Green Bay Packers

5 Numbers Packers Fans Need To Know From the First Round Of the Playoffs

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj (USA TODAY Sports)

While the Green Bay Packers watched from home during their bye week, Wild Card Weekend in the NFL provided plenty of wild moments. There were some blowouts, and the best game of the weekend may have been in Dallas, where the San Francisco 49ers emerged with a 23-17 victory. The Niners now head to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers.

Here are five numbers Packers fans need to know from the first round of the playoffs.

5

Dak Prescott struggled for three quarters against the Niners, and the front four of San Francisco’s defense hit home on many occasions. Prescott was sacked five times on Sunday.

Green Bay will have to be much better up front than the Dallas Cowboys were. As an added layer, Dallas had plenty of pre-snap penalties, frequently on the offensive line, that put them squarely behind the sticks early and often. As a result, they were put into predictable passing downs where the 49ers could tee off. The Packers can’t allow that to happen.

Matt LaFleur’s squad was the least penalized team in the NFL this year. They will need to bank on that and keep San Francisco’s front four guessing. Green Bay has done a tremendous job all year long neutralizing opposing defensive fronts, and they will look to do so again on Saturday night. Having David Bakhtiari and Josh Myers back sure doesn’t hurt.

169

San Francisco gashed Dallas with their run game to the tune of 169 rushing yards on Sunday afternoon. Elijah Mitchell had 96 rushing yards, and Deebo Samuel had another 72.

Packers fans have one big worry: the 49ers will strut into Lambeau Field and do whatever they want on the ground against the Packers. In the first matchup earlier this year, Green Bay’s run defense played wonderfully against the Niners. However, that was without Samuel in a co-starring role in the backfield. If the Packers are to win on Saturday night, they’ll need to do far better than Dallas did in containing the ground game.

7

Green Bay has gotten off to slow starts in more games than not this year, and the Cowboys did just that on Sunday. Not only was it a slow start for Mike McCarthy’s team, but it also carried over into the second half.

Dallas scored only seven total points in the first three quarters. It was a recipe for disaster they couldn’t overcome. San Francisco established their pace and sucked Dallas right into the trap. Even if they get off to another slow start in the divisional round, the Packers need to dictate the game’s pace.

The 49ers depend on establishing their game flow and forcing the issue with the opposition. The Packers must be confident that they are the better team and not be hesitant. Dallas didn’t act like they were the better team. They came out jittery and scattered.

1

Kyle Shanahan’s offense gave up just one turnover, but it was nearly a fatal one.

San Francisco led 23-10 with less than 10 minutes to go and had the ball near midfield. On a 2nd and 10, Garoppolo rolled right toward the far sideline and overthrew Trent Sherfield by a mile. His pass fell right into the lap of Dallas’ Anthony Brown. The Cowboys would march right down the field, and the score was 23-17 in the blink of an eye.

As good as San Francisco’s running game is, and as well as the front four of their defense has played, Garoppolo will have to make some big-time throws against the Packers. That’s where Green Bay can take advantage. Garoppolo has been good this year, but he doesn’t come without some boneheaded throws at inopportune times. If Green Bay can force a couple of Garoppolo interceptions, it will be tough for the Niners to come out on top.

:14

With 14 seconds left and the Cowboys on the 41-yard line of the 49ers, Kellen Moore and Mike McCarthy dialed up a quarterback draw to get 15 to 20 yards closer. The problem was, there wasn’t enough time. The umpire was a tad late to spot the ball, and Prescott never got the spike off in time. It was the final play of the game — and the final play of Dallas’ season.

Because of that, instead of the winner of the Arizona Cardinals/Los Angeles Rams heading to Green Bay, it’s San Francisco. Who could have predicted the Cowboys’ season would ultimately be folded up by a McCarthy time management decision?

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