The Green Bay Packers thoroughly dominated the Dallas Cowboys yesterday in what I think is the biggest win of head coach Matt LaFleur’s career. Quarterback Jordan Love has raised his game to an elite level the last nine games and the Packers are 7-2 in that span. Oh, and they are heading to San Fransisco next Saturday for a date with the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Just stunning.
Love once again seemed to raise his game to a new level. It seems as the stakes get higher, the better he plays. And the national media is taking note. Check out Colin Cowherd, who back in October said Love “can’t play.” At the time I couldn’t argue it. The Packers offense was an embarrassment. Now they are almost unstoppable. Throw in Joe B’s suddenly stout defense and the Packers absolutely have a chance to beat the 49ers.
The turnaround of Love and the offense has made this one of the most enjoyable seasons in recent memory. Yes, the Packers won more games with Aaron Rodgers and made two NFC Championships, but they were supposed to. Nobody in their right mind other than me predicted the Packers in the playoffs this year. I predicted they would win the division but not sure I really believed it. I certainly didn’t think Love could play this good.
Of course, it’s not just Love that is responsible for this turnaround. The Packers’ young pass catchers have blossomed right before our eyes and none of them look like rookies anymore. The offensive line has performed well and of course Aaron Jones is all-world when he’s in the lineup. Like Cowherd says, this team is a problem.
When you factor in the Packers have a ton of picks in the top half of April’s draft so general manager Brian Gutekunst has the ammunition to either move up in the draft or trade for a instant starter. As Michael Irvin said this morning this is probably the worst team the Packers will have for the next five years.
But first things first. The 49ers are the best team in the NFC but they aren’t invincible. The Ravens and Bengals beat them at home during the season. The Packers have played good defense against the good offenses they have faced for the most part. It’s teams like the Giants and Panthers that have given them fits. The 49ers will challenge the Packers’ defense for sure.
I can’t wait to see what LaFleur dials up for the 49ers with a quarterback he knows will trust his calls. Rodgers could never beat the 49ers in the playoffs and played some of his worst games against them. I think the pressure to beat them was a factor and the fact that the 49ers franchise disliked Rodgers so much they always had an extra incentive to win. Maybe Love will exorcise that demon on Saturday. If so, look out.