever!
By Alex Al-Kazzaz
This Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys will take on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mike McCarthy, who served as head coach in Green Bay from 2006 to 2018 will return to Lambeau for the first time since he was fired. Now that he's coming as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, McCarthy has the opportunity to make a huge impact on his current team by coaching them to a rare win on the road against Aaron Rodgers & company.
McCarthy's Super Bowl triumph in 2010 certainly was the pinnacle of his tenure in Green Bay. In Dallas' case, perhaps his pinnacle was the two playoff wins against Dallas in 2014 and 2016 respectively. During his time in Green Bay, McCarthy amassed an overall 7-3 record against Dallas. In Green Bay's case, now that McCarthy is coaching the opposition, it'll be interesting to see how this Sunday's game plays out.
The Green Bay Packers are 3-6 and on a five-game losing streak while the Dallas Cowboys are 6-2. Green Bay is coming off a frustrating 15-9 loss to the Detroit Lions where Rodgers threw three interceptions. Lately, the Packers have suffered losses to the likes of the Buffalo Bills and Washington Commanders. In addition, the Packers suffered a humiliating 27-10 loss at home to the New York Jets.
It's quite clear that as unconvincing as the Packers have been lately, they're determined to not allow Dallas to wreak havoc on their home turf. The Dallas' defense is good as they lead the league in sacks and excel at inflicting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Rodgers has a history of countering anything a Dallas defense has thrown at him before and he'll look to do it again. For Dallas, it's up to them to forbid Rodgers to relive another nostalgic moment at their expense. Therefore, the defense needs to sack Rodgers as many times as possible, force stops, and most importantly avoid penalties and FORCE TURNOVERS.
On offense, the Dallas Cowboys can't afford to waste a drive. Every time Dallas' offense sputters which results in giving the ball back is just a wasted opportunity for the Cowboys which hands an opportunity to Rodgers and the Packers' offense. Dallas needs to excel in the running and passing game and have a highly functional offense capable of reaching the endzone. The offensive playcalling must be accurate and productive results need to happen. Provided the Cowboys' defense forces a turnover, the offense needs to turn that turnover into a touchdown.
Overall, the main key for Dallas is to stay at least two moves ahead of Green Bay. Dallas goes into this week's game as the favorite. A road victory for Dallas is possible, but only Dallas can make that happen.